I am sure you all have heard about the 18 year-old African American, Michael Brown, from Ferguson, Missouri, who was killed by an Officer Darren Wilson, on Aug. 09, 2014.
I cried when I first heard the news and asked myself this question: “If Michael was my son, and if I happened to be at the scene before Michael hit the ground, what would I say to Officer Wilson?”
It didn’t take me too long to come up with an answer because I’m a mother of two young handsome black boys.
While my tears were rolling down my face, I said to myself,
“I will say this to Officer Wilson: Officer, I don’t deny the fact that my son was out of line; I am not here to save him from receiving the punishment he deserves for the unlawful things he committed but Officer Wilson, please don’t shoot my son. If he is over powering you physically, shoot him at his leg but please don’t shoot him at his chest or head. He is my son! Please don’t!”
Eric Garner, a 43 year-old African American, was also killed on July 17, 2014 by the New York City Police Officers. How did they kill him? Watch it on YouTube if you have strength to watch someone being killed in a chokehold while saying “I can’t breath”. Watching the whole scene unfold hurts deep!
Eric and Michael are gone already; but who are the next Erics and Michaels?
Whenever there is something on the news related to this kind of incident, we sit down with our kids because we are black families. We talk about the issue in detail. We want to know what is “cooking” inside our kids’ brain. We don’t let the devil use the news to put them down in any way, form or shape. We don’t want our kids to start categorizing all white people as black people haters. At the same time, we don’t want them to be clue-less either about the presence of racism; about the few who despise all African descents.
Listen what an African-American Chairman and CEO of a $55 billion non-profit organization, Kaiser Permanente, Bernard J Tyson said:
“Years ago, my father taught me explicitly how to behave myself if ever confronted by a police officer and I experienced being disrespected in my early twenties by someone who was supposed to protect my rights. I hold to this day that the biggest battle within me was the rage at how I was being treated while having to do what my father told me and respond appropriately. If I acted out how I was feeling at the time, I might not be here today.”
Yes, we black parents of especially young boys need to train our sons how to respond to police officers, even for being pulled over on a highway (reason: for driving a nice and expensive car; no other reason).
We usually challenge our kids to prove all racial inferences wrong in their own private life, inferences such as: “Black girls are sex toys,” “Black young men are good for nothing except for sex;” or “all black men are sexually promiscuous;” or “All black people have no brain.”
Whether we see racism this way or that way, the core of it is a sinful human heart. And a sinful human heart can only be won over by good.
So, let’s train our kids how to win evil with good. How? By equipping them with the truth of God!
But if we parents don’t have the truth of God in our hearts, to anchor us whenever our boats are shaken by this kind of news, how can we help our kids? We can’t!
We first need to arm ourselves with the Word of God daily so that we know how to train our kids how to respond back to racism. Then instead of letting the news shake their world, they know how to use it to challenge them to excel on the talents and gifts God already put in their hearts.
There is only one race the Bible is talking about and that race is called a human race! Keep telling your kids this truth.
While we equip our kids with the Word of God, let’s also remember, just like Mr. Tyson’s father, to specifically train our boys when and how to say, “Hands up! Don’t shoot!”
After our kids follow through the instruction and still become victims of race, their innocent blood will have a loud voice before God; a God of the avenger of the innocent.
Always remember: Justice is always being served by a Just God; not by a mere man. ///