By C. Grell
“I will lie, cheat, steal, or kill to protect him”
…the words that spewed from his white mother’s mouth upon asking for help from her mother-in-law, as she was threatened to be kicked out of her own home by her husband because he was having an affair.
The wife, confused, responded by asking “so you people think it’s right to just treat someone unfairly, pummel over them, take from them, and just kick them out?
“Yes! That’s how it is here in America.”
The mockery of these words was thrown in her face because she was a foreigner and she was not white. The young mother of two pleaded by saying “I was raised to treat others with respect and kindness, that’s what my parents taught me”. She was abruptly cut off by the words “well, what can you do when they won’t listen to you”? The young mother tried to explain “I won’t raise my kids like that. I teach them right from wrong. I teach them to treat others with respect”. Again, she was cut off with an even bigger threat “Well, your kids are Americans and they will turn out the same way”.
At this point the young mother is sunken and calmly says “I hope you can understand that from this point onwards, I have to be very careful as to whom I allow my kids to be around. Do you understand?” Her only response was “Umm Hmm”, and the conversation was ended.
A stranger in her own home, a wife and mother battles to raise her children amidst racism. It’s bad enough when it’s them against you, but it’s quite another when it’s in your own home. She recalls the red flags and the opposition her husband faced from his family when they got married. His father told him he will never get a job because he was not marrying a white girl, and his brother told his mother “I can’t believe you’re letting him marry a girl like that”. Neither the father nor the brother attended the wedding. The mother sat in the small church whilst her hand was held and patted by her sister as if she were at a funeral.
The ingrained belief superseded; his hatred and racism towards his wife became aligned with his parents. Affairs and abuse condoned and supported… “I will lie, cheat, steal, or kill to protect him”. This is not protecting, this is helping and enabling him to harm his own wife and children.
Racism exists in many areas that we don’t see. The fear of knowing you’re not protected, not even by the law, is soundless. The fear of knowing you must stay quiet because you may be beaten or killed for resisting arrest for something completely false, is wrong. Is this how it is here in America?