On the Invisibility of Black Mothers in the Trump Presidency
I traded in my favorite shows for political coverage and podcasts. I’ve always been a political junkie, it runs in my veins–my mom a political science major, my uncle is a judge, my grandpa was a political figure in Jamaica, my masters degree is in public administration. I live for this stuff.
It was around 9:30 last night when the hair on the back of my neck started to stand up. Shortly after my heart started to pound rapidly when they couldn’t call Wisconsin or Michigan. The tone of the broadcasters was notably sullen. It reminded me of the tone of voice someone uses when they are hesitant to share that someone has passed away.
I forced myself to bed around one am because I knew what was happening and I didn’t want to witness it.
Donald Trump is now the President of the United States.
Here’s the thing. 2016 has been an exceptionally hard year for African Americans. It’s been a build up of violence against unarmed black people for years now, but 2016 has been extra violent. When you are a mother of a black boy the depth of this fear will keep you up at night. It will sit with you always, even when the black lives matter chants are silent.
Being a mother of brown boys makes you realize quickly that those cute faces that everyone gushes about will eventually have an expiration date to white america. The clock is ticking down to when they get too tall, too opinionated, too black. When I notice that Joshua has grown a few more inches the familiar sense of dread rises, but I stuff it down quickly because the clock, there is still time. They are still adorable.
One of the hardest parts about the thought of a Trump presidency is the fact that he can’t even see my boys. They are invisible to him. According to Trump we are all shooting each other anyway, so what do we have to lose?!
Yesterday, the day after, I soothed my nerves with songs my mom made me listen to when I was a kid. It’s so easy to get caught up in the scandalous stuff: the women, the name calling, the outright blatant lies. However, when you witness children and grown men of color get killed for no reason it starts to screw with you. It becomes difficult to parent to a little eager four year old that IDOLIZES police officers. I know the clock is winding down on that too.
We are completely invisible in a Trump led era. I’m not nervous about my money, I’m not even nervous about my healthcare. I’m terrified of being a mother of brown boys under a president that has no cares that we even exist. I sit next to the LGBT community, next to my Hispanic family, women in general, and frankly anyone who isn’t a white male. We sit here together. Invisible.