The tragic shooting death of Michael Brown and its violent, destructive aftermath are raising a lot of questions about police-involved killings, police militarization, First Amendment rights and much more.
Somewhat lost among the bleak headlines are that black families often prepare their children, especially their sons, for how to interact with police.
#IGotTheTalk and #IGaveTheTalk are trending on Twitter as more families shine a light something people may not even realize happens across America every day.
My pops told me that in the eyes of a lot of police I was born with 1 strike of being black. #iGotTheTalk— Daniel RiP Dantzler (@DanielDantzler) August 15, 2014
#IGotTheTalk to have my wallet ready & out when I drive so when police pull me over, they don't think I'm digging for a gun in my pocket.— José (@modernjam) August 12, 2014
I am an educated black woman with an educated son and he knows brains and middle class status is no block to police harassment #IGotTheTalk— Marolyn Lucy Gentles (@melroads) August 15, 2014
HANDS UP DON'T SHOOT: Incredible photo of Ferguson last night. Via Scott Olson pic.twitter.com/hv3sRmUFSS— PzFeed Top News (@PzFeed) August 19, 2014
#IGotTheTalk they told me be respectful, don't instigate & don't antagonize.— I am Corey Marshall (@silvermic101) August 15, 2014
#IGotTheTalk Being multiracial doesn't keep you from being a target. "Stay still, eyes forward, don't engage, stay safe"— Edmo (@EdmoSound) August 15, 2014
Parents please give you kids the talk #IGotTheTalk we can't control the ACTIONS of over aggressive law cop but we can control our REACTIONS— marlon wayans (@MarlonWayans) August 15, 2014
That this talk even needs to happen, that it happened long before Mike Brown and will continue after, is itself tragic. Black youth are often targets of cops rather than people to be protected. So many people have asked "How can we live in a country that [fill in the blank]..." while viewing scenes from Ferguson.
Well, how can we live in a country where black families have to have "the talk" as a matter of course with their children to prevent exactly the type of senseless killing Mike Brown faced?