On Black Children, Playing With Toy Guns

People of the Pacific Northwest, Black Child Edition

My heart sunk into the pit of my stomach as I watched 2 young black children–maybe 6 and 8, brothers, playing with toy guns in the QFC parking lot. Instinctively, i do a scan of the area to see if anyone might interpret this the wrong way, or if God forbid, someone’s already called the cops. The older boy pointing the neon plastic gun at his brother, saying repetedly, “drop to the ground, drop to the ground!”, with that unmistakeable power-over, claimed authority that comes with being a cop, unaware of which side of that dynamic he’s likely to end up on.

Then their father gets out of the car and seems oblivious to the dangers. A flash of anger rises up in me, doesn’t he know about Tamir Rice? Confusion. I want to go up to him, and say, I’m worried about your boys; because obviously a Black father needs a random White lady giving him race-specific parenting advice.

tamir rice

 

There is no amount of self-policing that will keep

a black child safe in this country.

Then reality sets in. Of course he knows about Tamir Rice, and Michael Brown… and…and…….on and on ad infinitum.  I feel into the energy of that tableau and it’s one of, ‘I’m damned if I do, I’m damned if I don’t, I could be killed for breathing, so let the kids play with their damned toys’.

There is no amount of self-policing that will keep a black child safe in this country. And then my heart sinks even further with the recognition of this truth.

michael-brown_dignidarebelde
art credit: Dignidad Rebelde https://dignidadrebelde.com
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2 thoughts on “On Black Children, Playing With Toy Guns

  1. I just started reading Michael Bennett’s new book, Things That Make White People Uncomfortable. I am naturally attracted to uncomfortable conversations because I was the kid in the family who always said that-which-should-not-be-said. So, I appreciate your bringing up the topic. Let’s keep the conversation going!

    Laura

    Liked by 1 person

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