Life

The One Lesson We Need to Teach Our Black Sons in 2016

Alton Sterling. Philando Castile. Terence Crutcher. Keith Lamar Scott. Those are just a few of the many Black men that were killed by police officers this year. While some may have been justified, others not so much, nobody deserves to die at the hands of the people that vowed to protect and serve us.

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I have a 9 year old Black son that thankfully has not given me any trouble when it comes to his behavior and manners. However, in light of the turbulent racial climate that we’ve witnessed in recent years, I make it a point to not only talk to him about the proper ways to handle authority but also assure him that just because he is a Black male that doesn’t make him less respected or less loved. With that, here’s the one lesson we need to teach our Black sons in 2016.

Respect and Obey the Police

Unfortunately, I feel that Black men represent crime in the eyes of some if not most police officers. Honestly, I cannot place all the blame on them. I have to place some of the fault on us, Black people. To represent such a small percentage of the population, we commit a lot of crime. That of course has to do with the circumstances such as poverty, lack of jobs and opportunities, we deal with.

The same way that we teach our children to respect their elders, we have to teach them to respect authority, especially the police. I am so tired and disturbed at watching video after video of Black men bleeding out, dying. The most recent, Terence Crutcher and Keith Scott, were shot and killed ultimately because they disobeyed the police. Although I cannot agree with Officer Shelby for fatally shooting Mr. Crutcher, I wish that he would have just answered the officers’ questions and complied with their requests. The same way I wish Mr. Scott would have put down his alleged gun when the police repeatedly demanded him to do so.

Mothers, grandmothers, aunts and sisters let’s encourage our Black sons to obey and respect the law and those that are put in place to enforce them. Maybe just maybe this will reduce their chances of being killed by the police.

Thoughts?

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Teni S.

12 Comments

Tareau Barron

It used to be “y’all all look like thugs.” Then it was “y’all don’t comply with the police.” I’m terrified of the police, not because of any wrongdoings on my part, because most of them are scared of us. How can I, as a tax paying law obeying citizen, trust some person of the fairer skin to serve and protect me, when they’re trained to be biased? There’s no more be courteous to police officers anymore because when we are we get killed. I agree with our community dropping the ball with alot of issues regarding crime. Like if you’re a drug dealer and you wave your gun at the police and the police end up killing you, how can I sympathise with that when public outrage wants to paint the drug dealer as the villian? Not every black man killed by the police deserved it. But we as black people have to say right is right wrong is wrong. Can’t compare Oscar Grant to Mario Woods. Best advise for your son, is to just live his life freely. Someone will hate him for being a black man in AMERICA and that’s the reality of it.

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It's A Black Girl Thing

I hear you on that. Our sons should live freely as long as its within the scope of the law. None of the men that were mentioned in the news lately deserved to die. I just wish the police were trained to shoot to injure not to kill IF and Only IF the subject has a weapon. Would you agree that WE need to start obeying the officers when they give us a command especially if the command is not harmful or demeaning to us??

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Tareau Barron

Obey or disobey, we end up dead. While white people interactions with the police never end tragic. At this day I feel like what’s the point anymore. Damned if I do Damned if I don’t. I think when the therapist in Florida of the autistic man got shot, I gave up.

It's A Black Girl Thing

I respect your opinion but can’t agree with it. I haven’t heard about more than one case in the news where the person complied and got shot besides the situation in FL. Even though the state of the racial climate is gloomy as hell, we have to speak positivity to our children. Teach them that all cops aren’t bad and if they come into contact with them, be respectful and obey them the same they would a teacher or their grandparents.
I enjoy reading your comments😉

Tareau Barron

Most definitely. I had that same thinking process until the Florida shooting. I’m not saying be disrespectful but we both know white offenders are treated 100% better than we are. Not a fan of antagonizing but as a black man you get tired of playing that “just comply and it’ll be over with, even if you didn’t do anything wrong.” So for now, I’m just staying in the house, not really engaging with a lot of people. For my sanity it’s better. But when I do go out, my awareness is 100 times greater.

eddiestarofficial

There is no solution to police brutality. Not even the presidential candidates will address it in an impactful way. The ugly truth is that we can only cross our fingers and hope we don’t encounter a rogue cop with a bad temper.

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It's A Black Girl Thing

Thanks for your comment.
One thing we have to keep in mind is that all cops aren’t bad the same as all Black people aren’t bad. If you haven’t already, listen to the Brilliant Idiots latest podcast episode. Charlamagne & Andrew Schultz discuss this topic interestingly.

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eddiestarofficial

I don’t agree much with Andrew Schultz. He has said some SWS stuff. All cops aren’t bad cops, but the bad cops need to be prosecuted and punished for their actions. Until that day, we will continue to keep seeing the same hash tags and protests.

Tareau Barron

It’s that brotherhood or the protect the shield mentality they have. I don’t know if it reached y’all but here in the bay area u dozens of police officers from different cities saw an at risk girl at 12. (See Celeste Guap) without their even being a word of violence, how can we not trust law enforcement when their shield is more important than public safety?*

Tareau Barron

Preach brotha

Darryl Walker Jr

First and foremost: the modern day police department traces its genealogical roots to the slave patrols of the American South. Criminal justice in America has ALWAYS been anti-black. There has never been a magical moment where policing became race-neutral. Your idea that black people just need to “respect” and “obey” the law/police conveniently omits the fact the police and the law are anti-black at their base.

Black people are not shot because of what they DO. Black people are shot because of who they ARE. Even when black people are obeying the law, not resisting, and just laying down on the ground – they are disproportionately shot. Inversely, even when white people are pointing guns at the police and endangering the lives of others (http://usuncut.com/black-lives-matter/armed-white-people-survive-cops/) – they disproportionately live. So obviously, it is not about what people DO, it is about who they ARE.

And if we accept the premise that there are some black people who disrespect the police and disrespect the law, this does not mean that killing is a legitimate response!

These discourses on respect and needing to obey the law are racist at the end of the day. No matter what people do, they are in violation of the law. There are two laws to existence in the western world: 1). be white and 2). if you cannot be white, do not be black. Thus, black folks are criminals because they EXIST in an anti-black world. The 13th Amendment did not abolish slavery, it simply allowed slavery to continue as long as black people were convicted of a crime. Please read up/study up on this. Talking about what black people are DOING (discourses on “respect” and “obeying” the law) is a rationalization and deflection of racism.

I invite you to read the litany of posts on my page that discuss structural racism, law, psychology, violence, and these police shootings. I look forward to your comments!

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