Required Viewing - When They See Us on Netflix
As a mom, I look at the world through a different lens.
I see the evidence daily that EVERY mom loves their child with an ache that can only be experienced, not understood. It may be instant for some as soon as they lay eyes on their newborn, or it may grow deeper and deeper over time. For many it is the moment that child they have longed for finely finds their way into their forever home. For me, it is an inexplicable & indescribable “something” that makes me jump into mama bear mode in an instant, that makes me tear up just looking at them sometimes, that would make me give my life for theirs in a heartbeat.
EVERY child is important.
EVERY human has a story that leads them to where they are.
We MUST remember that and we MUST teach our children to view and treat each other with respect and empathy.
BUT...let’s be real.
If my children’s lives lack diversity, lack intimate and frequent social interactions with people of different races, religions or sexuality, how can they truly do this? If they lack the knowledge of history and the grave ills and horrific experiences people have been put through, how can they even begin to empathize in the slightest? Marginalized people are suffering at the hand of those in charge. If we want change, than we must ensure our children are educated.
One way we can do this is ensure that our own circle of friends is diverse. Have an honest look at the guest list you would put together if you were to invite 100 people over. How diverse is it? Are there people of different races, religions, ages, sexual identity or differently abled on the list? If we don’t model this to our children we are failing. We can do better. We MUST do better.
Another way we can help our children is to ensure they watch, listen and visit places that tell the stories they need to hear. If you don’t live in a diverse community, than this is if the UTMOST important.
One such show that has recently been added to Netflix is “When They See Us”. It is the powerful, heart-wrenching, honest and beautifully composed 4 part series that tells the story of 5 young boys horrifically treated by the NY Police department, coerced into confessing to a crime they did not commit and then wrongfully sent to prison for 5-15 years in the Central Park Jogger case in the 80’s. I believe it is REQUIRED viewing for all our tweens & teens AND US! I implore you to watch it and then watch it again with your children. Use it as a spark to open up a discussion around the injustices and horrific treatment of blacks in America. Let it be the beginning of more discussions around the lack of opportunities & immense challenges that marginalized people face all over the world, on a daily basis.
As parents, as moms, I know you love your child(ren) with a passion that you never knew was possible. We must realize that all people are someone’s child. The mothers & fathers of these 5 boys loved their children too. However, because of racism and a broken justice system, they were unable to help their children when it mattered the most. I can’t even pretend that I can begin to understand the anguish, guilt and failure they must have felt.
So, I IMPLORE you to make the time to watch this show. And then I implore you to look at the people in your life and in your child’s life.
We MUST do better than our parents and their parents.
We MUST continue to fight for the equality of all people and that starts first, with the education of our own children, our own families, and in our own communities.
We MUST speak up and teach our children to speak up when they see injustices occur.