Raising children is an act of resistance. It is a screaming ode to the white world that there will be more of us brown and black skinned, Latinx running around. That we will not be eliminated, that our languages and traditions will not cease to exist. That we will have children by birth, by adoption, by mixed families, by way of being tias y tios. That we will influence our chamacos and shape them, that our hell raising ways will rub off on them. That our stubbornness and refusal to disappear they too will inherit.
Still to create these children alone is not an act of resistance but to educate and arm them with a voz that sure as hell is. As I write this on the anniversary of the murder of Michael Brown, I’m reminded how resistances scares the oppressor. How they order the death and then justify the murder of our children. How those murderers are never indicted. How despite our knowledge that they utterly despise and down right hate us we continue to create beautiful children who inspire. Children like Michael Brown who shape our conversations, and our minds in radical ways.
However, we as brown Latinx parents are not guilty free in fact we play a role in the oppression of others. We have to acknowledge the racism that has been created and sustained against our black and indigenous Latinx hermanxs. We have to teach our children of their continued enslavement at the hands of whiteness, at our own hands. We have to stop assimilating into colonialism, into whiteness.
I personally will not raise my children to assimilate, to ignore colorism, or to deny the oppression of others. I will raise them to defy the politics of respectability, to give zero fucks about the white man’s scare tactics, and to call out anti-blackness within our community. I am raising them to resist. To resist being called TELL-O, to resist when the “worthy-immigrant” narrative comes on. To resist that “dreamers” are only college bound and not those locked up behind bars, or those with limited English
If I can be 100% honest, I want my children to disrupt every system, because every damn system is guilty. I want them to be bold, and I will raise them to be bold, even when I have to take the brunt of that boldness. This is what can be revolutionary about raising children, how we react to their bold personalities, if we will too like the white world push them to behave in a certain manner, push them to “fit-in,” if we will accept them, every part of them, and most importantly if we will respect them.
Raising children is an act of resistance. When we equip them with the knowledge their textbooks fail to give them. Shatter the colonial structures that box us in, when we remind them that their brown and black skin is inherited from guerreros. When we recognize our hand in oppression and when we become and teach our amores to become intersectional in our resistance.
Amanda Tello “As woke as you may think you re, you can’t be free until everyone is free” Latinx, Mamá, Activist, Theologian, Unapologetically Brown