Due to the current global Black Lives Matter protest, I decided to ask my Twitter followers if my next post should be one of my usual ones or a letter to my mum about her continued ignorance. The latter won. For those who don’t know, my mum is white and I’m of mixed ethnicity (Black/White), and my mum has a long history of dismissing anything that isn’t about her directly.
When an unarmed black man (George Floyd) was murdered by a police officer, who took almost 9 long-ass minutes to kill him while in custody. All while 3 other cops stood by and did nothing to help him, ignoring his pleas that he couldn’t breathe. Your first thought was to look for an excuse for why the cop murdered him, an unarmed black man, who was already in police custody.
Then your first thoughts over the protests about black people being sick of institutional racism and abuse of power were to go, “but look at this white guy” and shared a far-right post with me, your black son.
This is how I would have liked my mother to have reacted
But this is what I got from you instead
And well, you know what I replied
But this is what Lee Rigby’s family had to say about the far-right, using his memory to silence black voices
This was quite the tale of two mums over Black Lives Matter. My partner was horrified by what you sent me, as were their parents, because it’s inexcusably ignorant what you did.
A black man was murdered by the state, by people who have sworn an oath to protect him and his fellow citizens from harm. They instead murdered him, and it’s by no means the first time. Black people have to have the ‘talk‘ in which they warn their children about how to interact with the police so they don’t become a victim of their brutality. But even if you do everything right, they still might kill you. Make no mistake, police brutality against black people isn’t just a problem in the US, it exists here in the UK as well.
Your first thought is to always defend the bigots and make it about white people. You defend Boris Johnson by saying he’s not a bigot or a racist, even though he routinely makes racist and bigoted comments. Such as referring to people like your son, as piccaninnies with watermelon smiles, homosexual men as tank-topped bum boys, and referring to Muslim women in niqabs as looking like ‘bank robbers’ and ‘letterboxes’.
You’re not interested in hearing about the black struggle. You silence black voices and want to refocus it on white people or yourself. You even found a way to try and make the Black Lives Matter protest about you, just because you had a black child. There is no comparison between you having a black child and suffering the inconvenience of discrimination by association in my presence as a baby, and my everyday struggle with racist abuse, bullying, being assaulted, and the fear of being attacked at any moment.
I wish I could say it’s the first time you’ve done that, but it’s not. When we talked on the phone last January and I told you about how I would have a suicidal breakdown when I went home for lunch at primary school, the only thing you cared about was alleviating your guilt. You hassled me and hassled me to forgive you, even calling back after the first call to hassle me again to forgive you. What you didn’t do was offer any sense of compassion, remorse, or empathy. All that mattered after hearing my story was how it made you feel because it’s about you.
Your religious belief that you’re going to do something special for god, even though it still hasn’t happened after three decades and your claim god gave you cancer as punishment, which left you disabled, has made you into a person who is oblivious to others suffering. You told me countless times that you can’t be a good person if you’re not a Christian, yet you’re not a good person with your god.
You’ve been like that all my life. When I was attacked by 3 people at high school, I was left utterly humiliated by this racially motivated attack. I was suffering from panic attacks, anxiety, and depression, and when I wanted to quit martial arts class a few weeks later because I was so fucked over by what happened, you made it about you and told me that I ruined your life by being born. It didn’t matter how I was feeling after being assaulted in a racially motivated attack, nothing else mattered by how it affected me.
My entire life you’ve dismissed my experiences of racial abuse, my mental health issues, and my health issues, and I’ve endured it even though you are one of the biggest sources of misery in my life.
Why do you think I never call you? It’s depressing to talk to you, and I never know what far-right little Englander comments you’ll vomit up that you’ve heard somewhere.
Why do you think I never want to visit you? I left home as soon as I could and I often chose to spend Christmas on my own rather than spend it with you, because being around you is soul destroying. You’ve justified slavery to me because god says it’s ok in the bible, you just need to treat them as god outlined you should. You’ve even regurgitated far-right comments about keeping immigrants and refugees out because there may be rapists and terrorists amount them.
You have these distasteful views, which we’ve argued about more than I should have needed to, even though you claim to be a good Christian. If you were really a good Christian, you’d want to help immigrants and refugees, rather than discriminating against them by using far-right stereotypes to colour millions of individuals as being only the worst a person can be.
Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it
My father was an immigrant, and I’m a child of one. The far-right people you quote to me are the same people who wish I wasn’t here. Do you have any idea how much that hurts to hear their words coming out of your own mother’s mouth? I don’t even know why I’m asking, you’ve always been oblivious to my pain, and don’t care about it when I try to tell you about it.
I’ve even asked you to stop talking to me about your religion and saying god bless, to make it easier to deal with you, but because only you matter, you ignore my wishes and attempt to have boundaries. You just can’t help yourself.
I’ve endured all this my entire life because your views have left you isolated and alone, so I endure. Your religious views have ruined your life, so who else do you have besides god? You’re entitled to follow any religion you like, even if it’s detrimental to you having an actual happy life. But what you don’t have the right to do is to try and force it down my throat at every opportunity.
When we chatted the other day, you even found a way to dismiss my experience and tell me to be grateful to a country that made my childhood a living hell. Our home town police would hassle me just for walking the streets when it was dark, even when I’m waving goodbye to someone as I left their house, not even making it 10 feet before the police car that drove past me decided to spin around and pull up beside me to harass me. With my friend, still there in their front garden watching it all unfold.
That wasn’t the only time that it made zero sense for the police to stop me. Another time, I literally just got out of a taxi and was stopped by the police as the taxi pulled away. When asked what I was doing, I just pointed to the taxi and said getting out of the taxi. I’ve got loads of these stories, as I’m sure most black people do.
When it wasn’t the police hassling me, it was getting it from other people in power at school. I had a teacher in primary school who routinely beat me and humiliated me in front of the entire class. I was the only member of our class to receive this abusive attention. One time that I’m unable to forget was when I was picked up out of my chair so I couldn’t touch my chair with my feet, by my hair, because I was helping my friend spell the 4-5 letter words they were struggling with. But it didn’t stop there, the teacher then proceeded to verbally abuse me and hit me with their other hand while everyone watched.
Then there were the dinner ladies and cub scout leaders who would force-feed me food, and when I got racially abused and bullied, I got the blame, not them. Every day during primary school I was subjected to bullying and racial abuse, where I was attacked all the time, chased home, and everyone ignored my blight, including you.
You don’t know what it’s like to fear being on your own when outside, knowing you could be attacked again, simply for being black. I. Do. You don’t know my experience, nor have you ever cared to know my experience, because you’ve never asked, even though you know I’ve been racially abused a LOT.
I’ve had people try to run me over in their cars, throw trash at me as they drive by, and obviously had racial insults screamed at me as they drive by. I’ve also had people tell me that they were scared of me before they met me, simply because I was a black man in a white space.
I spent my entire childhood wishing I was white so the abuse would stop, so I would be accepted as having a right to exist. Do you have any idea how badly that screws up a child? I even took a brillo pad to my skin to try and scrub the black off me during a breakdown.
I was suicidal by the time I was 8 years old for crying out loud, 8! Why should I be grateful to a country that abused me so much that it almost killed me before I even made it into double-digit figures in age? It saddens me to know that decades later children still feel like I did as a child, all due to racism and people with attitudes like yours (Children whitening skin to avoid racial hate crime, charity finds, and Babies being racially abused in UK as hate crimes against children recorded every hour).
As a White person, having a Black friend, a Black coworker, or a Black child doesn’t exempt you from being a racist, and certainly doesn’t automatically make you an ally.
You dismiss the struggle of others, especially those of people who don’t look like a white little Englander. At every turn, at every chance, you show your ignorance to me, and it hurts more because you’re my mother. I’m sorry I was born, and I’m sorry I wasn’t at least born white. You should have had an abortion or put me up for adoption.
You dismissed my mental health issues; you dismissed my health problems; you dismiss my experience of racism, and yet again you easily fall for the far-right propaganda. After all these years, you’ve never once been my ally, and you’ve never shown even the remotest of interests to try to be either.
As you can imagine, living at home in an environment like this and growing up and having to suffer racism on a daily basis, for well over a decade, will have a significant effect on your mental health. But you simply don’t care how badly my childhood screwed me up, you just tell me to get over it, like saying that is some kind of mental health magic bullet. Oh look, I’m cured, thanks, mum.
