Children do not censor nor worry about political correctness. They just want to know the truth, as they understand it. Racism isn’t a truth, it’s built on lies. It is non sensical.
In the car, Elijah loves to play games. Recently he’s been playing slug bug, which then escalated to jack a jeep and kick a cop from friends and uncles who played it when they were kids. As we drive home Elijah shouts “kick a cop” as we drive past 6 police cars pulled over with no one else visible but two empty shoes and a jean jacket sprawled on the sidewalk. I cringe and feel sad.
“Baby, I don’t think that’s a good game to play. I know you don’t mean anything bad by it, but there’s been really hard things happening with cops and it might really hurt somebody to say that.”
“Why? What’s happening?” Innocently.
And a part of me does want to protect him from the ugly things in this world, but he’s old enough to ask and understand.
“Well there’s been a lot of bad things happening with some police men, at different times, shot black men without reason. Stopped them for something minor and wrongly shot them.
“Why mom? Did they just shoot them or did they die?”
“Two died last week and, well, you know how I’ve told you before that I don’t like you playing with toy guns, especially outside because sometimes police mistake them as real guns, well it’s like that sometimes, but it’s because of racism and fear I think. And so there were protesters…”
“What’s a protester mom?”
” It’s when people gather to stand up for something they believe in. They might hold signs and chant their beliefs out loud. People were protesting because something needs to change. Not all police are bad and I believe so many are really trying to protect people, but it’s happening more than it should. It shouldn’t happen at all. And so people protest. And so black guy shot and killed five police men who were at the protest because he was angry and upset about the police killing black men. So people might be sensitive about saying anything negative towards anyone right now. It sounds disrespectful.”
“Im brown momma, will the police shoot me?”
“I hope nothing bad ever happens to you. Just be good and don’t hurt anyone. I just want you to know so you know what’s happening. I just want you to be mindful and be aware. I love you.”
“Ok. I love you too.
Mom, why do they say black people? They look brown to me.”
“Yeah it shouldn’t matter though huh?”