Every parent of a child of color lives, every day, in fear that a hoodie, a certain gait or an offhand remark might inspire authorities to see menace, and to strike with lethal force. I can't begin to know how to explain that to my son, now 11 and brown-skinned and beginning to look like some of the older kids I see in news reports like those from Ferguson.
Every parent in the nation should live with unease over the sustained and wretched dehumanization that assigns expendability to some children. Can we respect each other, let alone live together, if it's OK to kill some of our kids?
We are required to go deeper — back to promises made to all Americans but unfulfilled, still, for African Americans. We are required to look broader — to the swelling number of incidents that remind us, not in isolation, of how easily and without consequence black life can be taken. And we are required to think harder — about who we are as a nation, and whether we can ever reconcile enough of our history to create a future built around the idea of justice.
As black people, America breaks our hearts over and over again. No group has more reason to resent this country's very existence, built as it was on the notion of unmovable racial inferiority. And yet, no Americans have persevered so much, for so long — journeying from three-fifths of a man to president of the U.S. in just more than 200 years.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Freep: Why Ferguson outcome should haunt every parent
From Stephen Henderson at the Detroit Free Press: