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My son knows he could be Trayvon
Drew Oglesby and his best friend, Slater.
March 20th, 2012
01:22 PM ET

My son knows he could be Trayvon

Editor's Note: Christy Oglesby is the quality assurance manager for CNN/U.S.  She lives in Atlanta with her 13-year old son, Drew.  She wrote this in 2012 when the U.S. Justice Department decided to investigate Trayvon Martin’s death. We're resurfacing this piece in light of  a verdict in the George Zimmerman case. Listen to a CNN Radio interview with Oglesby and her friend, Sandra Bemis, whose son is pictured above.

By Christy Oglesby, CNN

(CNN) - I spend a lot of time gasping. I’m the mother of a boy, a testosterone-poisoned boy. Whether it’s rock climbing or four-story tall cliffs that beg him to jump to the sea, my son just isn’t interested in activities that don’t require me to sign a waiver promising not to sue someone.

I spend a lot of time praying. I have to. My son is black. His race gives me much more to fear than his fearlessness. Today, people are learning that the U.S. Justice Department will investigate Trayvon Martin’s death. That’s the black Florida teenager who was killed by a neighborhood watchman last month.

Trayvon didn’t have a gun. He was just walking home from a convenience store to the home of his dad's fiancee. The neighborhood watch captain said Trayvon looked “suspicious.” George Zimmerman said he shot Trayvon in self defense. I’ve worried about my Drew dying like that since a few days after giving birth to him 13 years ago.

It’s tough finding the balance between encouraging a black boy to storm the world with confidence and at the same time to fear for his life. But that’s what I must do. I know that at this very moment some have just sucked their teeth in disgusted disbelief and decided that I’m exaggerating. I wish that I was. I’m not. If I were, Trayvon would be alive.

There are too many things, big and small, that indicate the world hasn’t changed enough since Emmett Till died in 1955. There’s James Craig Anderson, a black man in Mississippi. A video camera captured white teens running him over in a truck on June 26, 2011 after one of them allegedly said he wanted to “F- with a n-–.”  There’s Sean Bell. There’s Trayvon. And there’s my son.

Christy Oglesby and her son, Drew.

Drew was only 3 when I got confirmation that being black could be the death of him. We were waiting for a connecting flight in a Tennessee airport. Drew was on the floor with his Leap Pad, a small computerized storyteller that developed early reading skills. He had on a navy and white seersucker romper with exquisite smocked trains on his chest. His navy Stride Rite leather sandals didn’t have a scuff on them, and the five-day-old haircut still looked fresh. He was the personification of perfection… at least to me.

A little white girl who looked about 2 and a half trotted over and plopped down on the floor next to him. Drew was just about to slide half of the toy onto her lap so they could “read” together when her older sister charged over. I’m guessing she was 6.  “Come back here!” she yelled. As she pulled her sister up off the floor by the arm, she explained loudly, “Don’t play with him! He’s dirty and dangerous!”  My child was neither. It didn’t matter. He’s black. For some people, that’s synonymous with “threat.” If that weren’t true, Trayvon would be alive.

I’ve repeated the details of that incident to my son several times in the past ten years. I’m convinced that his very life depends on knowing that story even if he can’t remember it. I hadn’t told my son the “airport story” since Cambridge cops arrested Skip Gates. I had to remind my son that the right neighborhood and the Yale degree he hopes to earn won’t be enough to protect him. Trayvon’s death forces me to revisit what happened when he tried to read to that little white girl.

Maybe I shouldn’t keep reminding Drew about the risks that come with being black and male in America. It’s just the best that I can do under the circumstances. That story is a part of the “tool kit” I’ve cobbled together to help him stay alive. It’s as important as my “proverbs.” That’s what my son calls my pithy reminders of how he should dress, act, speak and respond to authority. He’s committed most of them to memory.

“Ann is a woman, not a conjunction.” “Make inside voice your choice.” “Disobedience is dangerous.” And of course, “You must always look like a prospect, not a suspect.” The latter one shakes my core.  Drew and Trayvon have a similar look. Their coloring, eyebrows, smile, face shape and hair cuts are just too eerily similar for me. And I see that looking decent doesn’t trump being black. If it did, Trayvon would be alive.

Today I read about Trayvon trying his best not to run when he thought Zimmerman was hounding him. A friend says she was on the phone with Trayvon before he died, and that’s the account she gives. I don’t know Trayvon’s momma. But it seems she likely had the same proverb for her son that I had for mine. “Never run in a neighborhood.”

My son broke that rule when he was 7. He was Scouting for Food with the Cub Scouts on a service project in Buckhead, a posh McMansion neighborhood in Atlanta. Before I could stop him, he was running across the lawn of a mansion with the other little boys in blue uniforms. My scream stopped him in his tracks. I wasn’t so scared about him running just then. I was terrified that he’d forgotten the rules. I was terrified that he’d be with his white friends eight years from then and think he could run.

My ex-husband is 6 feet 2 inches. Drew’s half-brother is 6 feet 4 inches. My child’s only 12 and already 5 feet 5 inches. He’s black. He’s male. He’s going to be big. That’s just too much for my heart to handle. We had the talk again. “I know. I know, mom. I can’t run because I’m black.” I know America is the land of liberty, but my child has to understand he’s just free-ish.

Thankfully, I have a few more years before Drew begins to drive. I don’t want him to become another Troy Lawrence Jr. He’s a young, black, honor roll student from my hometown. Jefferson Parish deputies stopped him for speeding several years ago. Within the hour, his face was swollen, black and blue. Just about the time I begin teaching Drew how to parallel park, I’ll have to explain how to respond to a traffic stop. I’ll add Troy’s story to the tool kit.

Drew’s not bowed by fear at all. When he was 8, I told him that he needed to choose the scripture that would guide his life. My daredevil boy chose Joshua 1:9 - "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

He’s diligent about heeding my proverbs and exercising self-control. He knows that his manners, diction, hair style, clothing choices and education will help curtail some assumptions about him, but not all. He knows that he could be Trayvon. He’s still shocked that Zimmerman is not in jail.

In spite of my fears, I see reasons to be hopeful. I caught a beautiful glimpse just this weekend. My son’s Boy Scout troop camped on a family’s farm, and the moms had shunned nature for the comforts of the main house on the property. Through a kitchen window, I saw my son walking up the hill toward the house with a boy who has been his buddy since kindergarten. They share a secret handshake. Like so many other times in their lives, they had thrown an arm across the other’s shoulder, and there wasn’t enough space between their torsos to slide a blade of grass.

