White Father Lists 7 Things He Can Do That His Biracial Son Can’t

Racism is real. When people are directly confronted with having to think of this topic, they are more likely to realize the incredible truth behind this opening statement.

photo courtesy of www.yahoo.com
photo courtesy of www.yahoo.com

Calvin Hennick was changed after the Michael Brown killing .As a white father of a biracial son, he has discussed his fears for his child especially if that kid grows up to be darker. He honestly notes that many people with privilege (whites, males, etc) have such a hard time admitting that privilege does exist and that they are the beneficiaries. He eloquently writes that:

“When you’re a parent, those privileges stop being invisible.”

He goes on to say that’s why politicians with daughters are more likely to support women’s issues, and how Republican Senator Rob Portman came out supportive of marriage equality after his son revealed that he was gay.

As a parent of a child of color, Hennick made a list of seven things that he can do that his son cannot as a way of showing that privilege is in fact, real. Here is his list:

1. I Can Walk Through A Store Without Being Followed – So many blacks and people of color have personally told stories of being followed in stores, especially higher-end ones. Even rich black people have been handcuffed on suspicious of fraud. Henneick says he has never worried about this.

2. I Can Succeed Without It Being Attributed To My Race – Hennick describes how his wife was told that she must have gotten accepted to Boston College because she was black and because of affirmative action. Hennick says that because he is white, people just assume that he has earned his achievements on his own merit.

3. I Learned About My Ancestors’ History In School – We never learn about Africa in regular history classes. We learn a lot about Europeans and their contributions though. We barely learn any real history about the black experience in the United States.

4. I Can Lose My Temper In Traffic – A person once told Hennick that, in regards to a traffic confrontation, she was scared of the’driver because he was a “big black guy.” Black people can’t afford to be angry without all of the negative stereotypes being perpetuated onto them; “dangerous” is a term that can be an effect of this, leading to dangerous outcomes. Hennick states that he can get heated and no one thinks about his race. In other words, he does not then become the “angry big white guy.”

5. I Can Loiter In Wealthy Neighborhoods – Hennick says he has never had the cops called on him for being “suspicious” but that his wife (who is of color) cannot say the same. Blacks are often seen as not belonging. It is why Trayvon was stalked and harassed. It is why Professor Henry Gates was arrested for trying to get into his own house.

6. I Can Complain About Racism – Whites can complain about the numerous issues facing communities of color and how racism plays a part in these realities. But when Henneck complains, he isn’t accused of “playing the race card” like many people of color are.

7. I Can Count On Being Met On My Own Terms – Simply put, Hennick says that if he is being treated badly, he never has to think about whether this could be because of his race. But sadly, this is something people of color ponder often.

I applaud Hennick for his candid sentiments. So many people of privilege continuously try to downplay racism or what people of color go through. yet they will never personally know. But being so close to a person of color forces you to see the different realities. And these differences are stark. So many whites will never have to think about the things Hennick listed here, nor the thought of their kids being senselessly killed by the police. They are quick to degrade any black victim and blame them for their own death’s. But maybe if they had to live with the thoughts that parents of children of color have to live with, they wouldn’t be so blindly accepting of the system.

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I was born on January 13, 1990. I was born and raised in Charlotte, NC. I moved up north and attended the University of CT from 2008 to 2012. I currently also work at a law firm in Uptown Charlotte and have been helping with this organization entitled the National Independent Voter Coalition. My interests include: Politics (obviously), Basketball (playing and watching) and watching almost any sport, movies, reading, the law, human rights, entertainment, mostly Angelina Jolie and Beyonce. I am fun, caring, passionate, intelligent, and unique!