As my son sits on the couch I’m not sure what to say. There are so many things I need to tell him. I need him to understand that this talk we are about to have is one that will save his life. I need him to know that he needs to take me seriously, he needs to absorb this information like a sponge and carry it with him every where he goes. I’m about to have “The Talk!” with my son.
As parents we will have plenty of talks with our children. There is a talk for just about everything they go through, as their parent we have to become the expert to introduce them to the information they need. This past week Black-ish and Grey’s Anatomy brought to light “The Talk” African-American parents have had to give there children since birth. “The Talk” brings to light how African American young men are viewed by society/police and as of late we’ve had to begin giving this same conversation to our daughters. It’s a sad but true fact police brutality is alive and well in our community. “The Talk” is real in our homes, it’s not something we joke about, it’s not something that we are being dramatic about, the fact is just like parents in other cultures we want our kids to go out into the world and be the best them they can be and we want them to come back home and tell of their adventures and how they plan to conquer the world and achieve their goals. All too often though African American children/adults are not making it home to tell these stories. Between street violence and police brutality we are losing more of us with each passing day.
Now some will say that we kill each other everyday, this would not be a lie. Street violence has and still is running rampant in our communities. Due to poverty, lack of parental supervision, generational gaps, our communities have been plagued by violence. We give this talk to our children as well. The difference between street violence and police brutality is that the police take an oath to protect and serve, that oath of protecting and serving does not say I have be a specific ethnicity, it’s suppose to cover us all. BUT IT DOES NOT! Lack of training, racism, lack of African Americans taking the police exam, contribute to our children not making it home to tell their stories. It’s disheartening that this is still a talk I have to give and unless things change drastically I will have to give this talk to my youngest daughter as well.
My talk- 1. Listen to each of their commands and follow them, 2. Answer questions that are asked about your biographical information, questions beyond that ask them to call your parent. DO NOT TALK TO THEM WITHOUT ME, 3. If you need to move tell them what you are doing with each motion, let them know what you are about to touch and why, 4. DO NOT SPEAK WITH ANGER, 5. In the silence of your mind say a prayer and ask God to help you make it home safely.
This may seem like common sense, but just imagine as a child having someone point a gun at you, asking you questions, accusing you, maybe even threatening you, would you know what to do? I’m not looking for sympathy, I’m looking for people to wake up and realize that we are not equal and until we address these issues in our communities we will never be equal. My hope is to spark conversation about how we can change so that this talk becomes unnecessary. Until then leave in the comments how you have handled talks in your family.
(Grey’s Anatomy- S14 E10 Personal Jesus, Black-ish- S4E12 Bow Knows)