OMG, HE’S SO CUTE!!!! NOW!
Everyone comments on my son’s beautiful skin, his adorable curls. But I ask you this–what about when he’s 25, and his skin gets darker and his curls get tighter… what if he’s wearing baggy pants, maybe a hoodie or a baseball cap… will you lock your car doors or cross the street if he’s heading in your direction? Will you embrace and welcome him when he’s a full grown black man? Will you value his life the same way you value mine [as a white woman] Or like his Dad’s… [a black man] who gets pulled over for “following too closely” (at a stoplight) or for doing 3 miles per hour over the speed limit. Will you smile and take his ID and insurance card like you do mine? Or will you ask if he has warrants before even asking for his license, like his Dad? Will you make him get out of the car to check if it’s stolen? Will you shoot him if he gets an attitude… or while he’s handcuffed? When you see him on the street with his black friends, will you feel the same as when you see a group of white men? Will my son still be cute to you then? Will his life be as precious to you then as it is now, while he’s deemed harmless and not intimidating? Think about the human beings you are judging. Think about them being someone’s sweet baby, someone’s brother or sister, someone’s nephew or niece. This is not about just Police. This is about all of us and how we shape our opinions and views of the world and its people. Our children are watching. I have the privilege of knowing some selfless, brave and admirable police officers. I respect them and trust them with my safety and that of my family. I know that one bad egg doesn’t ruin the whole dozen. This is a real, systemic problem that has started at home for each of us. Human beings need to be held accountable, police are no exception as they too, are human. So when you scroll past the inevitable stream of media regarding another white officer shooting a black man, or any ethnic, religious, or LGBT group that’s been targeted by hate crimes, I ask you to look inward and pay attention. My son needs your love not your ignorance, your compassion not your judgement. Have courage to stand next to someone who is fighting this very real battle for understanding, hug someone who is struggling from the pain and injustices they have faced. You might think, it’s not you, it’s not your family… but what if it were? Would you still stand by silently and let “someone else deal with it” or would you do everything within your power to change it for someone you care about?