And I will never ever let him forget it. One of the things that made me happiest about the world I brought him in to was the fact that at least for the first two years of his life, he would only know a Black president. A Black president is the norm for him. He would never understand why I cried like a baby the night Barack Obama was elected, or the absolute joy that would fill my heart when we received their annual holiday card: A picture perfect reflection of a gorgeous, proud, Black family.
He would never understand how rare it used to be to see strong, Black feminism uplifted and praised as it has been while Michelle Obama has been FLOTUS. It would just be normal. I will never, ever let him forget that President Barack Obama was in power when he was born. President Obama’s tenure is over, but in his wake he has left behind a lasting legacy for our Black and Brown boys, no matter how much of his political accomplishments get overturned or undone. He has shown by example that we ALL have the right to dream bigger than anyone might think possible. That our young women and men of color really can do ANYTHING. And that people, when inspired by love, unity and intelligence, can come together to make the world a better place.
I’m not ignorant.I know my son will likely have to deal with racism in his life. I don’t live with blinders on and I plan on talking to him openly and honestly about the history of colonization, oppresion and violence that this country has been built upon. But for a fleeting moment, his president was Black and that can never be taken away from him.
My son is only two years old, but I know I’m going to have a lot of explaining to do over the next few years about why we allowed all the progress of the last eight years to be torn down and thrown away by a hateful bigot. This is my chance to teach him about how good does not always beget good and evil does not always beget evil. Life is a pendulum, always striving to find a balance between darkness and light. Without one, the other can not exist. Still, as humans, we must always push towards the light, towards good and towards love.