“Here is what I would like for you to know: In America, it is traditional to destroy the black body—it is heritage.” – Ta-Nehisi Coates
I remember when I read Coates’ “Between The World And Me”, that most of the time I wanted to cry. It did not invoke the rage that it should have, it just was overwhelmingly sad. Being a parent and having to tell your child that they are always at risk of being killed by the forces that are supposed to protect us is crushing.
Parents encourage their children to go out into the world and to achieve all that they can. We ask our children to compete in all venues and to not let anything stand in their way to a successful life. That’s what parents are supposed to do, encourage their children to reach for the stars.
But, there is one more thing that parents of color have to do. They have to teach their children that in the United States the police still operate like they did a hundred years ago.
A six-foot Harvard graduate is a threat if he’s black, not a successful member of the community. How we change the zeitgeist of the police is the question. Clearly more officers of color would help, internally and externally. Actually being partnered with a person of color should help the police temper their individual animosities.
Clearly there needs to be a nation wide movement spearheaded by the “powers that be” to correct the problem. I remember Watts and Harlem too well, I’d like to not return to that period of time.