The actor told her son to take the hoodie off and told him he would be treated differently from white kids.
Sandra Bullock opened up about her honest approach to raising her Black children in a world that sees color and it's an eye-opener for many. The actor adopted Louis and Laila, who are now 11 and 9 respectively. The actor touched on the subject of race and said she's aware of the need to prepare Black children for a world outside the four walls of their home. 'The Unforgivable' star made the comments during an appearance on Red Table Talk and spoke to host Jada Pinkett Smith. During the show, she admitted that she wished her children's colors matched hers but said only because it would be easier on how people viewed and approached them, reported The Huffington Post. “To say that I wished our skins matched…sometimes I do,” said Bullock. “I have the same feelings as a woman with brown skin, and it being her babies. Or a white woman with white babies.”
Jada Pinkett Smith was accompanied by daughter Willow Smith and mom Adrienne Banfield-Norris. Willow added that color didn't really matter. “It’s the mother-child dynamic,” she said. “Maybe one day that will go away. Maybe one day we will be able to see with different eyes.” Sandra Bullock said parenting Black children was an eye-opener to her as well because she knows the world isn't a fair place. She spoke about stopping her then six-year-old son as he tried to walk out of their home wearing a hoodie. “I was like, ‘What does it look like you’re doing with the hoodie?’” said Bullock. “And he says, ‘Well, I look like I’m hiding.’”
She then asked her son if he had “anything to hide,” and he replied, "no." She told him to take off the hoodie and then decided to let him know that the world wasn't exactly fair and added that he would be treated differently from a white kid. "We’re gonna have a conversation. It’s different for you. I said, ‘People are scared and will react to you differently than if you were a white boy,’” said Bullock, adding that she's always been open and honest about it. “And he knows it. I let them see everything. I let them hear and know everything.”
The actor said her child's safety was of paramount importance. “I don't care if it scares them because it’s my job to let them know that outside of these safe walls, things are different,” said Bullock. “But they know how safe they are in my house.” The 'Gravity' star said she's always scared for the world awaiting her children. “It’s a scary thing to be a parent in general,” she said. “It’s a scary thing to think that when your beautiful son grows up and becomes a man, someone’s not going to treat him the way that you treat him simply because of the color of his skin.”
“It breaks my heart. It makes me full of rage. It makes me afraid,” she said. “But all I can do is my job, protect them, enlighten them, and show them their power, show them how to be safe. But the system is not fair.” The actor was lauded for her honesty, with many chiming in that her words were adding to the conversation of race in these troubled times. It sparked a debate online with some questioning if children as young as that needed to be taught about race. "He just wanted to wear a cool hoodie. I get her fear and anxiety and respect what she’s trying to do, but the kid is 6. Let him wear the hoodie. She can teach him the other stuff when he’s a little older," argued one person.
Thank you #SandraBullock. Truth is crucial. Learning what that truth is from POC instead of the privileged & biased is necessary. When you finally get it, see it & fully respect it… you can honor truth & POC. You can never again not see the glaring injustices & inequities. IYKYK— Risa Leigh (@MissRisdemeanor) November 30, 2021
The majority backed Bullock and praised her. One person pointed out that the African-American community had been doing this for ages but praised Bullock for being honest about it. "Something we’ve been saying forever, but maybe some of y’all will listen now since it’s a different messenger. Good to see that Sandra Bullock isn’t afraid to tell her son what’s real out here, so he’s better prepared, being a black child/man in America," one person tweeted.
Thank you Sandra for your words. I have a blended family and this year was especially difficult for my eldest grandson who is so sweet and so loving but to sit him down and tell him that he may be treated differently simply because of the color of his skin breaks my heart.— Clari Diaz-Irizarry, MPA (@ClariMpa) December 2, 2021
It's not the first time she has spoken with her children about important issues, including race, homophobia and sexism. “He doesn’t understand why people judge each other based on the color of their skin, but he knows they do. He also knows that there’s sexism, he knows that there’s homophobia. He knows a lot for a 5-and-3/4-year-old,” she told BET in 2015. “I think if you don't start the conversation very early on, you're doing them a disservice,” she said. "I want him to be safe and I want him to be aware.”