White Moms: Kyle Rittenhouse & Travis McMichael Are Our Sons

Karen Fleshman
6 min readDec 2, 2021

This post is coaouthored by Rev. Amanda Hambrick Ashcraft

As racial justice activists, we were heartbroken but not surprised by the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse. While we are grateful Travis McMichael, his father Greg McMichael and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan were convicted in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, Arbery should still be alive. As Qasim Rashid pointed out:

As white moms, seeing white people time and again annihilate Black and Brown people with no accountability strengthens our resolve to raise our children antiracist, encourage our siblings to do the same, and organize in our communities. It is imperative we do so. White supremacists are online recruiting our sons.

White moms: we must be the generation who breaks from our past and raises our children very differently from how we grew up.

The white home has been white supremacy’s unit of reproduction since 1619, when the Jamestown settlers imported a boatload of white women from England as ‘tobacco brides’ to make plantations an intergenerational enterprise. For 400+ years, white women’s role has been to bear white heirs and teach them white supremacy, an evil, violent and false ideology. White people who profited from land theft, genocide and slavery justified their violence by claiming it necessary to protect delicate white women and children from “subhuman” Black and Native men. Some white moms forced enslaved women to raise their kids, and even breastfeed them. As their children grew older white moms taught them to hate the Black women who had cared for them so tenderly.

During the century-long struggle to secure women’s right to vote, white women treated Black women as second class citizens and persuaded white male lawmakers that granting women the right to vote would strengthen white supremacy by doubling the number of…

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Karen Fleshman

Founder, Racy Conversations Inspiring the antiracist generation.