My brother was 10 years old when he was stopped by 2 white police officers in a North Carolina town. He had been jogging home after getting out of the car driven by my uncle. Apparently someone had reported a bicycle stolen and reported the perpetrator as being a black man. Fortunately, my uncle was following close behind and upon seeing the red lights and my brother standing with the officers, he stopped. They were questioning my brother as to why he was running if he had done nothing wrong. My uncle told the officers unless they had some reason to hold my brother, he would be taking him home. When word got to my father who was away, he was furious. I think about the fear and confusion my brother must have felt standing there alone at the age of 10 being questioned as a common criminal. I think what would have been the outcome had my uncle not appeared. I think of today the fear that is felt by minorities when they see those red lights summoning them to pull over. There was a time black parents would tell their children that the policeman is your friend, he or she is there to help you. Now black parents are educating their children on the rules of engagement and how to come out alive when stopped by police. Thirty years ago the officers equated a brown boy jogging with committing a crime. Some things never change. A very sad state of affairs.
sculptor, adventurer and all around bon vivant
I just so happen to be meandering through a Facebook friends friends list and came upon your name and begin to read your blog. I must admit, upon reading it, I connected with you and I began to cry! And I will share it. And although I don’t know you, I have had a son who will be 40 on his next birthday, and has spent year’s of his life questioned by police, being arrested, incarceration. I wonder what his life would be like if he had not been born the son of a black man and the son of a white woman. Legally he’s called my step son. However I am embrace him as my son. I think I stumbled upon this blog today, no not stumbled rather madel my way here, because I’d like to think that things are changing; and that my son with the love of his father and me will escape Escape the brutalities of people’s perceived imaginations. And instead will see himself as a man created to enjoy his life as your brother escaped this incident alive yet etched in his memory the life lessons of racism.
I am glad you made your way to the blog. Unfortunately in our society our children are having to see the realities of racism at a younger and more innocent age. I have high hopes that one day in our lifetimes people will be valued by their character and heart instead of the color of their skin. Thank you for taking the time to read and please do share.