I have lots of friends on my FB page that post things that I disagree with, often I find myself at a lost to know what to do about the feeling I have with the post, comment, or picture made them. Here is someone that has articulated my deepest feelings these past few days.
As a black women, I know the TRUTH of what Tikvah Nidia Womack is saying in this post. When I was in the process of converting to Judaism, I was asked how I would deal with being hated? My response was simple, what exactly in my world would change? I am the mother of two black boys and each day I watch the news I am in complete fear of what they are facing out in the world. My son called me one day to tell me that the police pulled him over for running the stop sign. He said my son did what is called “a rabbit stop”. My son was very upset and ask the officer to give him his badge number. This put me in in mortar fear for his life. When he told me the police officer was gone I started to breath again. There are not many people who will understand why I stopped breathing at that moment. But when you see how easy it is for cops to shoot and kill black men, and prosecutors saying no charges will be filed, you lose sleep at night.
I was asked by a dear “white” friend, when did it become legal to kill black people? I almost laughed at her question. I said, when did it become illegal? She looked puzzled. I told her the day we stop looking at each other as a “race” and see that we are all the same, will be the day KILLING will end.
As a black Jewish woman, I know and fully understand hate. I live in it everyday of my life. When two woman go into labor, one white and the other black, they don’t feel the same joy. Soon after birth or the male child, the white woman is at peace, while the black women come to terms with the reality of having a male child. This child is born with 100 points less than his counterpart. He is black and therefore he is not as valued as the other. Old folks use to say “black peoples are born with bad credit, they must work to improve it, white people are born with top rate credit, they must work to make it bad”.
Please don’t misunderstand my post. I am not one who cares if my friends are white or black, I love people. I’m saying I understand the post make by Tikvah. Life is very different for us.
Written by Tikvah Nadia Womack:
“To my black friends, my Jewish friends, my white friends, my ethnic friends, and multi-racial friends and all friends not covered under one of those descriptions. Please note I do not use Facebook often and I surely don’t use it as a platform, but I feel it is necessary today. Let me explain to you #blacklivesmatter from my perspective (and please note I do not speak for all black people). It means that I have to raise an adorable son with his hard working professional father and pray to G-d that I was able to teach him enough manners and common sense not to get gunned down or hurt because of the way he looks, walks, or talks. It means that I have to second guess whether I will allow my son to wear hoodies, not just so he doesn’t give off the wrong impression, but so he is not killed. It means I have to think about not just if the area he is going to is safe, but because of who he is, is it going to be safe, whether it is a different country or down the street. It means that while I was pregnant with him and before I knew I was having a son, no exaggeration, I cried! I cried because he is black and Jewish and I had no idea what his future would look like, but I knew from both ends there would be moments he wouldn’t be safe and I wouldn’t be there. Hear me, I said SAFE, not uncomfortable, not unhappy, and I didn’t use maybe; I said I KNEW he wouldn’t be SAFE! Can you imagine, have you seen my son…but I know it is true! I am writing this because I need you on some small level to hear my truth. You don’t have to agree with me, you don’t have to respond or like it, but it is my TRUTH and some of my friend’s truths. He cannot hide who he is, therefore maybe through my moments of speaking out when I can, I affect some thought, idea, or moment of potential change to try and protect him or at least through G-d’s help create an advocate or two for him. Again, please understand this is where we (again speaking for my truth) are in 2016. If you know history, you know why this truth might exist for me and maybe for others. If you deny the present, that’s fine, but you cannot erase truth. And yes, more than one truth can exist, for a while, but inevitably one truth is followed. So in this moment, I have to say I am upholding my truth, because I cannot allow others truths to dominate mine in exchange for worry and pain. R.I.P to ANYONE lost in violence, and may we all find some way towards peace while in search of truth.”