No, not that one.
A few years ago when I was feeling particularly frustrated by the school shootings and the lack of care from our government, I started venting to my friend. I was angry that I didn’t have the answers and much like today, I remember feeling extremely hopeless back then. My friend responded, “The best we can do is start at home. Protect and educate our own and in that, maybe we’ll make the world a little bit better.”
I try to hold on to what my friend said to me. I mean, I don’t have children but I have a niece and two nephews. I know this website may as well be a Sophia fan account, but today isn’t about her.
It feels like no matter where you turn, you can’t avoid what’s going on in the world so I knew that it was inevitable for my seven-year-old and ten-year-old nephews to find out about how the world is falling apart. So two weekends ago I had “the talk” with them. You know the one; the one that every black and brown child gets when they’re little.
“The world doesn’t treat you the same when your skin color is black or brown.”
My mom had the conversation with my brother and I when we were younger. My brother and I had it with my nephews and yes, it was difficult and often uncomfortable. So while some of you were out there complaining about the moment of silence that Nickelodeon held for George Floyd, I was talking to my nephews about the fact that they may be perceived as dangerous based solely on the color of their skin. Now, my nephews are used to my talks by now. We’ve discussed standing up for Grandma if anyone ever judges her for speaking Spanish, we’ve discussed the importance of protecting Trans people and we’ve discussed the fact that there is no such thing as a “girly” or “manly” thing.
This felt different though.
This was the first time that I had to admit to them, that the glorious world full of possibilities that I always tell them about, may not be so accepting of them. This was the first time that I had to explain to them just how fragile their lives are. This was the first time that I had to look at these two beautiful souls and tell them that I won’t always be able to protect them.
So maybe in the quiet moments in your brain, when you find yourself complaining about how people won’t stop talking about racism and white privilege; maybe in those moments you’ll think about these two young boys.
Jayden is 10, he’s my sensitive one and the one responsible for all the pictures of myself on my Instagram. Jayden is hilarious and as he gets older, I find myself wanting to know every detail about him. He’s fascinating and I try to tell him that every chance I get. Unfortunately, the world is already getting to him; recently he has started judging the way clothes looks on him and I try to remind him that he’s beautiful every day.
Eddie is 7, he’s my small and chaotic ball of energy. His chaos knows no bounds so he struggles in school a little bit more than Jayden does. You know what though? He puts in the work and he’s always so proud of himself when he gets something. You can often find Eddie jumping up and down for absolutely no reason but when he hugs you, I swear you can feel his heart. He’s passionate in all aspects and he has made me a more patient person. I am grateful and I tell him that as often as I can.
Our struggles as brown people are difficult and strenuous but I know and I’ve let my nephews know that they will never compare to the struggles of Black people. Black Lives Matter.
I know you’re tired of hearing this from me but: Mexican culture has racism embedded in it. All I’m trying to do is ensure that that isn’t a fact for the next generation. So while you’re slowly going back to normal and your feeds return to selfies, I’ll have you know that yet another generation is having “the talk” with children when those kids should be playing and oblivious to the terrors of the world.