Fatherly Stuff: An Open Letter to My Sons

Jul 16, 2013

An Open Letter to My Sons



The following is a poem to my sons that was inspired by the reactions to the death of Treyvon Martin and the subsequent trial and acquittal of George Zimmerman:
Before I continue, I want to establish a few things:

1)      I personally do not believe that the Zimmerman verdict was a result of racism. I believe it was due to the defense doing a better job proving their case than the prosecution
2)        While it is not clear exactly what happened on that fateful night,  I do think that the root of those events stemmed one person’s ill-fated judgment of another  based on the color of their skin and the clothes on their back
3)        The wildly polarized reactions of this case across the span of social media, shows the issue of race is not only alive, but it is a thriving pressure cooker that has once again come to a boil
My Sons,
Let me tell you a story…
One day when I was a young man, I met your mom.
She was smart, beautiful and most importantly, she thought my jokes were funny.

And so, I asked her to be mine. She said yes.
And our love grew.
It grew so much that it made God smile. He smiled so much that he decided to give us two very special gifts.
And those gifts were you.
HE made you in our image
HE gave one of you my nose, the other her smile
And he  gave something very unique to the both of you: Our color
Oh yes, that’s right;
 I should probably mention:
That I’m what they call Black
And
Your Mother, she’s something that they call White
We never mentioned this to you because it doesn’t matter
And besides
That’s not how we teach you to see the world
And that’s not how we saw each other
The only thing we saw when we looked at each other was Love
We never noticed silly things like that
Unfortunately, there are people in this world who don’t see Love
They only see color
And those same people think that it’s wrong for me and your mom to be together
Those same people will look at you, my sons
And not see you as precious gifts from God
They will only see you as color
And so, to no fault of your own

Before they even get a chance to get to know you
They will try to disrespect you
Try to define you
Try to deprive you
Try to demoralize you
And try to defeat you
They will try
And Try
And Try
But they will fail.
Because you both are stronger than that
And not only will you persevere
But will triumph!
Because Love transcends color
And ignorance
And prejudice
So go forth, my sons
The torch has been passed
And show the world
The Love is the future
That Love is an unstoppable force
That the Love within you will one day change the world
 
Love Always,
Dad