"Today, I feel some relief and have some hope. Today, I felt a little less pressure and a little less concerned that my children are not safe."
This weekend, after the election was called, my husband sent me this reflection:
Our own personal situations change our perspectives. When I raised my girls in the 1990s and 2000s, I was a white man with white children. I never had to worry about certain aspects of the safety of my children. I never had to worry about racism and social injustice. Unbeknownst to me, I was living a life of white privilege.
You may ask, how does that happen? How does a person not know they have privilege and then realize they do? It’s easy. For me, it took my situation to change my perspective.
I’m no longer raising two white girls. I’m raising two biracial children whom I feel would live a threatened life if America stayed on the path set by Trump. If he had remained the President, the divisiveness and racial divide would have increased my concerns for my children and their future. Now, with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, we stand a chance to heal the divide and build a unified country.
If you’re a white man or women, you have certainly experienced some white privilege, likely more than you realize. I know people will make claims that “I am not privileged, I’ve earned everything I have. I’ve worked hard for my job, for my house, my car. Nothing has been given to me!” I hear you. So have I. White privilege is not about how hard you’ve worked, it’s about the imbalance that exists. I’m telling you, if you’re white, you have privilege. You were born into privilege. Black men and women are subjected to things that can and do affect their lives, their opportunities, and their safety.
Before marrying a Black woman and having interracial children, I was blind to that reality. This is truly one of those moments that you just can’t know if you’re not living it. Now I know! I now wake up everyday thinking about how I need to raise my biracial children to be sure they stay safe.
Today, I feel some relief and have some hope. Today, enough Americans stood up and said, we don’t agree with where we are or where we are headed. Today, enough Americans said, we can do better, we MUST do better. Today, I felt a little less pressure and a little less concerned that my children are not safe. Today, the 46th President will begin healing our country and driving out hatred.
Today, the future looks brighter for Hunter and Teagan.
Cyana Riley was born and raised in Washington, D.C..She graduated from George Washington University and spent the first 6 years of her career as a preschool teacher. It was during this time that she noticed the underrepresentation of Black and brown children in books. She has since become an author, recently publishing her first children's book, "Not So Different," which was insprired by her biracial children and interracial marriage. The book encourages children to embrace their differences and celebrate diversity. Cyana currently lives in Maryland with her husband, two children, and their dog Bella, the Golden-Doodle. Follow her journey on Instagram/Facebook @notsodifferentbook and on her website: www.notsodifferentbook.com