At 2:00am on November 9, as I held my newborn and I watched a new American reality slowly take shape, it felt like the only person in the country that was sharing my sense of dread and panic was Van Jones on CNN. He asked the question that was playing on repeat in my head: “How do I explain this to my kids?”
Feeling betrayed by my white peers—the ones who voted for Trump—I turned to Facebook (as I often do) to find out how others were coping. The reactions started trickling into my newsfeed, even in the wee-hours of the morning. I saw one Facebook post by a fellow white mom of children of color who wanted to connect with others like herself. I saw a post by yet another white mom of a child of color who, like me, felt ill-equipped to support her child, even as she grappled her own feelings.
The next day I saw a post by a white mom of two elementary-school-aged children of color who were targeted because of their skin color. Most of the posts I saw by white people with loved ones who identify as people of color showed an awareness that their feelings, as white folks, should not and could not be the central narrative.
The feelings and panic and hurt of those marginalized groups directly targeted by Trump and his followers have to be central to our care and concern. There was a general awareness among this small community, that it is our job, as a people with privilege to listen to and support our loved ones who are unequivocally threatened by a Trump presidency. It became clear we, white people who have loved ones who are people of color, needed a place to share these feelings without making them the central narrative. Out of this need for support and strength, blossomed a Facebook group “White Parents and Spouses/Partners of People of Color.”
A community that started with a quick Facebook private message among a UU Minister and two Religious Educators is steadily becoming a place to celebrate our beautiful families and reflect on the challenges and heartache that are becoming part of our new reality. The Church of the Larger Fellowship, agreed to sponsor the group and collaborate.
Conversations with no easy answers can be shared in this group. In the future, hopefully, we can organize and mobilize resistance as needed. Using the model of “circles of concern,” our Facebook group can be a place where white folks who are family members of people of color can go to find support so that they can better support their loved ones who are under attack. As the Facebook description states, “we need each other right now.”
If you’d like to join our conversation, you may use this link to request membership to this closed group.
Director of Religious Education
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rockville, Md.
In addition to this valuable group, the Church of the Larger Fellowship is developing online small groups for parents of children of color that would meet via video conference. If you would like to participate in one of these groups, please sign up here to receive notifications when these groups begin.