Failing as a White person/parent

Last Friday, a few hours after I last posted, Police Officer Jason Stockley was found not guilty of murder of Anthony Lamar Smith. The evidence seemed obvious, but yet again, the justice system failed to bring justice to Anthony’s family.

St. Louis activists were immediately on the streets, yet again drawing the nation’s attention to this failure of the criminal justice system. These protesters are doing the real work of nation-building: they are holding this entire country accountable to its most fundamental promise: that all…are created equal.

But I didn’t go. I didn’t go to any protests. I followed the news; I liked Facebook posts; I tried to go to a university-based panel discussion, but A’s naptime overlapped with it. But I didn’t put my body where my mind was–at the protests.

The only reason I have for not going is how the police have been acting towards the protesters. Aggressive, to put it mildly. I was too nervous to bring A to a setting like that. But I know that is a privileged choice to make–many don’t have that choice. I failed this week in my inaction. I don’t want A to be raised inactive.

A’s daycare was shut down on Friday. The teacher that called me to tell me explicitly said, ‘because they just released the Stockley verdict’. I heard other daycares were evacuated, and I know of at least one K-12 school that cancelled after-school activities. There are two possible reasons why his daycare shut down: either because of fear (inconvenience?) of protestors (likely) or out of some sort of respect for the mourning that the city was going through (unlikely). I didn’t try to question the executive director of A’s daycare (who made the decision). Should I?


2 Replies to “Failing as a White person/parent”

  1. This is just an opinion, Liv – because you asked. I’m not there in St. Louis, I don’t know the Director of your daycare, I never had kids in daycare myself, etc. etc. …
    I would ease your mind and emotions of conjecture and simply ask the Director for more information. Hear from him exactly why he closed the center. If the protesters at the daycare would have required him to call the police and the police are being aggressive, then it seems the Director’s fears may sincerely have been for the protection of those in his charge. You might end up thanking him for doing the thoughtful and responsible thing.

    If you discover that in some way he deliberately chose not to be inconvenienced, eliminating an opportunity to address real issues that everyone in the community is facing and inconveniencing every child’s parent to find last-minute alternative care, then you might suggest how you’d like him to handle the next incident.

    And then there’s every other (un)imaginable possibility.

    I think you can consider listening first and being prepared to respond both with your own concerns as well as a reasonable suggestion for how and why you’d like to see things run differently.


    1. I agree completely! I definitely would ask her in order to really understand her reasoning. In fact, a lot of other daycares and schools closed (more than I initially realized), so it may just be how directors/principals are trained to deal with situations like this. Thanks, as always 🙂 Lots of love!


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