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Thu Mar 22, 2012, 12:20 PM

The "talk"

One of my bowling buddies told me about how upset he & his wife were when they had to have "the talk" with their sons.

Not the talk about sex or drugs or gangs..

THE TALK was about personal safety when they were outside their "home space".

He said it was humiliating for them to have to tell their boys (then 12 & 14) about how insignificant their lives were to "some people".

That the same people who would cheer them on as they played soccer/football/baseball, might not "recognize" them at night as they walked/drove through town, or might not help them in an emergency situation.

My friend is a CPA and his wife an attorney. They have lived most of their lives (and all of their kids' lives) in a very nice suburban setting, where everyone is friendly, but they also know that at night, people tend to get "scared".

He also had to tell them that as they began to want to drive, there were different rules for them, because they could never know which cop might be the one who would stop them or what kind of treatment they might get.

What bothered them the most was that they had MORE fear for their kids in suburban , modern America, than when they were kids in the segregated South.

Back then the "rules" were drilled into them from birth, and they grew up knowing "their place". Their kids grew up believing that they could do anything, achieve anything, and travel about without fear....and they could...as unassuming little kids, but once they started to reach adult proportions, it all changed in a blink of an eye.

His sons are now grown, but their teen years were horrifyingly tense for the family, and every time they left the house to go do normal teen-things, he and his wife always waited up because they never knew when something might happen, and his wife said she would never forgive herself if she had been asleep in her bed as her child lay dying somewhere.


...................................

I posted this the other day as a response, but since then I have seen more and more people on tv coming out to tell their stories too, I thought I'd repost it as a stand-alone

The whole "Harvard Prof/White house beer summit" should have reminded us all about this stuff, but then no one died that day, so it was little more than a way to embarrass Obama for speaking the truth..



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Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
Reply The "talk" (Original post)
SoCalDem Mar 2012 OP
zipplewrath Mar 2012 #1
Baitball Blogger Mar 2012 #2
Robb Mar 2012 #3
Baitball Blogger Mar 2012 #4
Uncle Joe Mar 2012 #5
ProgressiveATL Mar 2012 #6
sinkingfeeling Mar 2012 #7
sinkingfeeling Mar 2012 #8
Liberal_Stalwart71 Mar 2012 #9
Tx4obama Mar 2012 #12
SoCalDem Mar 2012 #13
FreeBC Mar 2012 #10
WestSeattle2 Mar 2012 #11
Bosso 63 Mar 2012 #14

Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 12:30 PM

1. I was 25

I was 25 and I owned a "hot" sports car. Several of us did. We were convinced it made us more likely to get pulled over for stuff. They always had a reason for pulling you over, and the drill was always the same, some "warning" of some sort and off we went.

One of the guys was late to work one morning. "I got pulled over" he said. That on the surface didn't seem enough for him to be as late as he was. He explained that he got pulled over, pulled OUT, frisked, and then stood there for 10 minutes why the guy "ran his plates". No ticket mind you.

"Whadya do?" I asked. He looked at me like the most clueless guy in the room (okay,because I probably WAS the most clueless guy in the room) and said:

"I don't HAVE to do anything. That's just the way it goes".

He goes on to explain how common this is and how often these things happen. I respond with,

"I'd be pissed".

To which he responded, "Then you'd be dead".

Yes, he was black, and I'm not, and the older I've gotten the more I've understood how clueless I was, and how little hyperbole he was expressing.

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 12:57 PM

2. I know it's hardest on black Americans.

All of us who don't look "exactly right" have some experience with it and made the adjustment.

I won't go into some restaurants unless I'm going with people who are white. I've done it both ways and the service and food was horrible when it was just our family. We're talking about 4 or 5 star restaurants.

And there are situations which have occurred where my friends have asked me why I didn't stand up for myself. I tried that too in the past and know what to expect. People just wait for you to open your mouth just to put you in your place. It doesn't matter how right you are.

And of course, there was the time when I got pulled over for inspections EVERY TIME I went through the Ft. Lauderdale airport.

