To most, my 1-year-old son would not be considered a threat, or rather, a scary force to be reckoned with.
He is a child, he is handsome, he is innocent.
But so was Trayvon. So was Ahmaud. So was George.
People see “others” when they are confronted with atrocities like the ones befallen the three men I’ve mentioned; or the countless African Americans who have lost their lives because someone thought of them as “less than.”
But I don’t see “others.”
Each one, a child. Each one, handsome. Each one, innocent.
But they will grow up. They will become the men society has deemed as threats.
And guess what, even then, they will still be someone’s child. They will still be handsome black men. And they may still be innocent.
Innocent in the sense that no one has the right to take their lives.
No one has the right to snuff out their light.
NO ONE has the right to allow their ignorant, weak, disgusting fear to determine whether a black man can return to his family, alive and well.
I assure you, I will not sit by while my people are hunted down. I will speak out, boycott, donate, march, and FIGHT before I let anything happen to the men in my life. I will protest for those who have fallen and protect those who are still standing. And I am one of many because WE have had ENOUGH.
I am SURE when the lives of these beautiful black men were tragically taken, their mothers found themselves staring, longingly at the baby pictures reflecting the boys these black men used to be (or in Trayvon’s case, the younger form of the boy he still was).
They look into those big innocent eyes, their carefree smiles, and the promise of life in their youthful faces; and WISH that everyone could see the innocent child they brought into this world – before some murdering fool decided to take them out of it.
Because let’s face it, my son doesn’t scare you now…but will you hold on to that same perspective when he grows into the man he’s destined to be?
I hope, for your sake, you do.