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Thursday, May 24, 2018
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Letter of the Day

'Blatant disregard for young black men's lives'

The deaths of so many African-American males have been running through my mind over and over. My son is 16, 6 feet tall, 190 pounds, and a young black and white - black to the world - man. He loves rap music, trendy clothes and hairdos. Even though we frequently go over the "you're a young black man, act accordingly" rule book, I imagine that when he's with his friends, they play loud music, laugh loudly and do the crazy things that teenage boys of all colors do.

Every minute that my son is not in my house is every minute that I'm afraid he won't come home. Not because he doesn't want to, but because he may be a threat without threatening anyone. Do you know what that feels like? The anxiety that won't allow you to sit still? My son has the right to go to the store to buy chips just like you have the right to go in and buy wine and cigarettes. My son has the right to walk the streets that I pay taxes for, and oh, but I'd better keep him locked in because some people think that they and their guns own the streets.

Understand, it's not about protecting yourself. We own guns, and I'd even use one if I absolutely had to. No, this is about the blatant disregard for young black men's lives - the ones who are doing nothing more than minding their own business when they are approached, their lives taken, and then they are labeled thugs. That's what this is about.

My second thought adds even more complexity. This complexity comes from the fact that some of these same people who feel threatened by my black son's existence are my "friends," and some are even my family. Will they ever attempt to understand?

That sweet boy is Trayvon Martin. He is Jordan Davis. If they can't understand, how, then, can this world?

Tamika McDonald


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