Just after Renisha McBride was shot in the head when she attempted to ask for help after a car crash, R announced that she wanted us to use my eggs and find a white sperm donor. “Having a Black kid is too dangerous,” she said.
Renisha McBride was shot because she was Black, so were Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. Other blogs and commentators have spoken far more eloquently than I ever could about the lack of will to hold white people to account for shooting Black people. Even here in the UK, Mark Duggan would still be alive if he were white.
I am still trying to find the right words to explain my insistence that we carry on with the original plan to use R’s eggs and look for a mixed donor. As I’ve said before, R’s family have survived slavery and the Trail of Tears, it did not seem fitting to back down in the face of the current situation.
Then police shot 12 year old Tamir Rice. By this stage, we were well on the way of our fertility journey; the sperm had arrived, we were both souped up on hormones, and I could not escape the feeling that we had put our child in harm’s way by choosing Blackness.
There is nothing that I can teach my child, no amount of manners, virtue, achievement or sobriety that is going to protect him or her from the homicidal prejudices of others. And that is the point. When you have done nothing wrong, how can you do things differently? Mark Duggan wasn’t carrying a gun, what else should he have done? The people who need to change are the people carrying hate and violence in their hearts. The people who think it is okay to follow and shoot a teenager who went out to buy a bag of Skittles. And those people aren’t just the ones with the guns in their hands, they are the law makers, the lawyers and ultimately the voters who control the political will of both the US and the UK.
So I am going to make a commitment to my child. I am only one person, but I can vote, I can ask questions and I can get involved. I will do as much as I can, not to indoctrinate my child into subservience, but to change the attitudes which attempt to make that subservience necessary.