What I and others like me want from society isn’t some special status, but just to be able to live ordinary lives like the majority of people do.
Basic. Human. Rights.
Basic. Civil. Rights.
This shouldn’t be controversial, this shouldn’t be something that still needs to be fought for, it should be something that universally exists without a second thought. If you’re not going to be a part of the solution, at least get out of the way.
No doubt you’ll disagree with what I’ve said: because I don’t matter. But this is how you’ve made me feel about you through your words and behaviour over my entire lifetime.
Your Unwanted mixed-ethnicity black son.
Black Lives Matter: News Articles
I thought I’d round off this post with some Black Lives Matter news articles because it’s important to see just how important this movement is.
32 Powerful Signs From Anti-Racism Protests Around The World
Protesters supported the Black Lives Matter movement with messages condemning racism, injustice and police brutality after the killing of George Floyd
Stop Using Lee Rigby’s Memory To Oppose Anti-Racist Protests, His Mother Tells Trolls
The family of the murdered fusilier have previously spoken out to condemn the use of his image by far-right groups such as Britain First
The armed white men who terrorized Philadelphia’s Black Lives Matter supporters
Protesters reported men ripping up signs, yelling homophobic slurs, and spitting on people. And the police greeted them as friends
California man who was seen on video pulling AR-15 rifle on George Floyd protesters and yelling ‘Back the f*** up’ is charged with assault with a deadly weapon
Jacob Bracken, 38, charged with two felony counts of assault of a firearm
Video showed him brandishing AR-15 at George Floyd protesters in Upland, California, on Monday
He was among a small number of Trump supporters who faced off against hundreds of Black Lives Matter protesters
Black US Teen Shares The Rules His Mother Makes Him Follow When Leaving The House
In the wake of protests against police brutality, Cameron Welch, an 18-year-old, shared a video on TikTok listing all the instructions he has to follow when he goes out.
The Cops Who Killed Breonna Taylor Are Still Free
George Floyd’s and Ahmaud Arbery’s killers face charges, but activists are urging the country not to forget Black women.
I’m Black. My Mom Is White. This Is The Talk We Had To Have About George Floyd’s Killing
“It is hard work to get her to see the world through my eyes, even when the facts are staring her right in the face ― or in the neighborhood where we both lived.”
Guy With Wolverine-Like Claw Chases Down Black Lives Matter Protesters Before Trying To Run Them Over With His SUV
Michigan police chief who attacked George Floyd protesters in vile tweet asking for ‘body bags for these vicious subhumans’ is placed on paid leave
Shelby Township police chief Robert J. Shelide has apologized and been placed on a paid leave while officials investigate inflammatory tweets that he posted
In one tweet he called for ‘body bags’ for ‘vicious subhumans’ involved in recent demonstrations over the death of George Floyd
Police in Cambridgeshire launch internal inquiry as motorist releases five-year-old video of officer pulling him over ‘because he was a black male’
Officer in Ely, told driver he was pulled over ‘because you’re a black male’
The footage from July 2015 was shared last Friday amid Black Lives Matter rallies
Driver said he didn’t report it at the time for fear of ‘reprisals or repercussions’
Police Told To Enforce Lockdown ‘Without Fear Or Favour’ As BAME People Fined Disproportionately
Matt Hancock pressed by HuffPost UK on data suggesting ethnic minorities are 54% more likely to be punished under coronavirus rules
Protesters across US attacked by cars driven into crowds and men with guns
Protesters confronted by armed men – including members of the so-called ‘boogaloo movement’ – in different parts of America
Tottenham investigate ‘racist’ group abusing Black Lives Matter protestors in Hoddesdon
In a video widely shared online, one man can be heard shouting ‘go back to Africa’ at BLM protesters
As always, leave your feedback in the comments section below. Also, feel free to share your experiences dealing with ignorant family members in the comments section below as well. If you want to stay up-to-date with my blog, then sign up for my newsletter below. Alternatively, get push notifications for new articles by clicking the red bell icon in the bottom right corner.
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Unwanted Life readers.
