Dear Abby,

Savannah Worley
4 min readAug 29, 2020

I have several questions for you in regards to your YouTube video where you talked about your biracial son. I watched the video in its entirety before it was taken down.

Abby Johnson (Screenshot from YouTube)

At the beginning of the video, you complained about how people have asked you, a high-profile Republican white mother of a brown son, to both be quiet and speak up in regards to racial profiling within law enforcement.

I would like to thank you for speaking up. It makes things so much easier when people reveal who they really are.

You fondly talked about your son, Jude, gushing over what an adorable little brown boy he is. You went on and on about his cuteness and how his darker skin is an asset to that characteristic.

I couldn’t help but to notice you said nothing else positive about him. The only thing you talked about is how cute he looks (and I have no doubt he’s adorable). You never mentioned his personality, his hobbies, any accomplishments he’s made, or any other characteristics parents usually talk about while bragging about their kids.

I have some questions about this: Is Jude’s skin color and looks the only thing you acknowledge about him? Or is Jude not a child at all? Is he just a brand-new, beautiful scarf you bought for yourself — a mere accessory?

The way you objectified your son isn’t anything new — I’ve heard many white mothers do the same towards their biracial kids. I can tell you from personal experience that it leads to a ton of mental, emotional, self-image, and self-esteem issues.

I have a feeling that Jude will (and likely already does) struggle with these issues. Are you aware of the effects of your objectifying Jude? Don’t you want him to be mentally and emotionally healthy? Or, again, is Jude just a scarf?

After you emphasized his adorableness, you went on to say Jude might not stay cute. You said, “He’s going to grow up, and he’s going to be a tall, probably sort of large, intimidating-looking-maybe, brown man. And my other boys are probably gonna look like nerdy white guys.”

This brings up many other questions for me: Because you seem to value Jude as an “adorable brown boy,” will you no longer value him when he grows up? Will he be “intimidating” to you?

You advocating for racial profiling also suggests that white people shouldn’t be scrutinized as harshly as black people are (even if the black people are nerdy). Have you heard of Jeffrey Dahmer? He one of many violent criminals who alluded law enforcement for years because of his “meek” demeanor. He looked nerdy too, don’t you think?

Have you ever considered racial profiling not only ensures unfair and unequal treatment for black and brown people, but it allows other criminals to roam free because they appear to be “non-threatening,” “non-intimidating,” and “innocent” because they have white skin?

Here’s another example: Let’s say all of your sons end up becoming drug-dealing criminals (I am not saying they will, so don’t get offended. This is just hypothetical). Do you think it would be okay for law enforcement to not investigate your white sons because they appear “innocent (i.e., they’re white)?” Do you think it would be okay for them to only investigate your brown son, possibly giving him harsher punishment than they would give your white sons if they were ever caught?

Are you considering a career in law enforcement? If so, I would advise against it. Your idea of promoting racial profiling seems to allow more crime to happen rather than stopping it.

You also mentioned in your video there are more black people imprisoned than white people — a common argument white supremacists use to justify their belief that the darker your skin, the more likely you’ll be a criminal. This suggests that skin color is a factor in making a person a criminal.

So, some more questions: You said that you loved research. Were you aware most notable researchers and organizations, including the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, cite poverty as a major catalyst for crime, not the color of someone’s skin? In fact, the BJS noted between the years 2008–2012, poor urban white people have the same rates of violence as poor urban black people. Don’t you think that’s interesting?

Maybe you should ask yourself this: What if police officers scrutinize and punish white people as much as they do black people? You don’t think it’s possible that the prison population would even out, with more white people being imprisoned? You don’t think judging white skin as “innocent” is also a factor as to why there there appears to be more black people in prisons?

Here are my final questions: Do you really believe you deserve Jude’s love and respect? Do you think you deserve the privilege of being his mother, with you seemingly-proudly stating racially profiling him is “smart?”

I really don’t expect you to answer any of these questions. In fact, I have a good idea what your answer will be.

All throughout your video, I didn’t see you value life. I didn’t see you value justice. I didn’t see you value safety. I didn’t see you value truth. I didn’t even see you value any of your children.

I just saw a white mother who values white supremacy above all else.

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Savannah Worley

Essayist who writes about social justice, racism, and mental health | she/her | Buy me a coffee: https://ko-fi.com/skworley