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At What Age Will My Son Become A Threat?

At What Age Will My Son Become A Threat?

I’m numb right now. I have been ever since the news broke of the two African American men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castle, being shot and killed within 24 hours of each other. And then the news of the Dallas Police killings/shootings. I just can’t focus on much and I want to be honest about it.
 
My son, who turned 8 last week, is in Ohio where I can’t grab him and hug him. But my husband is here with me. Affected. I see it in his moves. His words. His gaze.
 
He said something to me (which I’ll keep private) that reminds me that he isn’t exempt from being a target. Him, a victim. Me, widow.
 
Never mind his name being plastered on the walls of his high school, The Thacher School. Never mind him being co-president of his class at Amherst College. Never mind him graduating with honors from Columbia Law School. Never mind him being a great father, son, husband. It doesn’t matter when a gun is being pointed at you.
 
“Can I see your resume and paycheck stub?” said no cop ever.
 
When it comes down to it, he’s just another black man. An instant threat. And this isn’t the world anyone should live in. But it’s a reality. His reality. Our reality.
 
I thought we were past this. Didn’t our parents fight, march, protest for a better life?
 
My cousin, an Army veteran who did several tours in Iraq, once drove a Jaguar. He has since sold it because he kept getting pulled over by cops thinking was a drug dealer.
 
As a mom blogger, I’m part of several online communities of other bloggers, of all different races. We speak about different topics. One group is on fire with today’s events, and others are business-as-usual. This reminds me that we all live different lives.
 
I see my fellow black moms hurting. I’m hurting. I see my non-black friends hurting. And I see those who are keeping silent.
 
Here are some of my favorite posts and quotes from black moms:
 
1. Tiffany from My Mommy Vents – I Don’t Want You to Know My Son’s Name
 
 
 
4. Mommy Delicious – I Am In Mourning
 
What we’re feeling:
 
Erica – Mom of two boys:
I just had to explain to my 5-year-old that mommy and daddy won’t get shot, because he asked me what he and his brother should do if we get shot and die. Raise your hand, white person, if you just had the same conversation with your kid tonight. I’m on one tonight…try me.
 
Tomiko – Now “Our Men” are getting shot because of bad parenting. I really need for everyone to see this for what it is. We literally watched (well I couldn’t) videos where men were gunned down--not just one shot, but multiple shots--and then left to die!! Please tell me how I can parent to avoid this!!!! #StillAngry
 
Dana – Yesterday, I had to dig deep. I stayed home (personal day) and watched my kids play without care or worry in our backyard. I struggled with the question, how do I teach and protect you? Not just from the hateful and ugly actions of others, but how do I protect you from the sadness and pain of knowing.  Yesterday, I had to dig deep. 
 
Me – Wondering when this cute face will become a threat.
 
Kimberly Thomson 
 


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