We all have dreams for our children. We hope they’ll grow up to be doctors. We want them to be lawyers. We know that one day, they could even become President.
While I have big dreams for my sons, I don’t ever want you to know their names.
I’d love for either of my boys to cure cancer. To become the first brothers serving on the Supreme Court at the same time. To commandeer the first shuttle taking civilians to vacation on Mars. I want my sons to be able to do anything they can possibly dream of, but I don’t want you to know their names for the wrong reasons.
Sean Bell. Michael Brown. Akai Gurley. Tamir Rice. Jerame Reid. Walter Scott. Freddie Gray. Eric Garner. Alton Sterling.
Household names, not because of anything that they did, but because of what was done to them. Known across the nation, not for their achievements, or their contributions to the world, or even how deeply they were loved–but known for the injustice they suffered at the hands of law enforcement.
A 2015 study by criminal justice researchers from the University of Louisville and the University of South Carolina found that of the 990 fatal shootings in 2015, “police exhibit shooter bias by falsely perceiving blacks to be a greater threat than non-blacks to their safety. Officers are perceiving a greater threat when encountered by unarmed black citizens.”
Fathers. Sons. Daughters. Children. One after another. Lost. Mourned. Hashtagged. #Justice for him, and him, and him, and her, and him, him, him…when does it stop? When are little black boys and girls allowed to grow into strong black men and women? When will it be okay for them to be brilliant? To be audacious? To just…be?When will it be okay for them to be brilliant? To be audacious? To just...be? Click To Tweet
I hope that my sons are allowed to be free. I hope that they can dream big dreams, and see those dreams become reality. I hope that they accomplish everything they ever set their minds to.
And I hope that you will never know their names.