The genuine affection between long-time friends was evident. I don’t know what they were talking about, but they looked happy. They both looked free. I knew Drew didn’t see a white face, and his partner didn’t see a threat. Each saw a friend. That didn’t make me less scared for my son. I won’t stop warning him of risks. I’ll just make sure that moment with his buddy makes it into the tool kit.

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Filed under: Black in America • Discrimination • Ethnicity • Gender • Race • What we think
soundoff (1,447 Responses)
  1. MAFV

    I'm the mother of a 4 year-old grandson whose African-American, and the sister to two brothers. I've been pulled over as a black female and felt it might have been racially motivated, but my brothers stories of them being pulled over is and was more alarming. They're now in thier 50's and still watch for racial profiling, as teens my parents were so afraid to give them vehicles, because they knew they would be on the hit list..and trust me they were. They've been pulled over far more than me, and I'm a worse drive...but becasuse they're black it's a nobrainer...this is what goes on in America. My grandson is going to be over 6ft, and probably 200 lbs, cuz his dad is 6'4" and over 200lbs, and he gets pulled over all the time. He just got pulled over last month and he was the one taken to jail...wow..while the others were let off. We told him he'll have to live with this kind of scrutiny..and to except it..and at the same time be wise. He must be smart..when dealing with the popo. We are ready to equip our grandson with the knowledge and tools of stay alive in America as a black man. This is not in the south but in sunny California.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ashy

      What was he pulled over for and why was he taken to jail?

      March 20, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shawn

      Shhhh – we don't want to diffuse the outrage by muddying the water with facts and such.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • Race Card

        Dear Shawn,

        Please stop asking for facts in response to the emotionally charged, racially driven sentiment brought forth in this argument. Facts tend to get in the way of these emotionally driven arguments, and are not constructive in painting a picture of black Americans getting harassed, beaten, and yes, murdered, by racially driven white Americans.

        I really like painting pictures, so if you could stop with this factual thing that'd be great. Thanks!

        Jake

        March 20, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • StormFront

        The facts can be a Bi***, just hurts to hear and know them sometimes.

        March 21, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Ashy

      hmmmmmmm, silence...

      March 20, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ashy

      MAFV, next time you try to disparage the police, you should tell the whole story... You know what was he pulled over for? Does he have priors? And when you say "the others were let off" you actually admit he was doing something illegal. That would ruin the whole arrested for being black theory... Were the others black? That would ruin the whole racist cop theory... I guess when trying to prove a point, sometimes less is more depending on what you are trying to prove.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • MAFV

        Smart pants...If I were to write all the incidences down ion this page It wouldn't be able to contain it. My point exactly, you're saying there must of been justification...well there was not any. I've know this young man for many years and I'm so saddened for him. He's been stopped so often...it's becoming sickening and if the dept. keeps it up we'll have a good case on our hand. You know that the popo doesn't need a reason to stop you..they just do. You gotta be a blind man.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • ya no

        ashy: In your case, much less would, indeed, be much more. Check the statistics on the huge disparity in sentencing for white vs minority criminals with comparable offenses.

        March 20, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ashy

        ya no: So let me just understand this... Because she makes a statement that her son got pulled over and arrested and implies that it is because he is black. I ask what he was pulled over for, if the people who "got off" were black and if he has any prior arrests, I am doing something wrong? Oh I see, because the answers may not suit the racist argument I should be silent. They were pretty basic questions, that she still has not answered.

        Oh and let's look at the sentencing for whites vs minorities for similar crimes, and while we do this let's see if the longer sentences are repeat offenders or people who showed no remorse for what they did... And just so you have a clue... Sentencing is not throwing out a number, there are minimums and maximums set for every crime. Many factors go into the judges decision on length...

        March 21, 2012 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
      • xab

        You have to be living in a vacuum if you don't think that blacks get pulled over all the time despite doing nothing wrong. It's an extra unfair, unnecessary burden that they live with.

        That being said, the reality of this whole unfortunate situation with Trayvon is not based solely on race...but is more of an issue of mental health. I think more will come out soon about this. The shooter has paranoid ideations. I wonder if perhaps he is a schizophrenic.

        March 21, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
      • Ashy

        xab, Not sure where I said that blacks don't get pulled over more than whites? I simply asked her for the situation she was discussing concerning her son. Why was he pulled over and why was he arrested?

        March 21, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. whatever

    Wow!!...just WOW!!
    Nice to see this mother is raising her son to be "racist". Anti-white, is racist after all isn't it? Or does it just work for the "African-Americans" to label white people racist?
    Get over it already!!

    March 20, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      So you want her to get over the fact that her son has a higher statistical likelihood of being SHOT because of who he is?

      If your child was at risk of being shot because of her blonde hair, would you feel the same way?

      March 20, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son

        He is statically most likely to be shot by another BLACK male…. Funny those facts.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • Race Card

        He is much more likely (statistically) to be shot by another black male. He is also much more likely to shoot a white person to death, than to be shot by a white person.

        Seems like white people are the least of this author's son's worries, doesn't it? Oh wait I'm bothering with the facts again. See the FBI's database on total homicide numbers for 2010 broken down by race (Expanded Homicide Table 6) , if you are skeptical.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      You are ignorant. Please do everyone a favor and leave the country or off yourself.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Statistics also say he has a higher chance of committing a hate crime, most likely against gays.

      So lets teach both sides and make sure everybody hates everybody else, shall we?

      March 20, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shawn

      Chris, you might want to check the real numbers. DOJ Race on Race homicides for 2005 – http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/homicide/race.cfm , only available up to 2005:

      White on White: 4755 Black on Black: 4497 Black on White: 934 White on Black: 337 Other on Black: 4

      So he is 10 times more likely to be killed by a black than a white. Worse, he is 10 times more likely to kill someone than his white counterpart.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • Real All Day Long

        http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/hc2009/data/table_01.html
        Stop making things up and trying to make everyone seem like everything is an excuse. The problem is the system and the value of a black mans life. All of the cases of black on white crimes how many of they have not been charged and/or arrested when they have had this much evidence. A young boy has a better chance of getting molested by a white man versus a black one does that me that you should treat every white like a rapist. Get Real because the real problem is that racism is not something coming from un-educated or power people it is systematic

        March 20, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • jt

      i don't think this mother is raising her son to be racist; just cautious. as she said towards the end he has a white friend whom he has no racism towards, it's his pal. but to say get over it, a woman's son was shot for no reason, that's something you just don't get over.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • Shawn

        I agree, but the comment was about the article, not the atrocity itself.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dannie

      She is not raising him to be racist – she is raising him to be aware. Did you not read the last paragraph of the article?