84 thoughts on “Black Lives Matter: A Letter To My Mum”
Good post. All these racist idiots always think it’s ok for white people to hurt colour people. But it is never ok for a colour people to hurt white people. That’s why white supremacy sucks and shouldn’t exist.
We don’t want to hurt anyone, and in an ideal world, no one would want to hurt anyone. All we want is the rights protections we’re already meant have, but are only truly given to white people
I’m so sorry you’ve experienced this. Both the abuse and the reaction from your mother. The Facebook comments from the other mother about her son would be the automatic reaction is expect from a woman in her position. I’m sorry this isn’t your experience and that she’s added to the problems you’ve endured. Thank you for sharing this. Even if it doesn’t change things with your own mum, it might help someone else re-evaluate their own situation x
One can only hope that it’ll change at least one person’s mind
Great post. So important.
Great post – you have a great perspective and grasp on it all and are very well spoken! I like your questioning nature in your letter – it really makes a person think (hopefully!)
My mum doesn’t like to think critically, just religiously, unfortunately
Wow, this is such an emotional and powerful read. It’s so unfortunate that people still think that if it doesn’t happen to them then it’s not an issue for others. Another thing that your mum doesn’t seem to get is that George Floyd and many others were killed by the very people supposed to “protect” them.
My mum’s just oblivious and ignorant, and there doesn’t seem to be a way to change that
Wow, thank you for posting this and sharing your personal story regarding this. I feel like so many people can relate to this and have had to had similar discussions/arguments with their parents. It’s so important that the conversation continues until we see real change for the black community
I imagine this is all too common for some people, it’s just not a conversation a black child should have to have with their biological mother
This was a painful post to read, incredibly couragous and I am grateful for your vulnerability and sharing this with us so we may all learn to do better. I
Thank you. Let’s hope I can reach my mum one day in the same way
Wow, this is powerful. I do have to say, that you should be proud of yourself for what you’ve come through, and to be still here, and to now share your experience with people.
Thank you ?✊?
What an emotional read. I’m so sorry to hear about how difficult your life has been. And that so much of it is because of your mom. I’ve recently had a distasteful conversation with someone close to me who lives in Australia, basically saying the same argument of why people didn’t care as much about other deaths, or when white people get killed by police. This person is on the fence of All Lives Matter and I felt like I was beating my head against a wall trying to tell him why that’s a problem. Thank you for sharing your story. It really touched me.
The most annoying thing about such arguements is that you can be outraged by both, it’s not an either or situation, and when it comes to police brutality, Black Lives Matter protests will bring change that is positive for everyone having an encounter with the police, not just black people
It’s painful that your mother doesn’t see how much she’s hurt you or the errors in her thinking.
It really really is
It was very hard to read that people can still have their own, strong opinions on matters that can hurt their closest ones. I’m sorry that you had to go through with this with your own mother. I’m glad that you found the strength to share this with us, amazing post!
xoxo Olivia | https://www.oliviaandbeauty.com
Thanks. This might not change my mum’s mind, but maybe it’ll change someone else’s
This is so powerful. I’m glad to have found you. Keep the amazing articles coming.
Thank you, and I’ll try ?
I don’t even know where to begin. Thank you for using your pen to bring to life the frustrations, disappointment and annoyance that we are facing on something that should be common sense that some blatantly choose to ignore or make light of. At this point, as a black human, I am tired, drained, overwhelmed and just disappointed in the human race that this is even a topic of discussion, a fight for us to live or a debate about why human life and decency is so important. It should just be common sense, but it is not. Moreover, I am sending you light and love and I stand with you through these trying times. -Josie D.
I stand with you too ✊?
This is such a great and powerful post. I am so sorry you had to go through this with your own mother. Thank you though for finding the strength to share it with all of us.
Thanks for reading ?
A passionately written post! It is awesome that you are using your voice and platform to share your thoughts on this and I love that you included both sides of the argument, however selfish one side may be.
I have always tried to be openminded about a lot of things in life, but some things leave no room for there to be two sides. I do not understand how people can defend the man who killed George Floyd, but I have learned people will stand passionately for what they believe in, and we have to do our best to stand strong ourselves.
Thank you so much for sharing your story!
