Living in Fear- 2014

I had a situation this week. My 16-year-old son decided to skip school. This is how it all went down.
I’m just finishing up a workout session at the gym and I’m feeling great. I’m riding and singing, when off in the distance I see a male walking from the back. I say to myself,  if I didn’t know better, I’d say that was Brendan. I ride on and hit a few high notes. As I get closer I’m thinking wasn’t Brendan dressed like that when he left this morning? So I turn down the radio, you know, so I could see better. Don’t act like you have never done that before. As I pass this kid I realize it is Brendan! I did a U-turn that would make the best stunt driver jealous! So many things flashed through my mind in a matter of seconds. Maybe that’s not really him. Maybe he got clocked on the head and now he has amnesia, and he doesn’t even know he should be in school. Maybe he doesn’t realize that it’s  me and I see him(based upon his calm cool collected gait). But alas it is him, there is no sign of head trauma and he does know that he is caught. Well the gist of this portion of the story is I took him back to school because home would not have been a safe haven for him. He said there was no problem he just needed some air, so he decided to take a walk. Yep that was his story. We handled things at school and I went home.  So much later that evening we he arrived home, this is a snippet of the conversation.

Do you know how badly this could have turned out? Do you realize could have been the reason for yet another march. The topic of conversation on social media? You could have been the reason Al Sharpton knows my name. You do realize that you are in season, young unarmed black boy walking in the wrong place at the wrong time. All it took was for one person to look out of their front window and find you suspicious and call police. What would his approach be? Shoot first and come up with a reason why he felt his life was endangered later? That seems to be the go to story. Would you have run because you were afraid? Would he give chase or just shot you multiple times in the back? Those were my first thoughts. The fact that it’s wrong to skip class was not the top priority. The value of education and being responsible were not first and foremost either. The top item on the list was you could have been killed and for what, skipping class. This is the world we live in, in  2014, not 1914. I pray his eyes were opened to the reality of the world he must navigate and figure out a way to thrive therein.

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History repeats itself, there’s evidence of that.  Next will I have to tell my sons no, I was wrong, do not look people in the eye particularly white police officers they may feel threatened by that. And they will shoot to kill. Look at the ground, and make no sudden moves. Do not square up your shoulders and stand up straight and carry yourself with pride and respect. This could be viewed as a sign of aggression. Again, they will shoot to kill. Hunch your shoulders so as to appear smaller, weaker, submissive and unthreatening.

Since public executions seem to be on trend, what’s next? Segregation? Hangings?
This is not the world I envisioned my children growing up in. Things are supposed to be better for our children than they were for us. I’m thinking this could very well be the generation that breaks that trend. I live in fear for my children, who are being raised to be respectful and obedient. I live in fear for my children who are being raised in the United States of America. The home of the free and the brave? Innocent until proven guilty, where no one man is judge,  jury and executioner? Right?

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