      March 20, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • Shawn

        LOL – so, by adding an offhanded 'oh, and not all white people are devils', that does it? Read the article. Pure racism being drilled into him daily.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ally

        I think it's sad that parents feel they need to be so persistant in training their children that they might be perceived as different because of the color of their skin. I agree that it does need to be taught. But at what point is it over-board?

        It's quite unnerving for me to learn that there are parents everywhere who are teaching their children that if they meet me (or any other light skinned person) that they need to be wary. At what point does it become racism?

        I don't know, but I feel in my heart that as we raise more children who are blind to color, we're moving in the right direction.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Sara

    I am so sorry you have to raise your son in American this way. I am a white mother, and I completely agree with you. If I were you, I'd be doing the exact same thing with my children. Please know us white people share your pain of this situation, and we are not all white biggots and hateful people. We are white, loving, caring and tolerant too. We mourn right along with you, and are so saddened that our world is this way way. We sympathize, empathize and apologize for this horrid behavior. It baffles us just as much as it does you.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dannie

      I too am a white mother and I agree with you. It's sad that so many people are in denial of what is obvious.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Aaron

    Nobody really knows what happened that night except George Zimmerman. Several things come to mind.
    1. If you do carry a concealed weapon at what point are you justified to shoot someone?
    2. In this case why does the witness claim she heard cries for help before the gunshot.
    3. The family claims that the cries on the 911 tapes were from Trayvon.
    4. I heard the 911 tapes. The cries from help sound like those of a wounded person and not those of someone being attacked.
    5. What could a boy with some skittles have done to warrant being shot.
    6. You could hear Zimmerman yelling racial slurs on the 911 tape.

    All of these questions mixed with the corruption involved in the police investigation make me think that there was something racial going on here.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ashy

      Aaron, I agree 100%. However, Zimmerman is of mixed race. So making it a black and white issue is ignorant. This article is not just about that incident. She is teaching her son that because he is black he should be afraid of authority figures (cops) and people who are not black. That just continues to teach hate and mistrust.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • Darin

        @ Ashy

        "Aaron, I agree 100%. However, Zimmerman is of mixed race. So making it a black and white issue is ignorant. This article is not just about that incident. She is teaching her son that because he is black he should be afraid of authority figures (cops) and people who are not black. That just continues to teach hate and mistrust."

        I don't see it that way. She believes (whether it's true or not) that if her son doesn't understand that some people are racist, he could get himself into life threatening situations. You have to be aware of the world and how people perceive you. She's training him to not appear scary to white people. To act polite, to speak respectfully, to avoid running because people might assume you've done something illegal. Why do people assume those things? Because that's what we see on TV, that's what we see in the movies.

        This is very much about racism. Black people live with it; white people do not.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ally

        Darin, I agree with nearly all of your well stated comment. The only part I'd add is that people of every color live with racism. In the case of whites I believe the racism is to a lesser degree, but it's most definitely still there.

        March 20, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • Darin

        @Ashy

        I just don't really see the negative effects of racism on white people in America. Have you ever had trouble getting a job because you're white? That would seriously affect your life. That doesn't really happen to white people in America.

        I sincerely believe that had Travyon been white, he would still be alive. What do you think?

        March 20, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • Aaron

        Yes I agree that if he were white he probably would still be alive.
        Also, white people do live with racism we just don't feel the effects even remotely as bad as blacks or Hispanics do.
        Case in Point: Affirmative Action still exists. You could still potentially loose a job for being white.

        March 20, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son

        @Aaron

        >Yes I agree that if he were white he probably would still be alive.

        You do realise the sh00ter was HISPANIC right? So hoe would being white have saved the boy? .. thats was I figured... still ignorant and making asumptions based on bias.

        March 21, 2012 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
      • queenbee10

        i KNOW–IF A LOT OF WHITES HAD THEIR WAY BLACKS WOULD ALL BE SITTING DUCKS who gave them plausible excuses to exterminate them....

        Well... chances are very high–that if she did not teach her son the realities of being a black male–then she might have to bury him and read stupid comments if police or others hurt her child and she did not tell him to not run or hold soda cans, cell phones or candy when confronted by cops or other crazy white people. You might say it is racist but at least she is not advocating her black son 'get his fun' dragging or beating people of other races or running them over or seeking them out to rape like some we know.

        As the saying goes–"to be forewarned is to be forearmed" this IS the reality in the US 2012

        March 22, 2012 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son

      1.f you do carry a concealed weapon at what point are you justified to shoot someone?
      This is covered by your state law and is easily found.

      2.In this case why does the witness claim she heard cries for help before the gunshot.
      Possibly because he was being beaten in the face, receiving a bloody nose?

      3.The family claims that the cries on the 911 tapes were from Trayvon.
      They can claim what they want.. they are still not witness. And carry a clear bias that this was racial. Do they know what Zimmerman sounds like?

      4. I heard the 911 tapes. The cries from help sound like those of a wounded person and not those of someone being attacked.
      Your opinion and as irrelevant as the fact they sound to me like someone being punched in the nose asking for help.

      4.What could a boy with some skittles have done to warrant being shot.
      Bringing up the skittles is just an attempt to make the football player seem innocent. Why don’t you mention the bottle of tea he had? If you saw the artical about the boys conversation with his GF at the time. The boy turn to confront Zimmerman.

      5.You could hear Zimmerman yelling racial slurs on the 911 tape.
      NO such thing happened. I cannot hear them and of all the media reporting on the taps not one has say you can hear racial slurs.

      In short you're willfully ignorant of your state law and as bias as this boys parents.

      @ Ashy
      Exactly

      March 20, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • Aaron

        You should listen to Democracy Now and get the full story. They played the 911 tapes that Zimmerman made and yes I know what he sounds like because I heard him on the 911 tape.

        3. I would think that the family knows what their son sounds like.

        4. If I had a gun I wouldn't sound like that if he was punching me in the nose. Besides forensic evidence would show Zimmerman's blood on the victims knuckles if that were the case.

        5. Oh yes the killer Tea! I forgot to mention that! and I would probably turn to confront someone as well if I thought they were following me. Hell you don't know why they are following you and I wouldn't want to have my back turned to someone like that.

        6.Oh yes he did. You should go back and hear the 911 tapes. They play the full story on Democracy Now not like these little bits and censored pieces you get on CNN or Fox.

