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Commentary: We Are Michael Brown's Mom

I am Michael Brown’s Mom.

I am white, I live in St. Louis. But I could live anywhere and be any color. The story in my community is a story in all communities. Only the events might be different.

Images of peaceful and violent demonstrations, the visuals of the last few weeks, swirl in my head. In the midst of it, my friend Nekisha shares a song, “If I Could,” by Regina Belle.

“This is how his mom must feel,” Nekisha says, thinking of Michael Brown. Nekisha sings me the song with feeling only a mother can give.  I listen and think this song speaks my heart. She sings the chorus:

“If I could / I would try to shield / Your innocence / From time / But the part of life / I gave you isn't mine / I'll watch you grow / So I can let you go / If I could / I would help you / Make it through / The hungry years / But I know / That I can never / Cry your tears, babe / But I would if I could.”

Nekisha and I are worlds apart in many life experiences. I am 20 years her senior. She is black and I am white, at least as the world sees it. In reality, we are just different shades of brown.

And we are both mothers.

I’ve been in pain over my children, like most every mother, watching them grow and go their own way. Nekisha has been there for me. Her prayers and notes of encouragement have lifted me.

And I’ve been there for her. We love and we laugh together. We laugh a lot! We find joy even in the pain.

We are Darren Wilson’s mom too.

And if we could, we’d go back in time and change events.

Can we? After this moment, will we find our community moving in a better direction?

In my friendship with Nekisha, I find instruction and comfort. There is no hand-out or a hand-up, but only holding hands.

Can we just take hands?

Moms, can we seek to know each other across artificial lines, see the lines for what they are, made-up and unreal?

Would this change the course of things? As mothers bonded together, our communities knitted together, I believe we can make this a better place.

The reality is, we are all Michael Brown’s Mom.

Dana King lives in St. Louis and is a wife and a mother of two. Active in the community, she organized The Discover Your Roots, an African American Family History Conference. Dana attends The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint and is on the board of blacklds.org that celebrates the contributions of blacks to the LDS faith.