I was making my morning coffee. I walked up to my husband and asked if he had read the news. He said yes and he was thinking about what to do. Neither of us had to inquire with the other about what part of the news we were referring to. We both had the same look. The look of parents who are scared. There has been too many reports of dead black men. We are both paying attention and we are both scared. We are both looking for solutions.
As a parent, if you knew that your child was walking into a life threatening situation what would you do? The answer is obvious…you would stop them, by force if necessary. You would talk to them, yelling if necessary “ No you are not going to jump in front of that train!” What if the danger is walking outside of the house? What happens when you realize that the authority figures, the people with guns that everyone respects, will not hesitate to kill your kid? They will kill him even though he is a has a GPA of 3.98. They will kill him even though he has never committed any crimes. They will kill him even if he doesn’t resist in any way. And when you are mourning the death of your child they will start lying about what happened. They will say that he resisted arrest. They will say that he was endangering their lives, and unless there is solid proof to the contrary, everyone will believe them. Hopefully a cell phone recording is somewhere because if it isn’t then it will be my dead son, your dead son, versus the respected authority figure. My husband and I sat in the kitchen looking at each other and this is the picture that we are looking at.
My husband is a planner. He is thinking of all of the options. How do we keep our son alive? His solution: We will contribute to a police fund, get a sticker and put it on our kid’s car. We support the police. My son is not a criminal, in fact, he likes and supports the police. I love it! This way if the police pull him over they realize that he is on their side. We also come up with a plan to talk to him about what to do if the police pull him over. I find a great video and now we feel more equipped to deal with the problem. We realize that these steps may not be enough to save his life, but they are steps in the right direction. We are both relieved. We are sad. We are angry. This is not ok.