        In short you're a racist and are part of the perpetuation of the problem.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son

        You say nothing to refute my arguement and in make my point in a couple posts. You are ignorant and biased. I'm glad we don;t have you in charge of the investigation. I think we've had enough lynch mobs.

        March 21, 2012 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
  5. humtake

    Sorry, but anyone who claims this is a race crime are the ones who are racist. The cops went by the law and nothing was ever said or done that can be considered as racist. The guy who shot the kid did nothing racially charged and has not said anything racist.

    The fact is, this was a teenager who was out late at night and he got shot by a guy who had some irrational fear. NOT ONE BIT OF THIS STORY HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH RACE.

    Put it this way...race was not an issue in this story until the audience brought it up.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • ya no

      You must be the most blissful person on your block.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Allow me to get a mop to clean up the denial dripping off of this comment.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      I heard the 911 tapes from the call made by Zimmerman and yes he did yell racial slurs.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lioness27

      Hey there did you listen to the 911 tapes? Mr. Zimmermans words clearly shows racism especially the part where he uses an expletive when talking about how "they always get away".

      March 20, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      I heard the 911 tapes and yes Zimmerman did say racist things.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • ya no

      You managed to squeeze 'race' or 'racist' into your brief post 6 times, all the while claiming that racism had nothing to do with this tragic, brutal killing. Personally, I always consider Shakespeare's "methinks she doth protest too much" when I read any post.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Coexist

      This article brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for writing it. I am a jew in the USA with a 15 yr old. I rarely think about prejudice against judism anymore then some idiot shoots up a jewish school in France and reminds me. I reminded my son to be careful. Because he is white and his group of freinds all dress look like Trayvon. They are a group of kids of many different races and religous orientation and sizes! They are an odd looking group of 14 to 16 yr olds! Who knows what kind of crazies they maay come across! I just tell them to stick together!!

      March 20, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • ahab

      The most racist people I know, are the least aware of it. They just think that's the way it's supposed to be. You fit that mold. Now, when you pull your head out of the sand and see things as they really are, maybe you will notice that racism is still part of our American scene, unfortunately. It isn't always whites vs blacks, either. In this case it was a Hispanic man who killed a black child.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son

      @humtake
      Agreed.

      @Aaron
      No such thing happen. We’ve heard them also. And why isn’t the media all over that? Because it’s in your head.

      @Lioness27
      He said “as.sholes” ..how is that racial?

      The more you people cry wolf about race the more people will stop listening.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. LOL

    Well, if this isn't the pot calling the kettle black... um... nevermind

    March 20, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jennifer

    You are a GREAT mom.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shawn

      By instilling racism in her son? Guess that is the only way for it to persist through the generations.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lioness27

        Instilling racism? How about instilling survival skills. Black mothers are mothers too you rocket scientist (sarcasm)!

        March 20, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • Xaiver

        Hey Shawn – Stick your head under the tire of a moving truck. Okay thanks.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • Steve

        I'm with Shawn. I see nothing great about a black mother continually reminding her son about one incident in his life that he can't even remember with the intended effect of teaching fear and hatred of white people. Yes there are insensitive and racist people in the world. But the only way to end the cycle is to stop the hate. It goes both ways.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • ABH

        she's not teaching him to be racist. she's teaching him how to survive the hard reality of the world. I know people like you think since the minority has the right to vote now we should just be happy & live with the crimes against us!

        March 20, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kimmie K.

    The author's approach, and the approach of many mothers like her, may seem extreme but it is borne out of reality for darker skinned people not just in this country but the world over. Like the author's son, my son at 12 years old, 5'6 1/2 wearing a men's 13 shoe, is a big kid. He is smart, handsome, a great musician, funny and a bit introverted. We are blessed to afford to send him to a respected private school. Our hearts was broken years ago when he was assigned the role of the town robber in a school play. He's the only black kid in his grade. This is how the world sees my son and I would be remiss as his mother not to prepare him for that reality. " Jog in a gym but don't run in any neighborhood." " Keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times if you are ever pulled over." " Yes, sir and yes ma'am to everyone."

    March 20, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Judi

      We also taught our son what to do in a traffic stop, and went over it carefully in the months leading up to his license exam. We did not have to do that with our daughters (who have rarely been pulled over). So very sad that people do not recognize their own biases and discriminatory actions.

      March 21, 2012 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  9. Judy

    Thank you for sharing this story. What some will dismiss as an exaggeration is what others know is true because it is their reality. It shouldn't have to take courage to share your experiences as a black female and a mother, but unfortunately, as some of the comments on this board prove, people are so invested in their own blind privilege that this type of account is bound to ruffle a few feathers. Fortunately for those who object to your message, the harshest reprisal they are likely to face is internet castigation and not a stray bullet.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ted Ryder

    Black people commit more violent crimes than any other race in this country. Is it surprising that people may occasionally overreact to them?

    March 20, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Wow...guy stalks and shoots a kid and you call it over-reacting. You, sir, are one scary and dangerous individual.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lioness27

      More Blacks are arrested and incarcerated for violent crimes does not mean they commit more violent crimes. Do not believe me? Ask the FBI about the statistics that prove most crimes are affinity crimes that is white on white, black on black, Jewish on Jewish, Hispanic on Hispanic, etc. Also look how long, on average, it takes (if ever) to arrest, convict and incarcerate serial killers most of whom are white males. If there was true justice in America, guess who would be more represented in the prison population? Let me help you out, white males.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ted Ryder

        You're wrong about that. There are actually quite a few black serial killers. Perhaps more than white. The most prolific serial killer in this country ever was black.

        youtube com/watch?v=R8gYc5fvMQ0

        March 20, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • queenbee10

        Ted Ryder–to date there are less than 5 black serial killers ever convicted in the US and 2 mass murderers. there are over 50 mass murderers and serial killers who were white which is why the FBI profile of a serial killer is a white male between the ages of 24 and 57. conversely, in the case s of child molestation by educators and traveling child molesters –the majority have been WHITE males.

        March 22, 2012 at 1:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Daphne

      That is untrue and you cannot support that statement with facts and statistics.

      July 16, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Larry

    Here's my question for you, ma'am: Why is it that this senseless killing of a young black man in Florida is huge news and another round in the "Whites are racist animals" battle, yet the fact that a disproportionate number of black homicides are black-on-black crimes? Blacks killing blacks is like a shameful secret that no one is willing to talk about, but if one black is killed by a white, it's immediately a hate crime, racist, neo-Nazi, or some other label, rather than simply a senseless act of violence by an idiot.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Milky

      Because the killer will not get convicted! Apparently you can kill a black person and walk free. Oh, but you are right – that s old news.....

