Something Is Broken, Something Is Wrong: A Mother’s Fear

livingoutli.org

livingoutli.org

*****

If you are the mother of a young black man,

I can see your fear.

If you are the mother of a young white man who wants to be a police officer,

I can feel your fear.

If you are the mother of a young black man,

I am sorry for your pain.

If you are the mother of a young white man who wants to be a police officer,

I am also sorry for your pain.

If you are the mother of a young black man in today’s world,

be very afraid.

If you are the mother of a young white man who wants to be a police officer in today’s world,

be very afraid.

If you are the mother of a law-abiding black son,

stay afraid.

If you are the mother of a law abiding white son who wants to be a police officer,

stay afraid.

If you are the mother of a young black man,

get angry.

If you are the mother of a young white man who wants to be police officer,

get angry.

If you are the mother of a young black man you love beyond words,

protect him.

If you are the mother of a young white man who wants to be a police officer and whom you love beyond words,

protect him.

Whether our sons are black or white, we are their mothers,

and we are scared.

Something is broken

Something is wrong

We pray that we can fix it

We pray that we are not alone.

*****

I am terrified.  

My son is a caring and kind young man whose passion is to become a police officer.  He wants to help others.  He wants to serve others.  He is willing to risk his life for others.  

No recent news story has changed his mind.  He is determined to pursue his career of choice.  He may be scared deep down but he doesn’t show it.  

 I am terrified.  

He will be working this summer as a Community Service Officer, supporting the police department anyway he can.  His job is to work with and for the community.  To protect and to serve.  A stepping stone to pursuing his passion once he graduates from college next year.

But you know what?  He needs to do this.  He needs to become a police officer.  He is one of the many good guys.  The ones that care.  The ones that treat others with respect.  One of the ones who values all lives.  One of the ones we need.

I am terrified,  proud and hopeful for change.

44 thoughts on “Something Is Broken, Something Is Wrong: A Mother’s Fear

  1. Something is definitely wrong. I am the grandma of two little boys- one black and one biracial. Their parents are really good people and they will do everything in their power to raise them to be respectful, kind, productive awesome men. It’s the part that’s out of our control- this messed up society- that really scares me.

    To be at such risk because of your skin color and/or profession (especially one which is to protect us) is ridiculous. What kind of world is this?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If he manages to come all the way over here, I think the community would welcome him. The city next door to me- Pasco, WA- well, people are still hurting a lot. Especially the Hispanic community, from what I can tell. Earlier last month, protesters got arrested for blocking Court St.

    You understand this is a real thing for me. Especially since where the shooting happened, well, I’m near there at lot, mostly at the Fiesta Foods.

    I’m still somewhat on hiatus, Maria, still raw and hurting from other things. But I wanted you to know, I understand the concerns here to a degree.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for taking the time to stop by here to support my fears and concerns! Let’s hope that all this dialogue will turn to actions and not just forgotten words. Please keep healing!

      Like

      1. Claro, claro que si, Maria. I remember you’ve talked about this before. Probably one of the toughest things he may have to deal with, actually, is being a first responder for the mentally ill– especially those who are impoverished. I’ve been there; my last trip to Crisis Response and the psych ward was in a squad car.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What a beautiful poem. Sadly, something is broken in our society.
    I’m glad your son refuses to let fear deter him, though I can understand your fears for his safety. But I admire his strength of character.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As you said in your last post: “To this day, he checks expiration dates and smells everything I serve him to make sure it’s still good.” ~> he sounds like a sensible and prudent young man who will balance risk with benefit and look before leaping.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can understand your fear. It would be so much easier to be the mother of a young man who DOESN’T want to help, but if that was your son, he wouldn’t be so special.
    This was so well done, chica.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Peg, don’t go make me cry now. You are only allowed to make me laugh! It is a good thing that he wants to help although, I can think of many other ways to help. 🙂 I support him 100% even if I am kicking and screaming. Thanks for your kind words. 🙂

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  6. Ay mujer. Being a mom is definitely tough. And I’m sending you my strength. Kids are a lot stronger than we think, they feel invisible at times it’s us as parents that know the world that we get nervous or anxious about the outcomes. I know your son was raised well … to be a kind, compassionate, and strong man, because you are strong, compassionate, and kind. Sending you strength mujer. I know your son will do great in any environment.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is outstanding and beautiful and needed…desperately. The things happening in this world terrify me but most especially for my kids. As a mother I can feel your fear. As I read about your son, I felt a lump in my throat. But you are right. He needs to do this and you will let him. Because the world needs as many of the good guys as it can get.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have spent just over 16 years serving as a police officer in some of the roughest neighborhoods in Missouri, and I can tell you without batting an eye that I’ve never gone to work or been at work scared. Nervous? Yes, I’ve been nervous or anxious, whatever the right word is. I was anxious about going to work after 9/11. I was nervous during the Ferguson riots, but not scared. I think my point is that our loved ones and friends worry more about us than we do for ourselves. Nerves are good. On some calls I get the same feelings that I used to get before a big baseball or soccer game. I think they’re good nerves anyway.

