Childhood lessons: Look both ways when crossing the street. Cover your head when outside in chilly weather. Never talk to strangers.
Unfortunately, childhood lessons for black youth have never been this simple, and in 2014 they aren’t getting any easier. During slavery times, minding the master and mistress came above minding your parents. During the civil rights era, early life lessons included always making sure you were in the proper racial areas of public establishments. Fast forward to the new millennium and now early life lessons include not walking too slow when out in public, but not walking too fast either. Has much changed?
We have the right to vote, the south has been integrated (at least a part of it has), and a man with African roots is currently the President. We’re finally in a nation that recognizes “liberty and justice for all”!! Right? Wrong! This nation is still divided according to the underlying theme of “white purity”. Families are being ripped apart by this “justice” that sends people of color straight to prison without so much as a second glance, and mothers are mourning the loss of sons who had just begun to live. The Black Man’s life is still seen as inferior and less deserving. Less deserving of proper education, less deserving of protection, less deserving of freedom, and less deserving of JUSTICE.
Now is that right? It’s time to wake up people. It’s time to stop being so comfortable with the strides made towards equality by the generations before us. It’s time to proclaim that our WORTH is so much more than just that as compared to our white counterparts. Too many sons have already been lost, and it is clear that more will come. It is being broadcast LOUD and CLEAR by our justice system that the MURDERS of black youth are TOLERABLE; that the human lives of our sons are not important enough to protect; that justice in such cases WILL NOT be served.
Who’s next? Emmitt Till. Trayvon Martin. <input your son’s name here>…. <input your brother’s name here>…. <input YOUR name here>….
It’s time to make some noise! Let’s not wait until more young lives have been ended. Start the conversations in your workplaces, book clubs, churches, etc. Saving the lives of our sons is not a fad, it’s a necessity.