      March 20, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
      • Alice

        Like o.j. did, right? A/wipe.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barbara Warren

      And what in the world does that have to do with the story of a mother who worries about her son in a world where black men are often automatically treated as dangerous? Did you actually read it?

      March 20, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • EnoughZnough

        Uhh, because they usually are!

        March 20, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • FFFF

      FYI the shooter isn't white

      March 20, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lioness27

        White of Hispnic heritage is achoice on most forms that ask for your race and nationality or ethnicity. People need to read more.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shawn

      We treat people the way they want us to treat them. Teenage boys dressed as 'gangsters' are treated by gangsters – doesn't matter what color they are. This woman is teaching her son to be racist, to be on edge, to interpret every negative action by any white as racist. Said.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lioness27

        Get a grip! She is just teaching her child how to survive in this society as any responsible mother should. You brain surgeon (sarcasm).

        March 20, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • queenbee10

      I don't think the 'senseless killing " IS the news..Law abiding blacks would agree with most people in the need to curtail crime no matter the race of the perp. What is news is the double standard which appears willing and intent on not even addressing the issue because the shooter was a white (hispanic) male and the child was a black. It is the double standard by the Florida police and the attempt to justify and defend it by some posters which makes it news.

      the more time goes on, the more it is revealed that the US is still far behind in racial equality and that many are in denial–not a good place to be when the you know what hits the fan–When it does happen and other races have had enough and begin to react and act like whites in these cases–no one should have a "huh?" moment–LONG TIME COMING.

      March 22, 2012 at 2:09 am | Report abuse |
  12. writermom6

    I am white, middle-aged, middle-class, and I am very dismayed by many of these comments. Trayvon was killed because he's black. Be honest. Do you hold your purse closer when you're around a black person? Do you avoid the "bad" (black) neighborhoods? Would you hire a black man named Trayvon to work for you? Be honest. I know racism–I've been related to racists–and many don't see it in themselves. But take a deeper look and acknowledge it. A white boy carrying Skittles in his pocket would not have been shot. I know it, and so do you, if you're honest.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • humtake

      You are probably the worst kind of racist...the one who is racist out of fear. You hold your bag closer around black people? Why? Let's be really honest and get rid of race. I avoid some low poverty areas because people I know have had problems there, white and black. Not to mention, more crime is committed there by all races than in other areas. THAT is the truth. If you avoid an area solely because the people there are black, then you are a racist. It doesn't mean that's why other people avoid those areas. It's a numbers game. Do I drive through the part of town where violent crimes are high...or do I drive through the parts where crime is low? If you choose high, then I want to invite you to play some poker with me.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • Steve

        Ummm...I am not sure you understood his post...might want to read it once more and try again.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • queenbee10

        you have one of those posts that could really benefit from an "edit or delete" option

        March 22, 2012 at 2:11 am | Report abuse |
    • sonof2cops

      Thank you for your candid response!

      March 21, 2012 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  13. Lola

    Don't forget: James Byrd, Jr. (May 2, 1949 – June 7, 1998) was an African-American who was murdered by three white men, asserted to be white supremacists, during a racially motivated crime in Jasper, Texas, on June 7, 1998.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • FFFF

      Yes and don't you forget Channon Gail Christian, 21, and Hugh Christopher Newsom, Jr., 23, were a couple from Knoxville, Tennessee. They were both raped, tortured and murdered after being kidnapped early on the morning of January 7, 2007. Their vehicle had been carjacked.[1][2] Five suspects were arrested and charged in the case. The grand jury indicted four of the suspects on counts of murder, robbery, kidnapping, rape and theft. Three of those arrested, Letalvis D. Cobbins, Lemaricus Davidson and George Thomas, have been convicted on multiple charges including several counts of felony murder. After a jury trial Lemaricus Davidson was sentenced to death by lethal injection and Letalvis Cobbins and George Thomas were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Vanessa Coleman has been convicted of facilitating the crimes and sentenced to 53 years in prison, and Eric Dewayne Boyd has been convicted of federal charges as accessory after the fact to carjacking and sentenced to 18 years in prison.[3]
      White Victims all Black Criminals

      On December 1, 2011, new trials were granted to the defendants due to drug abuse by the presiding Judge.[4]

      March 20, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • EnoughZnough

      Don't forget Mall of America just last year where blacks randomly beat up and robbed whites!!!

      March 20, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. rhino

    I want to know why this is considered a hate crime yet the murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom in 2007 in Tennesse were never even picked up by any major news media. There is a double stnadard in this country and its getting out of hand. This story is tragic yes but we as a country turn a blind eye and focus on the race card to everything now. PC has taken over

    March 20, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Get_Real

      It may be because in that scenario the black culprits weren't given a stern talking to and let off the hook I am a black male and I agree that all 4 of the black americans that committed that crime deserve to be locked underneath the jail for what they did to that couple. At the same time this deserves to make national news because someone who committed murder was let off the hook

      March 20, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ally

        He hasn't been let off the hook. They're trying to find more evidence that will stand up in court. I hope they nail him to the wall.

        March 20, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben Boston

      Probably because the defendants were put in JAIL YOU IDIOT!!! This wouldn't be a major story if Zimmerman were behind bars. But he's not!!! He's walking around free. That is the difference. Those people that perpetrated that crime went to jail. Zimmerman got to go home!! Big difference.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • queenbee10

      You miss the point–crime is crime–the point is a child was killed and no one was even arrested or investigated-just "shrugged off"

      March 22, 2012 at 2:14 am | Report abuse |
  15. Byrd

    IN 2012 America, we could all be Travyon. If you're black and have ever tried driving 270 North through Maryland from DC, then you've known that for years.

    Don't even think about going to Thurmont: There weren't any black families living there in the early 90s and I sincerely doubt anything has changed in the past decade or so. Realtors won't even show them the available houses.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ted

      And no white is safe going into a black neighborhood and you know that is true.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • Freethinker

        There are plenty of whites who don't let irrational fear of the other keep them from having wonderful life and cultural experiences with people of other races. There are other whites, sounds like you are one of them, who are fearful and isolate themselves behind bunker walls. To each his or her own.

        March 22, 2012 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
      • queenbee10

        LIAR–white girls troll the hoods from coast to coast looking for bootie calls and hook ups ALL the time. Or do you think they find and date all those brothas at the mall?

