Will My Son Be Next?

August 9, 2018

 

I read. I research. I cry. I watch. I pray. I wonder…

Will my son be next?

Black, male, 133lbs, over 6 feet tall and just weeks away from turning 14 years old.

 

Will my son be next?

Playful, curious, intelligent, respectful, bright, brilliant, creative, outgoing, high energy….black, male, 133lbs, over 6 feet tall – just weeks away from turning 14…

 

Will my son be next?

In-school suspension, IEP, loud, disruptive, ADHD, anxiety, Central Processing Disorder, below grade level, divorced parents…black, male, 133lbs, over 6 feet tall – just weeks away from turning 14…

 

Will my son be next?

Basketball, video games, engineering, track & field, pizza, hamburgers, milkshakes, movies, popcorn, candy, K-Dot, Pac, Biggie, Tribe Called Quest, Future, Lil Uzi Vert…black, male, 133lbs, over 6 feet tall – just weeks away from turning 14…

 

Will my son be next?

Jordan’s, Polo, Khaki, dreads, hoody, mustache, baritone voice, dark-skinned, handsome…black, male, 133lbs, over 6 feet tall – just weeks away from turning 14…

 

Will my son by next?

Loving, affectionate, compassionate, emotional, sensitive, helpful, principal award, outstanding character, outstanding effort, friend, flexible, good manners, good heart…black, male, 133lbs, over 6 feet tall – just weeks away from turning 14…

 

Will my son be next?

Brother

Grandson

Nephew

Cousin

Friend

 

Son

 

My son

 

Will my son be next?

 

These words come pouring out of me, along with my tears.

Tears for the reality that I often wonder, will my son be next?

 

It’s hard to convey in words what this feels like.

Of course before I became a mother, I never had this thought.

But I cannot erase the fact that I am a mother of a black son (and a black daughter), just like I cannot deny that there is a classic story line that is told when a white male kills a black male.

 

                        I felt in fear of my life.

 

Fear.

Fear.

Fear.

 

I live in fear for my son’s life, and that his life will be cut short all because he is black, male, 133lbs, over 6 feet tall...and he is still growing. 

 

As the lyrics of Kendrick pump loudly through my headphones, telling me “We gon-be all right”, I find myself screaming on the inside….WHEN? WHEEEENNNNN???..Will we be all right?

 

Our society has walked on a broken leg, being held together by a Band-Aid, for hundreds of years. Limping along, in denial about the severity of the break, pretending to move forward. Expecting greatness but unwilling to get the proper medical attention necessary to examine, to acknowledge and to treat.  

 

Examine beliefs, attitudes, experiences and value systems.

 

Acknowledge systems, perceptions, and ideas.

 

Treat with love, patience, compassion, empathy, understanding, and awareness.

 

The pattern has become to address the problem of race by leaving it alone and not talking about it.

 

It’s all about race.

 

We need to talk about it.

 

I know it’s exhausting, but I have to talk about it.

 

I know it’s exhausting, but we need to talk about it.

 

Let's not wait until there is another tragedy

The problem is real. The time is now. 

Let's be strong. Let's be brave. Let's do the work. Let's talk.

 

 

Dr. James-Etta is Founder & CEO of Dr. James-Etta's Consulting Group, LLC.  Her agency helps schools, districts & organizations examine implicit and explicit bias in order to go from being blissfully unaware about cultural differences to being sensitive, authentic and fully engaged to support every student/parent and every client/consumer, regardless of background or circumstance. 

Dr. James-Etta specializes in qualitative data collection through self-examination, reflective writing and deep discussion to gain insight from multiple perspectives. 

Visit website to learn more: www.drjamesetta.com

 

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