Saturday, August 18, 2012

safe

so, i have 2 daughters under the age of 9. even though we live in a somewhat "safe" neighborhood, i do not allow them to walk to the local stores or parks alone. call me paranoid, or whatever, but i don't trust people. and i don't care how special people think their little neighborhood is, there are sick, demented people EVERYWHERE.

so, one of my daughters was invited over to a friends house to play. we're in alameda neighborhood, but their neighborhood might be just slightly one step up from our in terms of safety or the illusion of a happy, safe place. so, my daughter called me from their house saying that their mom lets them walk to the park alone with their 10 yr old brother and wanted to make sure i was okay with that.

the park is probably 4 blocks away.  i said no. so a 10 yr old boy would be responsible for my 8 yr old daughter if something happened, or if she had to go use the park bathroom, or if someone tried to lure her away? i don't think so.

i kind of felt this eyerolling from the mom, as if i'm just so overprotective. and then it dawned on me.

this family is white. white people have never ever had to watch their backs. they've never had to be aware of someone wanting to hurt or kill them because of their race or who they are. not that i think my daughter is a target because of being mixed, or that lynching or anything like that still happens. but my point is that i think white people in general are more trusting and more laid back in terms of letting their children run free without worry because historically, they have never had to be concerned. whereas, black people, i believe are more cautious naturally because of our history or being targeted.

that's my theory. what do you think?

6 comments:

Yolandaas said...

Interesting post! Im 19 and I dont have any children but trust me, I will be the same as you when I do. Im not sure about the theory, Even if its true Im not sure if it's due to fear of racial attacks.. Do u live in the US, does it happen often there?

Anonymous said...

I usually gain some insight and another point of view from your posts and I can feel your frustration comming through in what your writing here but I have to respectfully disagree for 2 reasons. 1)I'm white and my family and I are just as overprotective about things like that (and I grew up in not too bad neighborhoods) and 2) I have lived in the projects where the population was primarily black and I have never in my life seen so many out of control, unsupervised children running the street at all hours. I know we are different because of our races but I have found that we really aren't so different when it comes down to it...My black friends who live in decent neighborhoods have wonderful, respectful, good children. It seems to me economics has more to do with it than race. Just my opinion, yall can yell at me now :)

Michael said...

For the record, I'm a white male. But I guess I have a question about why exactly you aren't comfortable letting your child go out by herself, or walk to the park with her friend and her brother. The question is whether you're not comfortable because you think that in today's society, children are unfortunately more unsafe overall, or because she is a mixed race child? Not that Portland is a bastion of diversity, but as far as cities go, it's about as safe as you can get. I cannot think of anywhere in the city that is really THAT dangerous (maybe further afield). Having mixed race children in my family, as well, I just don't think of the Pacific Northwest as being terribly focused on issues of race. Maybe I'm naive, I'm just wondering what your exact issue is. (Please don't take this post as putting down your perspective, either way, I'm honestly just curious).

Anonymous said...

I don't agree--I am a white mom with white kids, and I am quite overprotective about where they go, even if it's a few doors down in our neighborhood. I will watch my 8-year old daughter from the driveway. We have had suspicious people in the proverbial white van trying to talk to kids, drunk drivers, you name it. There are sadly Wal-Mart boards full of missing children who are of every race, including white ones. It may factor into a person's decision, but I don't think it's as simple as this.

Unknown said...

White people don't have to watch their backs? Apparently you don't keep up with the news or you would know about the whtie people who were maimed during the Philadelphia flash mobs in 2011. You must live in a vacuum. Take off your race goggles and see the entire world, not just your world. Oh, and white people do watch their children. Like hawks. You idiot. Bet you don't have the guts to keep this comment up.

Anonymous said...

Wow I'm in Memphis, TN the city is at least 70% black and I'm amazed at little 7yo black kids being the kid in charge of 2 or 3 4-5yo's leading them around at all hours of the day and night... Blacks have fear? not here... except of other black... 80% of the crime here is black on black or Black on white...
But to take the Race issue out of it... all good parents make the choice that is comfortable for them based on the facts as they know them... This is the first year we have let our 9yo stay after school to play at the playground and walk home 3 blocks... not 100% comfortable with it... but you have to extend trust...