        March 22, 2012 at 2:17 am | Report abuse |
    • plb

      I aggree. I was pulled over on the 270 last year, and lets just say it was not good. All they say is a black drug dealer in a nice care who makes WAY more money then the.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Jaime Pretell

    Wow, the stupidity rampant in this post. One, the article makes a valid point that discrimination does exist. But Zimmerman was not an average citizen. He was a paranoid person who had called 911 50 times. He was a person who had a Hero complex, who failed to get into the police academy, took over the neighborhood watch and though himself a cop carrying a concealed weapon . He was of mixed ancestry. So what? He wasn't of African American mixed ancestry. Being mixed doesn't mean you are a friend of the world. That is BS.

    Having said that, Discrimination and abuse goes both ways. White victims of Black abuse exist as well. And according to the FBI they are in higher numbers than the other way around. And not just by paranoid wannabe cops. Food for thought. The violence is going multiple ways and the obsession with race in this country on all sides is fueling it.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jaime Pretell

      By the way, I meant stupidity rampant in the posts in the comments thread. Not the main article.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • BKey

      I agree and I fear and expect that this writer is creating any paranoid.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • queenbee10

      Hmmm yet the arrests are disparate. The FBI would not have those stats if blacks were not being arrested for their 'crimes' conversely, if whites like Zimmerman are never charged or arrested, they NEVER make the stats so the low number reported is suspect because the process/system and reciprocal arrests is suspect/corrupt.

      you gotta admit, one way to keep the stats low for a group is to minimize charges and arrests, right?

      March 22, 2012 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
  17. tokencode

    By teaching her child that he is different because he is black, that it is somehow a disadvantage, this mother is part of the problem.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • maxie

      So it's better to lie to herself and have wishful thinking that these things don't exist? Listen, you can say all you want that racism, profiling, and fear over the simple color of someone's skin shouldn't matter and even try to argue that it doesn't...but time and time again real LIFE tells a different story. I really hate that people try to act like pointing out that there is a very REAL difference in being a young white kid and being a young black kid somehow amounts to racism on their part. I came from a very large city and moved to a small town (very PC) where people looked at me funny for pointing out the societal difference in treatment of blacks and whites. They also looked at me when I might try to describe someone like, “Did she just say ‘the tall black guy’?” Well yes…he’s black. I would say the girl with long blonde hair to describe another friend. Does that make me racist? I will never be able to grasp why mentioning that someone is black amounts to racism in this small town, but to me denying that they are is more racist. They are black: I am white…that is a fact. Doesn’t mean ones better but our lives have not been “the same.” My black friends had very different life experiences than me growing up…simply because they grew up black and I grew up white. I am not a racist...I left a slew of black friends in my big city home, but people here were shocked...like somehow mentioning that a black person would be treated different than a white person made me a proponent of such things. I am not. I don't believe we should be treated differently based on our skin-but life has shown me first hand that we are. I could walk into a store and not get a second look-but if my black friend walked into that same store he was followed around like he might steal something. Ignoring that they are differences in the way we are approached, treated, and judged, only makes us pretend that it isn't still there. Episodes like Florida show us over and over that it is indeed there and very real. This woman is just facing the facts and the facts are…right or wrong…she needs to teach her child some extra precautions that she really shouldn’t have to, but if she fails to her kid might end up dead.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jessica

      No she is not part of the problem. A mother's job is to protect her children. Ignoring a fact would not do service to her child. Black men are treated differently. A lot of these comments are about how blacks commit so many crimes. However, black people make up less than 13% of the US population but almost 50% of the prison population. Don't fool yourself that its because other races don't commit crimes because they do. The fact is the sterotype associated with black men put a higher focus on them. I worked in retail for years where I watched many white shoplifters walk away free w/ stolen merchandise because loss prevention was too busy following black customers around. And yes I did report it but the white management did not want to hear that someone who could be their mom or sister would ever do such a thing. Its always the OTHER people who do it.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • JoeSmitters

        Very true, Jess. That complicates stuff too much. Imagine what would happen if black people disappeared. People will start stereotyping on eye color. Stereotypes make us feel better (me included).

        March 21, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chrissy

      Tokencode, he IS different. Why dont you understand that? He is treated differently – you may think this doesnt exist but dear man, it does. I am the mother of a mixed race child and I see it every single day. It is not fear she is teaching, it is awareness that she is teaching. Open your mind.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • sonof2cops

      tokencode...are you a parent? If so, regardless of race, every parent has 1-nightmare that they never want to live, picking a grave-site for their child. That is all the author is trying to avoid and incidents like this only reinforce a reality of living in America as a person of color.

      As a likely person of European decent, I can tell you have no idea about the premise of random violence because you are of color!

      March 21, 2012 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  18. rgrg

    big fuss over little n....

    March 20, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • ya no

      Other than being a utter disgrace to your species, you're even a crappy troll. Avoid mirrors.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • rgrg

        ya no, you know it's just another dead n.....

        March 20, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mae

      rgrg...you have a little mind...that is why you would think a human life taken prematurely is worth nothing...

      March 20, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • rgrg

        chill, its just a n.....

        March 20, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Althea Jones

    I really don't understand where most of these comments are coming from. I just want to say thanks for this eye-opener article – it is heartbreaking, and extremely important, to be reminded that being black in America is still so very difficult and at times terrifying. We all have a lot of work to do to make this country live up to its potential.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dannie

      Totally agree.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mae

      Good response Althea...this was an insightful beautiful article of a loving mother trying to protect her son from the reality of this life...especially life here in the US for an African American male...

      March 20, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • ya no

      althea: Totally agree. The posts from the Bronze Age are nothing but that. The authors will likely never do themselves, or anyone else any good, but they do pose a threat to the rest of us. Who knows, maybe stupidity at that level in contagious. I do sound bitter because I am. It's just easier for these people to decide on stupidity – intelligence is an effort they choose not to make. Barnacles on this Ship of Fools.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael Glaser

      The comments are coming from the tone of the article it is really severe and over the top. The ideas are not unwarranted but consider this, drug studies are now run double-blind neither the doctor nor the patient knows whether their dose is real or placebo. This is because studies showed that when doctors knew whether their patient was on the placebo or not they unconsciously influenced the results in statistically siginificant observable fashions. Telling her child every day how him being black will make him a target and endanger his life will in some ways make him a target and endanger his life as he will react in situations unconsciously to make this a reality. Instead the lessons should be about how to react when someone calls him "dirty and dangerous" to borrow a phrase from the article, by equipping him to handle prejudice with poise and clarity she could turn him from a potential victim into a stand-up man. Someone who isn't afraid to run in the wrong neighborhood because he knows that it is not his part to cow-tow and work around the hate it is his part to stand up and demonstrate that he is above it and stronger than it. It is not fair nor right that Trayvon was shot like he was but to respond by turning his story into an example of how being black makes you a victim does not help the problem. The comments come from this idea, at least in my opinion

      March 20, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  20. police_officers_child

    As I read the comments, I can tell who is of African and European inheritance, living in America. As my name denotes, I am the son of 2-retired Chicago Police Officers (Mom & Dad) and I recall these very conversations the author is telling her son, reflecting what my parent told me and my brother (not my sister). Don’t run and keep your hands in plain site. If you’re walking, stop immediately and stand on 1-leg, placing your hands atop your head as to denote that you are not a threat (if need be tell them what your doing and why you’re standing on 1-leg, placing my hands are atop my head). If asked a question, answer respectfully (as if talking to your Great-Grandmother) and always ask for permission to do anything!

