Being nine months pregnant is tough for any woman. Being a person of color is tough enough in America. But, for one Detroit woman, these two truths clashed together in the most horrible way when this pregnant mom was harassed while trying to induce her labor. Mikea Eberhart, a 33-year-old nurse expecting her third child, was walking through her neighborhood in Dearborn Heights with her two kids, a 12-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter. On Sunday, Eberhart — who was already nine months pregnant and ready to meet her baby — had been experiencing contractions. Eberhart did what a lot of eager nine month moms-to-be do to get her labor started: She went for a walk. What happened next is wrong on so many levels.
According to a Facebook post, Eberhart was about five or six blocks from her home between 8:30 and 9 a.m. when a pickup truck pulled up beside her as she walked with her kids. Eberhard told Fox 2 Detroit that someone from behind the wheel of the truck began to shout racial slurs at her over and over: "I was walking up the street… me and my two kids… a truck pulls up and says n**ger, n**ger, n**ger" — and then the situation only became more terrifying for Eberhart and her two kids from there.
Eberhart said she whipped out her phone and began broadcasting on Facebook Live. In the video, which has since been taken down from Eberhart's Facebook page, a woman on a nearby porch began to "racially intimidate" her and her kids, as she described it. "She was like, 'Step on my grass, n**ger. Go ahead, go ahead so I could shoot you,'" Eberhart told Fox 2. Speaking to WDIV-TV, she also said the unidentified woman shouted at her, "Get out of here, Detroit is that way."
The incident is beyond horrible, and of the many, many reasons Eberhart has to be upset and outraged, the fact that her kids had to encounter such brazen hatred is perhaps most upsetting to her. Her 13-year-old son told WDIV-TV the incident was scary, saying, "When she said she was going to shoot us, I was scared for my mom. She [the woman on the porch] had her purse like, I thought she was going to pull something out." His 12-year-old sister added, "I was scared, didn’t know people still look at us like that."
To her credit, Eberhart has responded in defense of her neighborhood. She posted to Facebook about her pride in her community, and how the people involved in the incident are in no way reflective of the entirety of Dearborn Heights. She called her community a place where neighbors "are all mixed in one where every other house you may get a different race," and that everyone not only sticks together, but that they "look out for each other and our kids play together." Amazingly, she refers to the people who racially threatened her in front of her children just "sour apples in the bunch," and that outsiders shouldn't judge her community by these two people who did such a disgusting thing to a pregnant mother.
For now, Eberhart doesn't have too much time to dwell on the awfulness of what happened to her — she welcomed a daughter two days later and now has a healthy 7-pound, 2-ounce newborn on her hands. Still, such a shameless display of such open racism can leave a lasting impact, especially for Eberhart's two older children. "Racism still exists and it’s very serious and it’s right in your neighborhood," she told Fox 2. No pregnant woman, no teenager — no human being, for that matter — should ever have to be subject to such viciousness.
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