A white woman’s worry for her black husband

My husband wants me to get my conceal-carry permit so that we can leave a pistol in the car at all times. He’s all about it, even printing out the application and handing it to me this morning. We live in a major metropolitan area, but at the edge of some pretty wild, mountainous country so his concerns make sense.  I understand the need and yet I hesitate.  I’m very worried about him driving alone in our nice, new car while in possession of a loaded pistol.  Why?  Because he’s a black man.

Two years ago, I probably wouldn’t have had these worries.  They wouldn’t have crossed my mind, and back then we were in Indiana, where the KKK still has a presence and the first thing you’re told when you move to Indy with a black man is that you’d better not get anywhere near Martinsville, IN after dark because the encounter might not be friendly.

Racism has been on the fringes, and sometimes the forefront, of our ten year marriage. When we were first together, I noticed every hateful glare from the white folks who felt the need to sit back and judge me.  I ignored the comments of every black female hairdresser that referred to him as “one of those men” as she cut his hair and lamented that they’d “lost another good, educated black man to a white woman.”

We’ve had a (white) Walmart door greeter let (white) couple after couple leave the store in front of us, their carts laden with bags, without saying a word, but stop us and demand to see our receipt before we could leave with our purchases. (Don’t think I didn’t call a spade a spade right to her withered face that day, either!)

We’ve had six of our eight car tires slashed, along with all of the other interracial couples living in our apartment complex, because someone didn’t agree with our life choices and wanted to make an expensive statement.

The point is – racism has shaded our marriage, but I’ve never been as worried for him as I am now.  With things like Ferguson and New York in the news, it makes me sit back and think.  Yes, we’re in a much more liberal state now, and our neighborhood is full of varying ethnicities and isn’t just a sea of white faces.  Yes, I know that not all cops are bad because I actually have great respect for the police. But I worry.  I worry because the man I love, the man who is my best friend, the man who’s got my back when the rest of the world is stepping on my front, the man who wants nothing more in this life than to live comfortably and take care of our family, is black and wants to carry his legally-allowed pistol in our car. What if he gets pulled over? What if he does everything right, but something still goes wrong because of some irrational, deep-seated belief held by a person in a position of power? It’s 2015; I shouldn’t have to shoulder those worries.

I see the hashtag #blacklivesmatter and it hits deep and hard for me. Black lives do matter. My husband, his sisters, his brother, his wonderful mother and step-father – they all matter so much to me and others.

My hope this year is to work with people who can help foster acceptance across this great nation. Whatever your ethnicity, whatever your sexuality, you deserve two things: love and the right to live your life without fear.


7 thoughts on “A white woman’s worry for her black husband

  1. I feel your frustration. I can’t say I understand because I’ve never walked in your shoes.
    A very good friend of mine(white) is married to a black man. They have three young boys. They are a lovely family and I think are accepted in our city. I know they’ve been accepted in our church. She is the administrative assistant, he plays in the band.
    I’d be hesitant about the gun too. I’m going to pray for you and for him. God understands.

    • I often tell my husband that we (interracial couple) are old news because the focus now is on gay rights, but I know that’s not totally true. I’m thankful to live where I now because it’s a true melting pot! It’s just definitely a scary thing to think about. Thank you for the prayers!

  2. My kids are young, but how will things change over the next 6-8 years when my girls become teenagers, one Mayan and one Ethiopian? They are girls, but how much difference will that make? What about our AA foster son’s? My 4-yr-old foster son pulled the hood up on his jacket this fall to walk out to the bus and I pulled it off his head because all I could think about what happens to black kids with hoodies. He should never have to worry about raising suspicion because he’s walking down the street. My daughters should never have to worry about knocking on a door for help and ending up dead simply because they aren’t white.

    I understand your husband’s concern and I find it so very sad that we live in a society where we have to worry about what might happen because of the color of our skin, our sexual orientation, our religion, etc. Yet here we are and where do we go from here? Is carrying a concealed weapon the answer? So many changes that need to be made, but it seems so few answers on how to make those changes.

    • The beautiful thing is that you can raise your kids to be loving and accepting, but also aware of the the way people can be. Because your family is so multicultural and filled with love, you’re part of the solution – you’re spreading that love and it’s going to flow outward from your children to those they interact with. THAT is how the future is going to be different and that’s exciting to me!

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