Pubdate: Sat, 10 Oct 2020
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2020 The New York Times Company
Author: Tehra Coles


Re "Parents' Little Helpers" (Sunday Styles, Oct. 4):

To be a Black mother is to be in a constant state of alertness when it
comes to protecting your family from the government. As a Black woman,
mother and lawyer, I am no different in that regard.

Most Black mothers wouldn't publicly label themselves a "wine mom" or
admit to smoking pot. No one remotely aware of the government's racist
practice of separating Black families for such behavior through the
so-called child welfare system would.

You are correct that substance use has been "romanticized" for white
parents. Your article proves that it still is. Smoking pot and
drinking are seen as coping mechanisms for white families and grounds
for separation for Black families. Black parents who admit to
substance use are often labeled "addicts" and sent to treatment
programs. Ninety percent of the parents we defend for alleged child
neglect in New York City are Black, Indigenous or people of color.

You've asked for Black parents to share stories about parenting today:
Here's your story.

Tehra Coles
New York

The writer is litigation supervisor for government affairs and policy
at the Center for Family Representation.