No parents should have to live with worries like these…
No parents should have to live with these fears and worries—that established systems of justice, health care, education, and opportunity may exclude and possibly even harm their children throughout their lives.
When I became a parent, I inherited a world of worries. I worry constantly about our sons—about all the hazards that can befall them on their way to becoming adults. So much to worry about, so much to keep me up at night: health crises, guns, drugs, sex, alcohol, cars, police encounters, bullies, violence, risk-taking, foolishness.
But, because our boys are white, I don’t also worry that they run the risk of being criminalized by their teachers or neighbors, or of receiving poor quality health care, or of being intimidated, beaten, or murdered by racist vigilantes or corrupt police simply on account of the color of their skin.
If I had to worry about all of that, on top of my usual parental worries, I can’t imagine what the state of my mental health would be like.
As long as Black parents and other parents of children of Color have to live with fears and worries like these, we are failing as a state and a nation, and as a species–and we continue to live the lie that this is a land of liberty and justice for all. And I know that living a lie, especially a lie as heinous and persistent as this one, is bad for our mental health.
When we aspire to achieve healthier minds across the lifespan for all Coloradans, we aspire to achieve a state and a nation that isn’t like this anymore. If we’re going to have healthier minds across the lifespan for all Coloradans, we need to build a state and a nation where Black people and all People of Color don’t have to fear the police, don’t have to fear their armed white neighbors, and don’t have to fear a system of injustice.
If we’re going to have healthier minds across the lifespan for all Coloradans, we need to call out and correct the thinking, the manners of speech, and the behaviors that derail us from our mission. If we’re going to achieve healthier minds across the lifespan for all Coloradans, we need to learn to be a better people than we have ever been before.
Take time today and every day to learn how to help dismantle the racist system. Never miss an opportunity to call out an injustice.
President & CEO
Mental Health Colorado