skin in the game

Being the grandmother of three black boys – who will soon become three black men – has changed me. Racial injustice is no longer a discussion or research topic; it now defines my anti racist role, so that my grandsons will be safe and respected by society.
I’ve been evolving just as my understanding of what it means to be a white grandmother of black boys in this society has been unfolding.
I look at the world through my grandsons eyes. I watch them having to deal with growing up in a white supremacist and racist society.
I can’t transfer my white privilege onto them, no more than I can unsee the way white strangers behave when they see our family.
Being a white grandmother to black boys is certainly not a savior role- that position would merely assert my white privilege and deny my grandsons their human right to equality- a trap into which our white supremacist society frequently falls.
I read/follow/learn all that I can from a variety of sources and take a lot of my cues from my daughter and son-in-law (who are champions for their sons). Since first becoming a grandmother, I’ve changed a great deal. When the boys were first adopted, I sought advice from some of my black friends. Amongst all the sage advice they offered, one friend told me that I now had ‘skin in the game.’ At the time, I thought I understood what he meant, but the concept was just that, an abstract concept.
Now, as the years have gone by, and I’ve seen the world through my grandsons eyes – how they had to trade their innocence for the cruel reality of white supremacy and racism permeating the society around them – I realize that I can’t nor would I want to be the person I used to be.
My grandsons have taught me what it is to have skin in the game.

One thought on “skin in the game

  1. I am always thrown when I witness racism and white supremacy still thriving in the societies of our world. Living with a Jew, I am also witnessing through his family the cruelty and ignorance that permeates their everyday lives. What will enlighten humanity? When will this end? How will it end? We must remain diligent, we must speak out and we must be intolerant of this hateful world.
    As Maya Angelou once shared; “It is impossible to struggle for civil rights, equal rights for blacks, without including whites. Because equal rights, fair play, justice, are all like the air: we all have it, or none of us has it. That is the truth of it.”

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