    As a college graduate these rules will seem foreign to those of European decent but, all too familiar too dark skinned people. I wouldn’t expect many of you too understand, just realize that it is a reality for many young men in America (just to simply survive).

    March 20, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Race Card

      Did you just imply that it is difficult to survive in America if you are African American and don't stand on one foot with your hands above your head when addressed by police officers? I didn't realize how many millions of African American youth are victims of racially motivated homicide by law enforcement agents. I wonder if any police officers would agree with your assertion.

      Overblown argument, just like this article, without any factual basis. Where did you say you went to college?

      March 20, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
      • guest

        oh, so unless he's a homicide victim, police abuse doesn't exist? you're an idiot who missed his point entirely.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • sonof2cops

        Yes, I am the child of 2-police officers and my comments are FACTS! I can tell you are ignorant of the situation. So, I dismiss your comments as just being argumentative and simply to be ignored.

        For you who really don't understand let me put this issue into context. Regardless of race, every parent has 1-nightmare that they never want to live, picking a grave-site for their child. That is all the author is saying and trying to avoid. How you do that is totally based upon your personal experiences in life and incidents like this only reinforce a reality of living in America as a person of color.

        March 21, 2012 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      you were instructed wrong.

      You are lucky that you have police parents to bail you out though.

      For the rest of us:

      "Anything you say can and WILL BE USED AGAINST YOU."
      Don't answer any questions. ever. no matter how innocent they seem or you are. Until a judge or YOUR lawyer tells you to answer the only thing that ever leaves your mouth is a question: "am I under arrest?" or "Am I free to go?".
      Don't agree to anything. No searches. Absolutely nothing. Ever. For any reason, again, unless a Judge or your lawyer tells you to.

      Have doubts, listen to Jay-Z.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • sonof2cops

        @Bill, I know that and thanks for your comments!

        March 21, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Oh please

      I am a European American (really, I'm just white, but since we're all trying to be politically correct, I thought I would use the "correct" term to describe my heritage). I'm the "white as a ghost" version of white, at that. The idea of not making any sudden moves, keeping your hands where an officer can see them, demonstrating that you mean no harm through your physical stance, actions, and movements, being respectful, not raising your voice, not trying to run...those ideas aren't strange to me. Those ideas are commonsense. That's just what you do when you encounter law enforcement. Who in their right mind would deliberately (or stupidly) make an ARMED officer anxious about their motives and intentions? I was raised in an upper middle class family/neighborhood/school system, went to private college, and actually work with law enforcement every single day (married to one, even). If ever I am pulled over or stopped by an officer, you can bet that I'll be standing/sitting quitely, with my hands where the officer can see them (or on the steering wheel), not making any sudden moves, being polite, quiet, and respectful, and above all else, not trying to run. It's not about race. It's about behaving properly and not giving the guy with the gun any cause to be anxious about your intentions. THAT is not about race, no matter how badly people want it to be.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • sonof2cops

        Ohplease…I understand your comments and if you truly are married to a cop. Try having a real conversation about his life at work and the locker room conversations that take place.

        I understand and remember listening to conversations with my parents about their work and the stress that exist every time they encountered someone on the street. They attempted to make it seem sometimes not too dangerous but, as an adult, I understand the stress that this career brings to them (and their families). The reality is that a police officer will encounter all types of people (from various social and economic backgrounds) on a daily basis, ranging from a killer to model citizen. The real issue of my comments is to say, some people need to take extreme measure to ensure nothing goes wrong.

        No matter how you discriminate my comments, this 1-fact is true. Regardless of race, every parent has 1-nightmare that they never want to live, picking a grave-site for their child. That is all the author is saying (me too) and trying to avoid. How you do that is totally based upon your personal experiences in life and incidents like this only reinforce a reality of living in America as a person of color.

        March 21, 2012 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
      • sonof2cops

        In addition, you are not white. That is a misnomer! You are likely a mix of European ethnicities which was labeled as white (by Americans). But, if you go back to your home country and use that term, they’ll laugh at you because that is a crayon color not an ethnicity!

        March 21, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
      • queenbee10

        Silly person. ...and what do you do when you come across a zimmerman? He's not a cop, he's following you..and you do what? He approaches you and calls names and you do what? Oh wait–you would be okay with zimmerman because you are white–but what do YOU do if your personal Zimmerman is a black? run?

        the reality is a white can run in the burbs and no one gets alarmed–a black is running he might get the police called on him–and in Florida, he might even get shot by people seeing him run.

        March 22, 2012 at 2:34 am | Report abuse |
      • Daphne

        That's smart of you to follow that principle if your ever pulled over but you won't have to use it as much as blacks in your same socioecomonic class because they would be pulled over in greater numbers, not because they are doing something wrong but because they are black.

        July 16, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Bill

    more race baiting from cnn.

    Hey, cnn. Zimmerman is Latino. Stop with the "woe is me Im black and oppressed" b.s.

    In Santa Clara, CA, heart of Silicon Valley, my kid got to sit alone at school while all the Indian mothers pulled their kids away from him. Being the *only* white kid in class he got to sit alone.

    See, its not *just* blacks that feel different and alone when amongst other races. It is *everybody*. We *ALL* feel like that when out of place. We *ALL* get treated like that.

    For every "black victim of bigotry" you pop up, I can show you a "white victim of bigotry" story. They just don't make national news because people like you don't believe it happens.

    FBI believes it.
    DOJ believes it.

    They have aggregates of all the race based crime in America. Its not whites that have a hate problem...

    March 20, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      They can't get rid of the self-pity and playing the down-trodden. Will they still be doing this when it's 400 years after slavery? Think China, when they run the planet will listen? Not likely. "Work or starve" is their motto.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jasper

        Maybe when we are 400 years away from the civil rights movement things will be different. Being that we are just 40 years out of the civil right movement oppression of minorities still exist in this country.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bill

        Mauritania recently recent the slavery clock. Disgusting place.

