Many of us remember seeing the viral video circulating the net of two little white girls going ballistic when they receive black dolls for Christmas- while their mom chuckles in the background.
Thankfully, it wasn’t just black moms who were disgusted. Kristen Howerton, a white parenting blogger who has two white biological daughters along with two adopted black sons, was so appalled that she decided to post a very different video of her own two daughters squealing with delight upon receiving black dolls for Christmas. It was a sweet moment that should have ended there.
Instead, white supremacists groups have been coming after her from all angles, hijacking her video and using footage of her and her family in their own hate-filled video, trolling her website and social media pages, threatening her, and even making racist memes of her kids. Some even warn that her two adopted black sons might sexually assault her daughters. It’s a mother’s worst nightmare.
And though Howerton has demanded that the group stop using the video, her pleas have fallen on death ears. The truth is once anything is uploaded to the internet it’s fair game. So while it’s unfortunate that her good intentions have turned into a horror flick, aside from soliciting her followers to pressure twitter into suspending some of the group member’s accounts, it’s a nuisance that she’s going to have to deal with.
But really, is it something that she should have to deal with alone? Sure, some say that she brought this on herself because she should have known better than to put her kids online in the first place, but there comes a time when a mom has to stand for something and in this case Howerton was using her kids to make a very valid point.
There are white families that teach their kids to respect the beauty of other cultures so black and white dolls garner the same adoration. Had Howerton not put her kids on full display with all their innocence it’s doubtful that many of us would believe it to be true. It was such a powerful statement that it was bound to strike a chord with anyone committed to keeping races divided.
Talk about a sacrifice. It’s likely that one day her sons will come across a meme with their face attached to a vile message or her daughters will see themselves depicted as victims of a mom gone off the deep end, but hopefully they will understand why she did what she did. Sometimes the cause is bigger than us.
So if you’re wondering if this will stop Howerton from posting online here’s her answer straight from her blog…
No, it won’t. As I mentioned before, this is swatting at flies. I’ve got some plans in place to deal with a few of the offenders (remember, the internet is never as anonymous as you think), but I also think that this kind of harassment is always a possibility for people with a public platform. (Now that doesn’t mean that they deserve it . . . that’s victim blaming. But I’ve always been keenly aware that public criticism is a part of this gig.) I’ve always viewed my blog as a space to promote social justice and racial reconciliation, and this is not going to stop me.
Go head sister! We need more moms like her.