    I’ve mentioned before, and I hope your son takes this to heart, that there’s a difference between risking my life for another person, and trading it for another person. I’ll risk my life for anybody, but I won’t trade my life for another person’s life (outside of my own family, of course) ever. Would I jump into the Mississippi River to try to save a person? Yes. Would I try to disract a gunman focused on other people to draw his attention to me and away from them? Yes. Those scenarios aren’t instant death sentences for me, if that makes any sense.

    It’s a harder job for a younger person because he won’t have as many life experiences to draw from when he’s talking to people. Can you help people who are struggling with a spouse or a kid or a layoff from work if you’ve never experienced these things? Sure you can, but it’s easier to do when you can relate. That just takes time.

    The best he can do is remember that everybody has a story. Not many people chose to become drug addicts or prostitutes over other options. Just because somebody is a jerkoff on Friday doesn’t mean he isn’t a good person on Saturday. Who knows what the person is going through? Remember that somebody probably loves the person you’re dealing with, so treat him or her with respect. Treating people with respect is huge. Don’t talk down to people because they’ll recognize what you’re doing to them. If somebody extends their hand, shake it. Shake his hand no matter how dirty he is, because if you don’t, he’ll remember that forever.

    The job isn’t as hard physically as I think a lot of folks believe it is, but the mental toll can be exhausting. Find something to get away from the work or to deal with it for sure. I like to write. Sometimes I’ll jog. Don’t try to cope by yourself, if something is gnawing at you, because better people than you or I have been broken by the evils of society that you’ll witness.

    Just remember that it’s not popular to openly support the police. For every negative comment that you hear or read, know that there are dozens, if not hundreds, of people who want to say something in support of us. We have our bad apples, but they’re the exception and not the rule.

    Stay who you are. The badge and gun are inanimate objects. I look really good in my uniform, and so do a lot of people. Remember though that the uniform doesn’t make dumb people smarter, or weak people stronger. You’re still going to be the same person you are on your off days. Don’t be such a stick in the mud. Have fun with people. Go out of your way for them, especially kids. I carried basketball nets and suckers in my bag so I could always have a reason to talk to kids. It means a lot for kids to have a good interaction with adults, especially adults who are different from them.

    Hahaha, I’ve babbled here, haven’t I? Well, I’ve told you before that I’d speak to your son, if he ever wanted to bounce some questions off of me, and that offer still stands. Some of this comment turned into a what I would tell him comment, so share it with him, I guess. Lol. Good luck! You’ll need it more than him.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Your words mean the world to me, Don. I have sent your comments to my son already and I know he will appreciate them as much as I do. Well, I think maybe I appreciate them a bit MORE because as you say, I think my fear is greater than his. Thank you again for all you do in your community and beyond. xo

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    1. Thank you so much, my friend. I was in a state of panic all yesterday thinking and worrying and hurting for all. These are such scary times but I am determined to believe that change will come and that good will prevail. Yes, we are very proud. xoxo

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I feel your love in my heart, Mrs. B. I feel your fear in my soul. I wear your worry on my shoulders. Growing to know you and Mr. B through your words here, I know your son is a man who will change our world for the good, a man who can help all the mothers and fathers everywhere wake up and look at our world a little easier once he wears the uniform and the badge of service. Thank you for sharing your love and fear and worry in this beautiful and honest story, my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My Dear Mr. B, that fear I carry for myself and for all mother’s involved is heavy. It is weighing me down in light of recent events and I need to feel hopeful for change. Thank you so much for your kind words and your faith in my ability as a mother to have passed on my beliefs to my children. Mr. B and I have certainly tried. They are both caring and empathetic so I have to trust that they will take those qualities with them to their chosen fields. There are a lot of good people out there, people of all races. xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are very eloquent in expressing those fears today, my dear friend, and I can only imagine how a mother of a young man readying to become a police officer would be weighed down by this week’s events in Baltimore, as well as mothers of young men trying to grow up in less advantaged situations such as Mr. Gray. We must try to be hopeful, as you say, for good people of all races to come together.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Brick….I am sure your son will be fine. His service to his community will extend far beyond his duties as a Police Officer. He will impart upon many impressionable young men (and women) the values of hard work, compassion, humility, respect, charity and education (to name a few) that have been ingrained in him from the best possible place from which he could have learned them: from his Mother.

    Yep….the Young Man will be just fine….and because of him, so will his community.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Fearless, I cannot tell you how much your words speak to me and how much I appreciate them. We can only hope that our values have been passed down to our kids and that they will make themselves and their parents proud. It’s so terrifying though, for everyone involved. xo

      Liked by 2 people

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