[I wrote this originally for Facebook, where I keep things friends-locked, so re-posting here for anyone who wants to share more widely.]
I want my children to grow up in a world where I do not fear for my beautiful black nephew as he grows, where he can be hurt just for wearing the same clothes or walking in the same neighborhood or driving in the same car where they can go without fear simply because of the color of his skin. I want my children to grow up in a world where my friends do not have to teach their children of color to fear law enforcement. I want my children to grow up in a world where peaceful protesters do not have their message undermined by a sniper taking matters into hand, and where police officers who are doing their job by being present for that peaceful protest don't get killed for it.
I want my children to grow up in a world where they and their partners and their children will not be harassed and killed because of their color, or gender, or sexual orientation. I want them to grow up in a world where a major party political candidate cannot thrive on racist xenophobic misoginistic vitriol. I want them to grow up in a world where the mass shootings and police shootings and hatred we've seen recently are so rare that they are shocking and unimaginable rather than numbingly common.
These wants seem like pipe dreams. As a child, growing up when and where I did, it does not come as a shock to me that injustice and racial violence still exist, especially in police dynamics. But as an adult, and a parent, it is my job to work towards a different future. As a parent I need to educate my kids about the realities of this world we live in so that they can recognize racism, xenophobia, misogeny, etc when the see it and know to speak up, but I also need to work to make it a fairer world for all our kids to grow up safely.
The arc of history may bend towards justice, but we must help it bend. We can do better. We must do better.