On #TheAssaultAtSpringValley And The Fear Of Having Children In An Age Where Police Are a Law Unto Themselves

It’s no mystery that Kellie and I aren’t in a rush to have children right away. But every now ‘n then, someone will still broach the topic in conversation with a great deal of eagerness and excitement that I just don’t see myself sharing any time soon.

Lately, the constant stream of broken Black bodies in the media, and the subsequent knee-jerk reaction to paint the victims as deserving of violence has caused me to view fatherhood with a great deal of trepidation.

The sad reality is that not everyone will view my future daughter or son as a child. Their black bodies will seldom afford them the benefit of the doubt. They may not be granted the second (and third, and fourth...) chances that all children so desperately need as they learn how to navigate through this crazy world. I carry the heavy burden of knowing that some day I will sit down with my child and forewarn them that they stand the chance of being racially profiled, arrested, and/or even killed for doing things that are well within the realm of typical childhood behavior:
And people will see their pain and respond through lenses that make them ask, “Well, what did they do to deserve it?” Rather than, “No human being, especially a kid, deserves this type of treatment.”

Instead of questioning the behavior of the student at Spring Valley High School, we HAVE to start questioning a culture in which obey authority or be subjected to violence is deemed an appropriate response in our schools, or wherever for that matter. It's not. Authority is to be obeyed when it is in accordance with the will of God; it should always be questioned, disturbed, and disrupted when it is not. Jesus' life is the single greatest example of that. But the responses I’ve seen today are beyond my understanding of the Gospel, and my understanding of just plain ol’ basic human decency. They place respectability and obedience over the importance of human safety and dignity.

My mom raised me and my siblings to honor God, respect those in positions of authority, and do right by those around us. Nevertheless, I got suspended from elementary school for fighting, got in other fights in the neighborhood and at the bus stop, hid in bushes at night and threw rocks at passing cars, knocked on people’s doors and ran and jumped fences, slipped into a neighbor’s garage and swiped fundraising sodas, drove around on my permit with other people in the car, disrupted class knowing that my good grades and reputation gave me flexibility to push the boundaries of authority. I did all of these things, and more, not even fully aware of what I was doing. I was curious. I was mischievous. I was a KID. And judging by the opinions of many people on social media today, should the trajectory of my life have been altered by a bad encounter with the police, I would have deserved it.

Seriously, where is your GRACE?

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