But, yes, it's hardest on black Americans.


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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 01:04 PM

3. "People just wait for you to open your mouth just to put you in your place."

That's exactly it.

Bigots by nature have spectacularly effective moral blind spots, so much so that they absolutely could not care less how in the wrong they really are. "The sky is yellow," they'd correct you, happily. And they would be so crazily smug about it.

Bigots wear their shield of willful moral ignorance like a favorite sweater, the more you point out the holes the more they smile and hug themselves for wearing it.

It's why they always, always act like they've done nothing wrong. It's not an act, they believe it, because believing makes them happy in ways little else can.

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Response to Robb (Reply #3)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 01:25 PM

4. And it's not just that they've done anything wrong,

but that their actions could even be questioned is unthinkable. They will tear down anyone that could provide evidence that their reputation is anything but spotless. It's a sign of weakness in their ranks if you score points suggesting otherwise, so they make sure you never do.

It's the pack mentality that's intimidating. When they have other good ole boys who will stand up for them when you know they're all complicit in the same misbehavior. And if there's a lawyer in their circle, there's more to fear since anyone can take you down with a frivolous lawsuit.

That's why the legal agencies are complicit in supporting this way of life, when they do nothing.

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 01:31 PM

5. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, SoCalDem.

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 01:52 PM

6. Thank you for posting this.

Heartbreaking.

So many false and dangerous narratives, makes it hard for parents trying to locate their child in this universe through truth, love, reason, compassion, all those good things. How do you explain this ugliness? And in a way that allows their getting along with schoolmates laboring under false narratives?

Our child is 6. We've begun some discussions, that will evolve over the years, and we focus hugely on critical reasoning skills for the monkey. And it all feels too little, for the amount of ugly BS out there.

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Response to ProgressiveATL (Reply #6)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 03:18 PM

7. Posted in wrong place.

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 03:19 PM

8. Your post made me extremely sad. I have tears in my eyes

sitting here at work. I've known so many black people in my 45 years of work. Drank and partied with them, baby sat their kids, and etc. It just makes me sad.

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 03:25 PM

9. No one has asked Romney about the Traywon murder. But the Corporate Media asked

the president, hoping for another "Gates" situation. The president handled it with class. How do we think R-Money would have handled it?



Hmmm....

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Response to Liberal_Stalwart71 (Reply #9)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 02:49 AM

12. Romney was asked and he ignored the question, see below

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Response to Tx4obama (Reply #12)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 08:46 AM

13. GOP pols are experts at question-avoidance

Especially questions that are important.

They'll go on at length about the sports team of a school they attended 40 years ago (even though most probably never attended a game while there), but anything of significance to the daily lives of the people they pretend to care about???bupkis...

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 03:28 PM

10. I was lucky my father talked to me about this as a young man.

 

My father warned me that with cops it should always be "yes sir" and "no sir".

I have since learned additional rules: 1. never call the cops, 2. never give consent to a search, 3. never talk to the cops without a lawyer present.

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Response to FreeBC (Reply #10)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 03:44 PM

11. With all due respect, in this day and age rules 2 and 3 apply to

everyone. I live in Seattle where far too many cops are corrupt, violent and lie with impunity, but the same probably holds true in most police departments.

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Response to SoCalDem (Original post)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 09:06 AM

14. Always be polite to people with guns.

I used to work with "at risk youth", and that was my unsolicited advice. Try to be polite to everyone, especially people with guns, and don't forget, the police always have guns.
As a a white MAN, I believe that if I'm reasonably polite to people, I can go just about anywhere in these United States 24/7. To me, that is white (male) privilege.
Its not right that my wife doesn't feel safe in a parking ramp at night, nor is it right that adolescents of color are often assumed to be dangerous, but it is what it is.
We all have to look beyond our stereotypes.
Most kids in the "hood" are good, and then there are polite white males like Ted Bundy, who was not.
We have a duty to tell our children some ugly facts, and we have a duty to try to change those ugly facts as best we can.

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