Sandra Bullock is aware that her children will not have the same life experiences as her.
The Unforgivable star — who is the mother of two Black adopted children, Louis, 11, and Laila, 9 — got candid on an episode of US show Red Table Talk on Wednesday about her experiences as a white woman raising two children of colour and how eye-opening it has been for her.
The 57-year-old star told a story (around the 11:30 mark in the video below), about how her young daughter left a room “depressed” after catching a few moments of the South Korean Netflix series Squid Games while Sandra’s partner Bryan Randall was watching it.
The actor said that when she asked her daughter why she was so upset by the show, she assumed it was because of its violence.
But she was surprised by her daughter’s response: “‘I don’t want Dad to watch that … because there’s no Black people in it.’”
“The fact that that was fire in her belly made me so happy that she was already voicing,” Sandra said. “I let [my kids] teach me and tell me what they need to know. I thought I was educated and woke, I thought I had it all, and guess what, I wasn’t.”
Sandra also confessed that “as a white parent who loves her children more than life itself, I’m scared of everything,” admitting that she’s probably “laying all kinds of existential anxiety on them.”
But she said that not trying to isolate her son and daughter from the realities of being Black — such as “letting [them] see everything on television and letting [them] process it” — is the best way to care for them.
“I have to think about what they’re going to experience leaving the home. They’re going to have my fear, but how can I make sure my anxiety is accurate [and] protective?”
Sandra also shared fears she had over her son wearing a hoodie when he was only 6 years old.
“He popped that hoodie on his head and I went, ‘Ahhhhh,’” Sandra said with a shudder, referencing Trayvon Martin. In 2012, the 17-year-old Black child was shot and killed by neighbourhood watch member George Zimmerman because he thought the teen “looked suspicious” for wearing a hoodie.
Sandra elaborated on this story while talking to The Grio. She recounted that she told her son not to wear his hoodie in a particular way because people would be “scared” and react “differently” than if he “were a white boy.”
“At one point, sweet, funny Lou is going to be a young man, and the minute he leaves my home, I can’t follow him everywhere,” Sandra said on Red Table Talk, adding jokingly: “Though I will try.”
To hear more about Sandra’s experiences raising her children — including how people perceive a white woman raising two Black children and why she sometimes wishes her skin tone “matched” theirs — check out the entire episode of Red Table Talk above.
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