I’ve watched the events in Ferguson, MO with dismay. My wife is from St. Louis and several of her relatives lived in Ferguson. I’ve visited the city many times and I have wonderful memories of spending time with our family. I’m deeply troubled that one of my cousins or uncles could have suffered the same fate that Mike Brown did. What scares me more is that it could happen to my sons.
I often worry about their safety and well-being. Knowing that someone could take my boys’ lives because of their race frightens me. My sons are kind, considerate, respectful, and loving. Unfortunately some people will never get to know these characteristics because they have preconceived notions about how they will behave. I desperately want people to take Martin Luther King’s words to heart and judge my sons on the content of their character instead of the color of their skin.
In this segment on Fox 26 Houston, I discussed this important topic with Anchor Jose Grinan, Marcus Davis, owner of The Breakfast Klub, and Jolanda Jones, lawyer and former Houston City Council member.
I want my sons to live in world where they do not have to bear a shadow of suspicion. I’ve lived much of my life with this shadow looming over me. I’ve been followed in stores. Taxi drivers have refused to pick me up. Police officers have harassed me more times than I care to remember (An officer once pointed an automatic weapon inches from my face because I didn’t move fast enough for his liking). Because of these experiences, I can understand the protester’s rage. I feel it sometimes. However, I hang on to the fact that we can create a better world if we all put aside our biases and learn to stand up for injustices whenever they occur. Until then, I will hug my sons a little tighter and do my best to protect them. But sometimes I worry that my efforts will not be enough to keep them safe.