You’re right, something things just don’t have two sides to them
This is a really emotional and informing article, it makes me both sad and angry. Thank you for sharing your story and using the post to provide more information and articles if really useful for people to be able to educate themselves more on these issues.
Learning should always be a constant ongoing process ?
What a brave and courageous post!! You are doing so well at standing up for yourself and trying to educate your mum. I’m sorry that you dont have a good support from her but I hope you can find that among fellow bloggers xxx
I have thanks. I’ve also got more support from my partner and their parents recently than I’ve ever had from my mum in my whole life
Omg, you are so awesome. Despite everything that happened with your mother, look at you! Such a strong personality with great courage. You, my friend, are going places! Seriously, it means a lot to us that you are sharing this with us. Your letter is very personal and yet you shared it. Thank YOU! You are an amazing person. From every blog posts that I read on your blog to your twitter posts, I can say that you are truly a blessing.
Stay strong! We are all here for you.
Oh wow, I don’t think I’ve ever had this many compliments in one go. I honesty don’t know how to respond. Thank you ?
I’m sorry you had to experience this. But I appreciate you sharing. This is a very powerful post.
I hope the world can finally become a better place.
Thank you for sharing.
The world can only get better, hopefully
Thank you for sharing this. I can’t even imagine how hard it may have been for you to write something so open. If it was I hope you look after yourself. It sounds like you have a wonderful partner who supports you and I’m glad for that. Everyone deserves to be loved for exactly who they are. Thank you for opening my eyes – it’s not your job to do so but I’m grateful that you shared your story and I’m endlessly sorry that this has been your experience. I hope from now on you only ever encounter justice, equality and kindness from those around you.
This was the post I’ve created that actually got to me as I edited several times, but I’m all good, I rebound quickly though
Thank you so much for sharing this very thought provoking piece. As someone of African heritage and muslim I can relate to almost all that you mention in your post. My own brothers have had to go to similar ordeals to you when just casually walking on the high street and a police stops them for no apparent reason!
I literally have tears in my eyes reading this I remember far too well how much I endured such horrible things as a young child in primary school and how many times during my teen year’s I had just wished I was not alive. It’s absolutely heart breaking hearing that your own mother and personal support system can be so demeaning. I really hope that things will look up for you and for all of us, I hope that these protests would finally bring about positive changes in this world.
I’m sorry to hear that you and your family experience the same kind of traumatic childhood as I did, no child should have to endure that
This is such a powerful post. You cant change ignorance, its up to her. All you can do is move forward and strive for greatness in everything you do.
I certainly can’t change my mum’s ignorance, I’ve realised that now
Wow, what a touching emotional read. So sorry you had to go through all that by your own mother but good you have got rid of that negativity in your life now!
FATIMAH • ROSEYGOLDBOX
Thanks for reading
Thank you for speaking so candidly and thoughtfully. I’m sorry you had to go through all of this, your post bought a tear to my eyes. I hope we can create a better society and prevent future suffering
I hope we can create that kind of future too
A very, very difficult read. I am touched by the struggles of very close friends and new family members. Without adding too much detail, over a number of years, I’ve seen the institutional divide, injustice and have had the simple joys of a moment like a celebratory dinner destroyed to now the massive protests this month. I hope people are finally seeing the real need for change and are willing to actually change. Am hopeful now for more.
We can only hope change comes
Thank you for being so open and honest with your current situation involving your mother. I know that it can’t be easy to be that vulnerable online.
Sadly, I think there is a large number of people in her generation that are blissfully ignorant to the reality of racism in our world today. It’s easier to just pretend that it doesn’t work than it is to acknowledge and confirm that we need to see a change.
That being said, the fact that we are seeing fewer acts of racism among the younger generations and more effort to speak up and make a change is a great sign. It’s a sign that our society is opening their eyes, that people are recognizing that things MUST change and that we do have a future of true equality some day in our future… It’s up to us to take up the torch and continue to fight for this!
It is nice to see how things are changing with each new generation, they just deserve to have true equality and justice now, not years later
I hope you show her this.
