After her daughter changed her Facebook profile picture to one of herself and her boyfriend, Mississippi mom Heather Boyer got a text from a friend asking if she knew that her daughter was “dating a black boy.”
Boyer had a strong reaction to the racist text, and posted her answer publicly on Facebook, writing about what a great guy her daughter’s boyfriend was. She described how wonderfully he treated her daughter and made it clear that that’s all that mattered to her. The boy’s race wasn’t an issue for her.
Today my daughter changed her profile picture. After maybe 5 minutes I get a text ..” I didn’t know she was dating a black boy, did you?” It took me all day to think up a response, which I didn’t send personally but thought I would share for anyone else that “may not know” Yes in fact I did know, but the color of his skin doesn’t define who he is. What does define who is he is how he treats my daughter. I see my daughter dating a boy that comes to my house and shows me nothing but respect (a big deal in my book). It’s always Yes Ma’am, No Ma’am, we talk about football and baseball, he tells me bye when he leaves, and has not once shown me a lack of manners or respect.
I see my daughter dating a boy who treats her good. He takes her on dates, to ballgames, out to eat..not to a club or partying on the weekends.
I see my daughter dating a boy who takes her to church with him. Every Sunday. He plays in the band, she sits with his family. How many young men these days make church a priority? None of the others have.
He doesn’t hit her, cuss her, lie to her, or make her cry. Would I rather her date a white boy that did, to keep from her dating another race? Absolutely not. So that’s my response to the question I was asked. And I know people have their own opinion, but at the end of the day, the fact that my daughter has someone that loves her and treats her like a queen makes me happy. That’s something I’ve never had in my life and I’m glad she does.”
Almost all the commenters on Facebook agreed with Boyer and people shared their own stories, too.
A lot of people posted pictures, too.
After Boyer’s post went mega-viral, she posted that she while she was overwhelmed with the response to her post, she was glad that people who were in the same situation could relate.
The response to this post has been overwhelming. Out of the hundred thousands of messages I have recieved, I would say maybe less than a hundred have been negative. One of my main reasons for the post was to let my daugher know that I love and support her, no matter what others may say.
I never intended to go viral, but apparently I spoke up and spoke out for so many others that are going thru the same situations. I have received messages from parents that have said they are rethinking some things and hopefully going to try to mend their relationships with their child. So maybe more good has come from this post than I intended.
Thank you all for the encouragement and positive comments. I can only hope in my own little way that I have made a difference.
The story also got picked up by KTVU, and reporter Frank Somerville left a comment explaining why he thinks coverage of stories about race is crucial.
He wrote, “Sometimes I get criticized for doing ‘too many’ stories about race. I just think it’s such an important topic…it’s always there… but people are afraid to talk about it. My belief is that many people view young black men as a threat… and I think that’s unfortunate… and the only way to overcome that is to not be afraid to talk about it. And to share positive stories about young black men…”
The message here is that love knows no race. It’s wonderful that Boyer’s response was so well-received. But it’s also basically the barest minimum that white people should be doing—just NOT being racist. It’s also essential that white people learn more about race and get comfortable talking about it. Perhaps check out Ijeoma Oluo’s book, So You Want To Talk About Race? It’s never a bad idea to learn more.
h/t: Bored Panda