"I don't even notice that he's black," she says, smiling at me.
And my heart breaks.
Black is not a flaw in my child that needs to be politely overlooked. Black is not a negative characteristic that you nicely ignore in order to see my son's good qualities.
He is black. If you say you can't see it, I am pretty sure you're lying. Or you're blind. I want you to see it. It is one of the many parts of him that I love. Because it's part of who he is. And we love all of him. I don't love him in spite of the fact that he is black. I love him because he is my son. And he is black.
It's not cool to be colorblind. Saying you don't see color is saying that you've decided to whitewash your world.
"Equal" doesn't mean "the same".
I pray all the time that Amani will embrace his color in this world that won't always see it as beautiful. I pray that all three of my children will embrace the colors God gave them. And that they will embrace the colors that God gave others, not ignore them. I pray that that my youngest will never feel as if he should have been white, or that his being black is not okay, or that it's a flaw we choose to overlook.
I am acutely aware that I am raising a black baby who will grow up to be a black man. I know that that means that he will encounter people who will judge him based upon the color of his skin. He is my child who is most likely to be pulled over by the police, the one whose behavior is most likely to be considered a reflection of his pigmentation, not his character.
In a world that will notice his skin in so many negative ways, please don't not-notice it thinking you are kind. He is black. That is a POSITIVE quality of his, because God made him that way.
And it is beautiful.