When I date someone at this point in my life. I’m not dating them just to say I’m dating someone. I’m dating them with the intent to build, progress and have a romantic partnership. If somewhere along the lines it doesn’t work out, fine. But they’ll never be able to say I didn’t try to grow with them.
What should my wife and I tell our son when he wants to get something from the ice cream truck, go to the park with friends, or get some snacks from the store like white children do all over the country?
We have to escort him everywhere he needs and wants to go.
Not because there is necessarily power in numbers, or that as the adult in this relationship we cancel out all violent acts. Because we are still black, and at risk to the same fate as our son.
We have to escort him because as his parents we have to do everything in our power to KEEP HIM ALIVE.
What should we tell our daughter, who wants to get some ice cream at the truck, go to the park with her friends, or get some snacks from the store like her white counterparts?
We have to escort her everywhere as well.
Because America this Saturday, just told them that THEIR BLACKNESS is a problem. That their black bodies are targets for racial slurs, systemic injustice, and bullets. Bullets from people who are no more important, validated, or special than them.
America has said that they were born with a birth defect. As if blackness is a diseases that need to be eradicated.
Chains didn’t work. Whips didn’t work. Jim Crow didn’t work. A slated justice system hasn’t worked. Economic inequality hasn’t worked. Media blitzes of unfair and evil stereotypes hasn’t worked. Failing school systems haven’t worked, enhanced police tactics and surveillance have not worked.
But bullets do. Death works. And your black bodies are like magnets for untimely, unwarranted attack.
My wife and I will have to tell our black children the ills of this world that steal away childhood innocence.
The facts that increased education, wealth, status, and faith unlike white americans don’t move us up the socioeconomic ladder. Solidifying a person humanity and almost making them immune to profiling, rejection, and senseless murder.
That whatever status we achieve as a family on diminishes our chances of “getting caught on the wrong side of the tracks” or “appearing suspicious”. And that being black and doing those things is punishable by death.
And we as a black family are going to have to find a way to laugh, live, and love anyhow.
Separate and apart from the case that has drawn the nation’s attention, it’s time to question laws that senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods. (Cheers, applause.) These laws try to fix something that was never broken. There has always been a legal defense for using deadly force if — and the “if” is important — if no safe retreat is available.
But we must examine laws that take this further by eliminating the common-sense and age-old requirement that people who feel threatened have a duty to retreat, outside their home, if they can do so safely. By allowing and perhaps encouraging violent situations to escalate in public, such laws undermine public safety.
Holder’s remarks were made at the NAACP’s annual conference in Orlando—a 30-mile drive from Sanford, Florida, where the shooting and trial took place.