By: Taren Vaughan
Hence the title, you already know where I am going with this one. But trust that I won’t totally tear down Bristol Palin. However, I will state the obvious here. And that is that this whole situation surrounding the former Governor of Alaska’s daughter would be a tad bit different if she was a couple shades darker.
For over two years now, Bristol Palin has had a healthy dose of the limelight with her mother Sarah Palin. Not because she was running for a political office but because she became the mother of a new baby boy. Becoming a teenage mother has virtually launched a career for her, potentially leading to a reality show. Now let’s think on this for a second: Bristol has a baby and what does she get: A slew of TV interviews and becoming the poster child for teen abstinence for starters. And to put the icing on the cake, a spot on ABC’s next season of “Dancing With The Stars”. Essentially, this young lady’s claim to fame was because she had unprotected sex with her boyfriend and conceived a child? Oh yeah I forgot, and her mother is a political “icon”.
Oh but if Bristol was a little brown girl, the reaction of her teenage pregnancy would have been quite different. There would have been no TV appearances for her, at least not positive ones. And all of the media press she would have gotten would have been as positive as the kind that Tiger Woods got for swinging his “golf club” in unfamiliar “greenways”.
Now what if Sasha or Malia Obama were to get pregnant at a young age? Since they have not hit puberty yet, let’s fast forward here for a minute. Because at their current age someone may argue that they are too young to draw that kind of comparison to Bristol Palin. What if one of them was to get pregnant and have a baby out of wedlock? We already know the answer to that question. All hell would break loose. And they would be labeled everything but children of God. It would be hung over their head for years, even if they did prove themselves to be fit mothers and raised wonderful children. Who cares? The only thing that would be looked at is the fact that they got knocked up at an early age.
The overall treatment of Bristol Palin was been pretty exceptional compared to that of other teenage mothers. So what kind of message does this send? It’s okay to get pregnant at age 17 as long as you’re a pretty little white girl? That is wrong on so many different levels. Bottom line is no teenage pregnancy should be glorified based on race or anything else for that matter. The situation period is not favorable for any young girl to be in. It’s hard enough being an adult mother let alone one that is barely 18 years old.
When it all comes down to it, we as black women just can’t get away with some things.
And us becoming teenage mothers just so happens to be one of them. Oh, that’s a pure sin in white America for a sister. With the society that we are living in, not even President Obama’s presence in the White House is going to change the way that people view us and our black brothers. Our faults are amplified that much more than whites. It’s a shame that it has to be this way. But that is the harsh reality of it. Teen mothers shouldn’t look to get the “Bristol” treatment because it probably won’t happen.