I emailed her a copy, but I doubt she’ll read it
It can’t have been easy to write this post, so I want to say thank you for sharing your truth with us and letting us into your world. I also think it was such an important post to write, the unfortunate reality is that you’re not alone in these experiences and if I could wave a magic wand for you and make it all better I would but we all know that’s not reality. You’ve been let down by people that are supposed to protect you, and I can’t summon the words to describe how wrong that is.
i just want to finish off by saying, you are wanted. Your feelings and fears are valid. And you’re appreciated probably more than you realise. It’s time for a change to really happen, and I’m staying hopeful that we’re going to make it happen together.
All my best.
Thank you for your kind words ? it’s a real shame that people with power and position still use it to make others suffer, but times are changing, we just need to keep the momentum going and push these changes at the ballot box
Hi, first of all, let me begin by saying how very sorry I am that you had to go through this. You are amazing the way you are and never stop believing in the magic you have within. Second, this post is so powerful because it takes so much courage to say this. All of this. So, thank you. We’re here for you.
There are so many words I want to say but I can’t quite find the words to say it.
I am utterly horrified that you’ve been treated like this, but by your own mother, well it breaks my heart.
Thank you for sharing so openly. I hope your Mum does read this post x
I don’t think she will, unfortunately, to busy trying to shove her god and ignorance down my throat
Very powerful post. I’m sorry you haven’t received the support from your mom that you deserve. I hope your dad and his family are there for you. It is tough being biracial and not having your blackness affirmed. I know this from experience.
My dad has never been in the picture, and I blocked my aunt today because of their ongoing sharing of far right posts on Facebook, and today’s last straw where she shared a far right post telling black people to just get over it. My hometown is a cesspool for racism and ignorance
That’s just awful! I’ve never met my dad so I can relate. I have far right, Trump supporting, born again Christian cousins in America. I’ve hidden their Facebook posts and have given up arguing with them. Sometimes we just have to create our own families even if we’re not blood related. The worst is that one of my cousins has biracial grandchildren. How will they feel about their heritage with an “All Lives Matter” grandmother? ??♀️
It’s certainly better to pick your family rather than being tied down with the outdated notion that only blood family matters
Hi, I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with this emotional abuse. I have grown up knowing of a few mixed-race friends who had ironically anti-black mothers. What you are dealing with is so toxic and profound. Without knowing her I can’t be sure, but given the strong far-right messages she has exposed you to, especially at a time like this, it would seem she is a racist who is not going to change. Her complete lack of empathy for your struggle could also point at narcissism. Please look up narcissistic parents who gaslight and scapegoat their children. Rather than focusing on someone who continues to antagonise you with racial hatred, I would focus on your healing and distancing yourself from further trauma in the future in a way that benefits you and your mental well-being.
She really won’t change, and she is very narcissistic given that she believes she’s a prophet for god and has special exemption from god’s rules she believes others should follow. It’s hard to cut her out like I’d prefer to do when her cancer could come back any time
It couldn’t have been easy writing this! Good on you trying to inform on such an important thing.
I’m so sorry about your experiences growing up. From everything you’ve said, it’s doubtful that your mother will change. I hope writing this out was cathartic for you, though.
She won’t change, I realise that now
Thank you for being so brave and speaking up and out against the one person who should be our protector from the moment we enter this world. We are so sorry to hear all of this – it was a very hard read. And I sat here thinking- I cannot get through your letter, yet you have had to endure so much and are still standing and able to tell your story. We at T.B.C have always been advocates of equality but now it is a matter of urgency and we are having conversations everyday, watching documentaries and reading as much as we can. Stay in power and keep talking. Use your platform to raise your voice and make a difference – our blogs are where we can create change. We hear you. We see you. We stand with you. (Ps you should just buy your mum Why I am no longer talking to white people about race – Reni Eddo-Lodge and Natives (Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire) by the brilliant Akala. She might not read them right now…but when she does…there will be a shift! With love and solidarity x
My mum is only interested in reading one book, her study Bible, which she then ignores to be quite the bigot
This is such a powerful post! I have been reading ‘Why I Don’t Talk To White People About Race’ and its truly been eye opening!
I should probably read that book soon, but my whole families white and so is my partner, so it’s hard not to talk about race
Great post I despise racism. This is so disheartening that this ignorance still exists in this day in age
It really is disheartening
It’s good you are using the platform for good and sharing your thoughts