Protecting Our Kids from Becoming the Next Trayvon Martin
I was reading Racism Review earlier this week and came across a really interesting article about how we put limits on our children in order to protect them. Maybe we don’t let them go out past 9pm or pre-approve their friends, but what about all of the parents who have to set limits beyond the normal expectations. Limits that they enforce because they fear for their children’s safety when society can’t be trusted to treat them as equals. Here’s an excerpt and I recommend heading over for a read. I’m sure many parents have this fear on their mind. Wanting to protect our kids, and yet hating that we have to limit them because the rest of the world doesn’t believe in the same justice that we do. What would you do?
Excerpt from Racism Review:
The fact that my son walks through the world looking suspicious just because of who he is, because of his body, just destroys me sometimes. It makes me want to hold him close, to limit his movements, to tell him, no…you can’t go out.
“Mom, why? Don’t you trust me?” “It’s not you baby… It’s not you.” How many mothers and fathers have had this talk with their sons? Did Trayvon’s mother have that talk with him? “Son, when you’re out in the world, people don’t just see you as you are.” “Boy, when you’re in a store, make sure you don’t look like you could be stealing anything.” “My son, if the police stop you, make sure you cooperate.” “Baby, when you’re in public…not too loud, not too fast, not too slow, don’t look at them in the eye, step off the curb, shuffle your feet, cooperate, lay down, smile—but not too hard or too long, put your hands behind your back, pull your pants up, take your hood down BECAUSE THEY ARE KILLING BLACK BABIES OUT HERE.”
Read more on Racism Review – How Does it Feel to be a Problem? A Reflection on Trayvon Martin