|Westley and Jack|
I am worried about my sons.
I would like to think that they will get a fair shake in this county, but I don't.
I would like to believe that they will only be judged by their character and conduct, but I don't.
I would hope that one day they would get a job and be paid the same amount, receive the same recognition and be given the same opportunity as their caucasian counterparts, but I don't.
The events that have taken place over the last year in this country have made me doubt the claim that African-Americans have come a long way.
I know what you're thinking. The media circus surrounding the Michael Brown shooting has me on edge. Well, you would be partially correct. As the story unfolds, you realize there is little "fact" to support the allegations that this young man threatened the police officer who shot him. What does seem obvious is that Michael Brown was shot, not because he threatened police, but because the police felt threatened by this tall African-American teenager. And now, instead of finding out the truth, all concern by authorities has been FOR the authorities and managing their reputation. The effort has been put into slandering Brown's character to give people a reason to believe he was a criminal. It's disgraceful.
Trayvon Martin was followed and subsequently killed because he "looked" suspicious. Why, because he was wearing a hoodie and carrying a watermelon drink? When is it going to stop being acceptable for African-Americans to be judged solely on their appearance? Why does our casual attire, or gestures or lifestyle have to mimic that of other cultures to keep from being considered ghetto? Why do we have to assimilate in order to be accepted? Meanwhile, those trying to look more urban get accolades and awards for twerking?? I don't get it.
|Jack with his hoodie on|
Any day of the week, my oldest could look "suspicious" by a wearing a hoodie and larger-than-necessary shorts. But anyone who has even met Jack would know that he is the furthest thing you could get from a thug. As a matter of fact, he would argue over whether thug was even a real word since there is no reference to its Latin origin.
Wes is certainly a lady killer, but I doubt very seriously he would ever actually hurt anyone. He apologizes when he steps on bugs!
|Wes and the babysitter|
Don't get me wrong. I am not making a blanket statement or judging all of humanity by these incidents. But less face it. They are not exactly isolated incidents. In my humble opinion, there is sufficient evidence for concern.
I'm hurt that the conversation I have with my sons about how to interact with police will probably be completely different than some of the other moms I know. I'm a little disturbed that I will have to explain to them that it may not be in their best interest to cooperate with authorities on questions they might have. Instead, call a lawyer first and me second should anything happen. I realize the chances of any of this happening to them is small, but the opportunity is still there.
I am worried about my sons. They deserve better than what they are probably going to get out of being black men in this country. I'm scared that no matter what their father and I do to ensure that they are well-educated, well-rounded boys, it won't matter. They'll still receive the short end of the stick. This is one of few times that I pray I am completely off base.