The Father- Son Talk That May Save his Life

by blawh1 on March 24, 2014 - 1:22am

When Trayvon Martin was buried, racial tensions were unearthed.  On July 13, 2013 America got its answer in the George Zimmerman case, but the answer led to even more questions.  The racial divide in America is still very real.  Black households average about $20,000 less than White households in annual household income.  Black men are twice as likely to be unemployed when compared to White men.  College enrollment is 10% more likely for whites in the 18-24 age range than it is for Blacks.  Racial profiling and police brutality affect African American males daily, and every so often a case grabs national attention because it reminds us that yes, race still does matter and we need to talk about it.  African-American pastors seem to be trying to lead the charge according to this article.  They are uniting to bring attention to the injustices that still exist.  The teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  are being used.  U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’ experience summarizes this article best.  He recalled a time a cop stopped him on his way to a movie in a predominantly white Washington neighborhood. He was a federal prosecutor at the time. Holder, too, had talked with his children about profiling, just as his father had spoken to him. "That is a father-son tradition I hoped would not need to be handed down," he told the crowd.  Until this father-son tradition is discontinued, we will need to acknowledge that although Trayvon’s case is tragic, the potential for it to happen again is very real.

            As an African-American male, I have felt the pain of being pulled over and harassed.  I have been called out of my name because of the color of my skin.  I would love to say that I think justice and equality are right around the corner, but unfortunately I don’t think it will happen during my son’s nor my lifetime.  So, I have to prepare myself and him for that talk that Mr. Holder spoke of.   


The topic of race is one in which I am very intrigued by as I am baffled by the amount of hate and injustice towards people simply because of the skin they were born with the racial profiling that took place in the Trayvon Martin case is only a small part of the issue and you are right in saying that race still does matter. What you are talking about can be related to Durkheim’s Social Fact theory. Durkheim states that social facts are forces that have an impact on human behavior and the ways in which people are shaped by the world around them. While it may seem like we are advancing the truth is as you said we really aren't. Especially not with the amount of police brutality that is inflicted onto African-Americans and black men. The fact that racial profiling still occurs and we continue to choose and ignore the reality of it is not of any help to anyone. The profiling that took place in Trayvon Martin’s case is only one example and I think representing of the other problems you talk about as profiling has an effect on every aspect of an individual’s life from work, education attainment, prison, income, housing among many others. All of these ideas and events shape our perspective of society and how we are to behave, react and act towards others. These actions make it social profile a very real part of society and are the reason I see them as being Social facts.

This is becoming a growing area of the news in the recent years. You hear more and more about police treating African American different than how they treat whites. Yes police do contribute to racial discrimination everyday towards young African American males and females. I do have one question about this topic that I do think would be an area to research about. I wonder if African American police officers feel the same way about black youth as white police officers do. I’m trying to figure out if African American officers have the same type of arrest data as white officers do. The criminal justice force is becoming more and more diverse so I think it would be a good idea to figure out how arrest rates differ between black and white officers.

The summary of your article is what drew me into it right away. I was so intrigued by the Trayvon Martin case last summer because it just baffled me how there was so much evidence against George Zimmerman, yet he was still acquitted. Even after his innocence there were still reports of him pulling out a gun on his own wife. His evident violent antics and persona just fueled the fire more that his acquittal was based on race rather than the facts. Being African American myself, I know what it feels like to be profiled, as you said. It is sad that in the year 2014, decades after the Civil Rights Movement in this country, and racism is still a major part of society. As Holder stated, I feel that it is necessary for all parents or guardians, not just fathers, to inform their children about the injustices of society and how to react to them. It is important that they know that discrimination or prejudice might not change for a while, but they must not lash out at ignorance. My experiences and upbringing has led me to uphold this opinion being that since middle school, I've always had to interact with races other than my own, like white children. Some fell under the discriminatory category while others looked past my skin color and became a friend. Growing up, I have unfortunately learned that that is just how things are. I can try to fight the injustices of society like the Trayvon Martin agitators, but I just might end up like Martin himself.

Being an African American male in today’s society, I can agree with this post. The Trayvon Martin incident really hit home and has just made me more cautious and I felt unsafe in my community. My mother had been greatly affected by this because all she could ever think was, “that could have been my son.” I have experienced the inequality of being an African American male because I have been believed because of the color of my skin I was inadequate and it just made me feel like less than a person. Although society has gotten better, the issue of race does still exist. I think it was a great choice for you to speak about race although it is still a touchy subject. I agree with you in not wanting to have this conversation with my son, but unfortunately it is still a necessity.

I like that you mentioned statistics about how black people have less opportunities than white people. I was surprised to learn that racism was still present to this extent, especially on unemployment. Here in Montreal, there were a lot of complaints on racial profiling by police last year. It is frustrating to see that police officers, whom we are suppose to trust, still have prejudices against races. At least, they admitted that a change needs to be done within the police. It is a start to realize that there is a problem and I hope that we will see an improvement in 2014. Here is the link of the article:

About the author