Let’s get this out of the way, there have been far too many senseless murders these past 2 years involving black people. It’s gotten out of control and the government seems to have no interest in protecting their people.
As I see videos online of policemen harassing young black men on the street for not paying bus tickets, then cooperating with the police while they continue to assault them.
As I read articles about cops, local “neighborhood watchmen” and aggravated white men taking out their rage on black teenage boys, such as 17 year old Trayvon Martin‘s tragic murder at the hands of George Zimmerman.
And 16-year-old Kimani Grey being shot 11 times by police last March on the streets of Brooklyn, I grow weary about where I will raise a son if ever I have one.
And even the completely unnecessary death of poor Renisha McBride, who was shot in the head when she was seeking help after being in a traumatic car accident.
Whenever I bring this subject up with my parents, they automatically scoff and tell me I’m overreacting, that this has been happening for years, and that it won’t last forever. So what’s the point? To me, the point is that when I see these boys I don’t just see murder–I see young boys that look like my cousins, my uncles and my father being gunned down due to white fear.
I personally think that my parents don’t understand my fears because they have two daughters who are relatively speaking “fair” skinned compared with each of the victims of these crimes. And while neither I or anyone in my immediate family has suffered at the hands of racial profiling and police brutality in a major way, I don’t know if it’s a risk I’d be willing to take once I have a child.
Now, I’m only 22 and have absolutely no plans to have children any time soon. And I’ll admit that I don’t know everything about the world, but I don’t believe any child should have to constantly keep themselves in check so they won’t scare a white person, police officer or neighborhood watchmen. I would simply like to raise a black male child who can walk down the street without the possibility of him becoming a statistic. That shouldn’t be too much to ask, but it seems these days it is.
My cousin wrote something that really stuck with me on his Facebook following the Trayvon Martin trial, I’m paraphrasing but I believe the quote went: “You can’t expect a system that wasn’t designed for you to protect you.” And following the deaths of these men, I can’t help but see these words as truth. I don’t expect a justice system that would allow the men who did this:
To a 14-year-old boy named Emmett Till to walk free. So no, I can’t say I know where I will be raising my sons in the future if I have them, but unless there are some major changes it certainly won’t be here.
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