Child advocate Andrea-Lawful Trainer says she’s running out of ways to tell her black sons that people hate them.
I was recently made aware of an incident in Philadelphia wherein a young 16 year old male – during a stop-and-frisk – had his testicles squeezed by a police officer until it ruptured. As I read a heart rending account of what a straight-A star basketball player had to endure, deep within, from a pure guttural place, I felt my heart shatter into a thousand pieces. The tears began to flow much to my dismay and even with my best intentions, all day long I have yet to staunch them.
You see, I am a mother of two black boys. I too, like countless other black parents, have had my innocent child abused at the hands of an overzealous police officer. In my case, my child’s hand was broken. Like Darrin Manning, he too was a good student in school; with no discipline issues—he too was petrified at his treatment and became silent. So believe me when I say our journey to his innocence was long and fraught with “stories” that the police could not corroborate, but we pressed on so that his name would be exonerated.
Aside from my child, I have seen and heard other accounts of alleged police brutality towards black boys and yet, reading this latest atrocity was a sledgehammer to my soul. I was instantly transported back to the civil rights movement where our children were hanging from trees like strange fruit. I thought of the pain and anguish that young boy felt and could feel his terror when he realized he was hurt but chose to say nothing for fear his consequences would be worse.
Our black boys are still strange fruit hanging from trees named oppressors, who continue to destroy them with guns; their hands and allegations of wrongdoing that’s automatically believed because they’re the “authority.”
What do we tell our sons? What do we say to each other that is a balm to our weary souls? When do we find that productive place to stand up and say no more? How many more of our “fruit” must be discarded in an effort to keep them from bearing?
Dr King says we must fight hate with love and shine light into the dark places so I say this; fill your lanterns with the oil of truth, charge your flashlights with the strength of ten million voices and raise the level of consciousness so that those who would deny our children basic rights can understand we have simply had enough!
Andrea Lawful-Trainer is the Principal of C.A.P.E.S and the Chairperson for SE PA CARES. You can follow her on Twitter @LawfulTrainer
Source: TBO Inc®
(Photo Credit: C. Norris - ©2014)