Today, I sat down to have a conversation with my 15-year-old son about Mike Brown, the 18 year old that died at the hands of a police officer in St. Louis, Mo. I’ve learned to prepare myself for what my son has to say as I am often left reflecting on my own thoughts. Today was no different.
“All the stuff that we talked about when Trayvon Martin died and then again when Jordan Davis died didn’t really matter here. Of course the police are saying one story. Even if Mike had an “altercation” with the policeman, he still put his hands up, begged for his life and tried to surrender. That man shot him anyway and he didn’t just shoot him to restrain him. He shot him to kill him. You can’t do anything but die when someone really wants to kill you.
I know that Mike Brown was black but would we be talking about this if he were white? What about the policeman? Was the policeman white or black? Does it matter? The fact is that the boy was gunned down in broad daylight like he was nothing. In death, he’s not black or white. He’s just dead.
Is this really about race as much as it is about abuse of power? I would like to think that if Mike Brown were any other race, we would have the same response. I don’t know if that is the case though because we don’t hear about any others. It’s always someone that is young and black.
I don’t like that the picture they keep tweeting on twitter is the one that looks like he’s throwing a sign because that’s like trying to say that his death was somehow okay. I mean… how he was posing in a picture is irrelevant at this point.
It didn’t matter if he was an honor student, a high school graduate, going to college or a thug, as they painted him to be. He was an unarmed HUMAN BEING killed by the people who were supposed to protect him. They can’t justify that.”
My son then reminded me that although the police where we live are not the police where Mike Brown lived, it didn’t matter.
“All it takes is one bad decision making idiot with a gun to take a life. It could happen anywhere and there is nothing that any of us can do about it.”
My son ended our discussion with this…
“When we have serious conversations, can it not always be when another young black male is killed because at this rate, we’ll be talking everyday. I mean, it is pretty normal now, isn’t it?”
We’ll be discussing his points over the next few days, I’m sure.