With so much tragedy going on in the world right now, I asked people on social media if they have ever been racial profiled or experienced racism in anyway. The following stories are from real mothers. Thank you all for being brave and sharing some of your most painful memories. We not only need to hear stories like this, we need to listen so we can learn and truly understand the disgusting affects of racism. If you would like to share a personal experience, leave a comment below.
Stay well, stay safe. May justice be served, and may peace be on the horizon. - Kristin, owner + creator of Free the Mother
"I just ended a 20 year friendship this weekend. She is white. I posted a quote from MLK she felt was offensive. She told me multiple times I’m Latina & I’m not a part of the white race. But also because I’m not black I am just as responsible as white people. I was simply pointing out Black people are tired of not being heard and stood up for. I’m very sad about it. I didn’t realize she looked down on me because of my skin. My husband is white. He wasn’t offended. I think she was blinded to her own racism and unwilling to take a look in the mirror." - Kristen
Here is the MLK quote Kristen is referring to: "…America must see that riots do not develop out of thin air. Certain conditions continue to exist in our society which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard.
And what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met.
And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice, equality, and humanity.
And so in a real sense our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay. And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention." MLK c.1967
"I'm mixed with black and white, so I guess I still count. Anyway, I was working a job in a small local craft store. Things were going well, even though the owner always seemed a little sketchy on me for whatever reason. One night I was closing up shop, and she pulls me over and says that the company is going in a different direction and they no longer needed my services. It turns out she thought I was stealing from her store even though I would legit make a purchase at least 3 or 4 times a week and I worked my butt off for her. I was heartbroken. It was the first job I had after leaving my fiancé and moving out with our son. I guess it isn't BLATANT racism but I knew her motives were racially charged. It was an odd thing to experience. I'll never forget it." - Taylor
"When I was in middle school I looked like I was mixed and got picked on and someone even asked my sister if she claimed me because I was 'mixed.' I’m as white as a ghost now that I’m an adult and I have mixed children, part Mexican. Those kids can kiss my ass." - Victoria
"I’m a white presenting minority - Egyptian. I do not pretend to know the pain BIPOC feel daily. Being judged solely for their skin colour. I do know what it’s like to hear horrible words said about your heritage and racial slurs being whispered. I have been called many things including a bastard half-breed and a terrorist. I have heard people talk about how middle easterners are a plague, even my family. People tell me to not take things too personally, that it’s not always meant for me because 'you are pale'. I am paler than milk, but that’s because I stay inside, I become very dark, and very ethnic looking with minimal sun exposure. I learned from an early age to blend in: I plucked my eyebrows, got highlights. I learned who my allies were and where I could be honest about my heritage, and I learned where I needed to hide it.
I went to 6 schools before 7th grade, because school officials perpetuated and turned a blind eye to racism. After September 11th, classmates threw rocks at my home and said my dad was a terrorist. (I lived in Denmark - I can’t imagine how it was for people in the states).
I’m white presenting and I have lived a lot of my life in fear because of my race. I can’t even imagine what people of color go through! Racism is very real - white people need to own their privilege and help fight this! I want my kids to grow up proud of their heritage. I’m tired of fearing that anyone find out where their grandfather is from. I don’t want them to feel the shame and the urge to hide a part of them. I want their friends of all colors to feel safe!
I want people to condemn, fight and call out racism. Don’t excuse it, don’t play it down and don’t ignore it. I want everyone I know to make racists feel bad around them, make it known that you as a person will not tolerate that behavior in your space. Be it online or face to face. Silence is compliance, and not speaking up in fear of offending a few racists, is offending the rest of us affected by it. Do better! Educate yourself! And never put it on the wronged group to tell you to do the right thing. BIPOC are already fighting, they shouldn’t have to carry their allies as well." - Lilly
"All the time, girl. All the time." - Nadia
"My oldest son Riddle (6) is biracial. Black/White. A couple days in the sun and he’s the colour of espresso with cream, without sun he is the colour of a caramel latte. Just black enough for people to give that squinty look when trying to 'guess' the race of a child. My middle son, and youngest and only daughter are not. You know how every thing looks a little too bright when it first snows? That’s the skin-tone of River(4) and Jupiter (2). They look like twins to be honest. There a lot of times I could think of to post here but the most recent and one that still stings was our shopping trip to get groceries it’s the first time we’ve been out as a family in forever. At the checkout lane, Riddle and River were 'arguing' over some toys before the register and Riddle being the big brother kept taking them out of River’s hands and putting them back. River was getting frustrated as four year olds do; when a 'nice kind lady' came up and grabbed Riddle by the arm and put herself between my children. Blocking Riddle from his brother while still holding his arm leaned down to River and asks 'Is this little boy bothering you? I’ll go find his parents you just stay here where it’s safe with your mommy.' Words were exchanged. And I just grabbed all of my children and left. Left the groceries and that hateful woman in the aisle. With River tightly holding Riddle and trying to get him to stop crying and saying 'It’s okay, you’re the best brother, I love you for your bear hugs and you’re my hero.' I will never forget the look of fear and confusion on my son’s face. And this is why we march amongst many other reasons." - Brianna
"When I was growing up we moved a lot for my dads work (construction). I was raised in Wisconsin and Florida mainly both very diverse places. Then as a teenager we moved to rural West Virginia. I'm Native American, dark features, high cheekbones, fair skin in the winter dark in the summer. My mom and sister are very pale, blue eyes, reddish hair. I was mercilessly teased about being adopted. Then when we moved to WV I was called half breed, savage, had people asking if I spoke English, telling me to go back to my country. One of my neighbors had a pool and her parents said "no halfbreeds allowed" when she asked if I could come swim. The Secretary at the middle school called my mom and told her I had to either take my braids out (box braids) or leave the school until they were gone. My mom told her if she said anything else about my hair or race she'd be contacting a lawyer. I still live here and thankfully things have gotten better however my own children were the victims of a hate crime on the school bus when they were in 5th and 3rd grade my daughters are white passing but in reality they are black/white from their dad and native American from me." - Ashleigh
"A brother and sister (8 and 9 years old) who rode their bus called my daughters the 'N' word and proceeded to pour lighter fluid on them. My youngest had a broken wrist at the time and the lighter fluid got inside the cast. They defended themselves and while getting off the bus told the bus driver what happened. He told them he didn't see anything. I went ballistic and called the school. The driver was fired as it was clear on the video that the brother and sister had instigated and launched into a racial attack. They were expelled from the bus for the rest of their time at that school. They also weren't allowed within 200ft of my kids. The principal and teachers were amazing and even the counselor checked in on my girls on a weekly basis to make sure they weren't having long term mental health impacts from this. I 100% believe hate is a learned behavior. Later on it came out that the brother and sister were being abused/neglected at home. They were living in a single wide trailer with their dad and step mom and 8 other siblings...yes 10 kids. They had no vehicle. They left a 2 year old home alone for 10 hours with no food or supervision. The home was full of animal waste and trash. A neighbor heard crying all day and called for a welfare check. Needless to say the children and thankfully animals were removed and placed in a safer and stable environment. I've continued to educate my girls on racial injustice and they are 11 and 13 now and teach classmates and even some adults about racial attacks, micro aggressions, and systematic racism. I am proud of my strong beautiful mixed babies and have lots of hope for the next generation!" - Ashleigh