Racism Is Flooding My Local Moms' Facebook Group & Here's What I'm Doing About It

Hoda Abdulla

Hoda Abdulla
Hoda Abdulla

Have daily check-ins with your town's mom group felt a bit sour lately? Gone are the days of supporting local clothing drives, buying random s--t off someone's curb, or giving a recommendation for the only person you let near your eyebrows. Yes, it is sad to say, but the support-filled posts of yesteryear are no more.  What once was a happy, cozy safe space where "moms support moms" is now likely riddled with debates over face masks, herd immunity, and your state's elected officials. More concerning, however, have been the deeply disturbing posts following the death of George Floyd. My experience has been an alarming cocktail of ulcer-inducing behavior, all of which has been spewed by, you guessed it: White women!

  • I live in an upper middle-class town in Bergen County, New Jersey, that’s been pretty well-known for its growing diversity over the years. 

    Hoda Abdulla
    Hoda Abdulla

    And that's something that was definitely a draw for me and my family when searching for our forever home. Raising a little curly-haired North African Muslim girl in Trump's America has given me a lot of anxiety for so many reasons. But mostly, because it makes me question every interaction I have with white strangers, especially members of our own community -- neighbors, passersby, fellow parents at the neighborhood park. People whose children would likely be so integral to who my daughter would become. After several years of closely monitoring the crowd, it felt pretty good! People were nice and waved to us on our walks! We chat with our neighbors! It has been true suburban housewife bliss! But, alas, a big fat racist plot twist. 

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  • The protests and calls around the nation for police reform, social justice, and equality were just too much for some to endure.

    One mom called protesters "stupid morons" while others b----ed and moaned about the traffic local rallies were causing. Comment after comment, post after post, took a metaphorical s--t on the opinions and concerns of women of color. 

    In response to the hostility, I created a group to support and uplift WOC in our town. I made it clear that all were welcome, should they feel empowered to learn, listen and engage on issues WOC experience every day. 

  • For one week, it was better than heaven. 

    So much delicious, feel-good conversation from all our members. But just days after the group was created, a post was shared on general mom's group (let's call it GMG) asking why a WOC group was even a thing -- that the GMG was a space for ALL to unite (??). 

  • It was followed by lots of sweet-looking white women telling us that racism is not a thing (??). 

    Hoda Abdulla

    That our disdain for Trump supporters was the same thing as being a racist bigot (??). That WOC are not marginalized (??). That if they created a group for white women, it would be considered racist (FYI Karen, AMERICA IS A GROUP FOR WHITE WOMEN). That someone's white daughter got bullied in her mostly Asian honors class (??). That our group was uncomfortable for them

    Such is the storyline for women of color, right? We must meld and mold ourselves to fit the narrative of our peers, colleagues, friends and society. We must alter our voices, change our hair, hide our opinions to make sure we don't offend others. For me, that storyline ended a long time ago.

  • The moms in GMG have called me "crazy" and told me that I "yap," but I haven't let that stop me from letting my voice be heard.

    I've been told that I'm causing a divide, but we all know that divide was there long before me. People of color have endured centuries of systemic racism, bigotry, colonization, and a major superiority complex at the hands of the oppressors. 

    Quite frankly, the "divide" has only brought so many of us closer together. In the days that followed GMG-Gate, our unity has empowered us to speak up and stand up, create an impromptu scholarship fund for WOC in our district with just four days left in the school year, friendships have been formed, and coffee dates have been planned. We’ve found our community and we are organized, girlfriend!

  • Your mom group might not be safe anymore, but make space for yourself and others like you to thrive.

    Stand your ground. Defend your people. We must do more. We must do better.

    This post was written by Hoda Abdulla.