        But back on topic, absolutely no doubt in my mind that racial discrimination against blacks happens. You'd have to be stupid to think it doesn't. But it has been so ingrained in black youths that they WILL be discriminated against that *anything* that happens MUST be because they're black. From misunderstandings (this author sure that little white kid didn't just pick up her sibling so she wouldn't sit on the dirty floor in the middle of a busy thoroughfare?), to OBVIOUS non-issues (Officer Crowley rightfully arresting Prof. Gates... with the assistance of a black officer) being called racism; they're often caused by the persecution complex being ingrained in the next generation.

        With cops especially people seem to forget that cops are cops, regardless of race. Published studies have shown that people with power abuse it. Cops are no different. Repeatedly they are let off with nothing to slaps on the wrist for the very same crimes that would put us in jail for years. This despite the fact that they have a greater position of responsibility in society and should thus be held to higher standards. Yet story after story of law enforcement and their relatives getting off (See the same town where Trayvon was killed: recent police lieutenant's son sucker punched a random homeless guy; got 0 jail, despite previous arrests for murder and assault) are misinterpreted as race issues, when in fact its just or primarily stupid power hungry cops issues.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • Freethinker

        You clearly haven't educated yourself on this matter. Education was the way many Americans pulled themselves up. In America a good education was and still is tied to zip code. Our housing is still relatively segregated with generations of black and brown students assigned to poor under-resourced schools. Generations! And the ones who went to integrated schools weren't offered the same instruction and college counseling as their white peers. Unions were a way to middle class for many poor white immigrants but they weren't open to blacks until very recently. Blacks weren't able to buy the best houses they could afford or start businesses as discrimination was and still is rampant in housing/real estate/ banking loans. WWII GIs came back and got the GI Bill and bought houses from which they sourced their children's college tuition and helped their children buy houses. You guessed it. Blacks didn't get the GI Bill. We are still living the effects of not only slavery, but Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Era. The recent housing crisis showed that Blacks and Hispanics with great credit were more than 2x more likely to get subprime mortgages from banks than whites making them more likely to foreclose and lose household wealth. Whites with criminal record are more likely to be hired than blacks without. Blacks who were hired were less likely to be promoted up the ranks. It's not whining. It's just clearly seeing what is. You avoid looking at it because it benefits you and makes you feel as if you are special and have been rewarded for doing the right thing when you have been rewarded for being white.

        March 22, 2012 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Lew

      Well could thing they didn't have a 9MM or your son would be dead, by self defense of course.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Richard

    Not really. Most people with any kind of education wouldn't name their kid, "Trayvon."

    March 20, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Runtime Al

      Nobody with any education would ever make such a statement.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bill

        I do and would.

        But I have a sense of humor.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  23. wrm

    Anyone could get shot, mugged, hit by a car; black, white, tall, short, fat, thin, it doesn't matter. In the time that has passed since this story broke hundreds of children have died, it's just that their story wasn't as interesting to the media by virtue of what color the killer and the victim were.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • SS

      If you take race out of the equation this case is still particularly scary. I think the media is correct to continue its focus on this case not because of race but because the police have yet to arrest the individual holding the gun. Whether Zimmerman has an adequate self-defense theory is NOT up to the police to determine – this is for a judge and jury to determine. If his defense has merit, he will be found not guilty. However the appalling aspect of this case is that the police have taken it upon themselves to act as cop, lawyer, judge and jury. Race aside, I think it's correct for the media to continue to put pressure on the police to take a closer look at this case as there is a process in place for evidence to be presented and a proper decision to be handed down. This process has been completely bypassed in this tragic incident.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  24. BKey

    This is the most horrific example of parenting I have ever heard. Setting aside for a moment the still held tenet in this country of, "innocent until proven guilty," (i.e. Zimmerman), how about the fact that a mother feels the best way to correct a societal ill is by indoctrinating her son with the same prejudices that may have contributed to the death of Trayvon.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Minne

      Are you even a parent? Clearly you are white and have only ever lived in predominantly white neighborhoods. She is first and foremost trying to keep her son alive, which is the same thing I would tell my child to make sure they see their next birthday.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • BKey

        Is it ok if Zimmerman's parents taught him that his best chance at staying alive is to arm himself against black people? Of course not. If Zimmerman's parents taught him that was the best way to stay alive, their intent would be for the best interest of their child. But it's wrong. The message wrong. Just as this writer's message is wrong.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Makes Me Wanna' Holler

      BKEY I can see why you say that the writer's parenting is bad, but as a Black man I can say with authority that she would be derelict of duty if she sent her child into the world only to be "blind-sided" by the inevitable racial intimidation that he will experience either physically, psycho-emotionally, or both. By helping him anticipate it, he will develop much need coping skills (patience being one of them) in dealing with people who might harbor ill will toward him only because of his skin color. The writer is giving her son the tools he will surely need to survive and thrive in America with his dignity in tact.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • BKey

        I can accept that. However, that is a tight rope to walk. There has to be a high probability that trying (especially this writer's way) to impart the skills you have identified has an opposite reaction of creating hostility, fear, paranoia, and resentment. I have to imagine there are better ways to accomplish what you are identifying as needed coping and survival skills.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • BKey

        Also, I'm reminded of Ghandi, "you have to be the change you want to see." If people want racism to disappear, they have to start with themselves and their children. If it is ok to teach the coping skills you have identified in order to deal with a current reality, then people of opposite races, cultures, etc. are going to make determination that they feel is needed to deal with their current realities. Whites, Hispanics, etc, experience threats, intimidation, priveledges, yada, yada, as well. But Zimmerman's parents may have taught him the reality that Blacks, or Black communities engage or experience high crime rates, and this was his determined method of coping. It perpetuates itself, and if you want it to stop, then stop for yourself and children. That said, I do understand your points.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • sonof2cops

      @Bkey

      No matter how you differentiate with the author’s comments, this 1-fact is true. Regardless of race, every parent has 1-nightmare that they never want to live, picking a grave-site for their child. That is all the author is saying and trying to avoid. How you do that is totally based upon YOUR personal experiences in life, and incidents like this only reinforce a reality for many living in America as a person of color.

      March 21, 2012 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Freethinker

      She's indoctrinating her son AGAINST those prejudices. Not with them. So he understands where a person like Zimmerman may be coming from and knows that in Zimmerman's eyes he is guilty until proven innocent instead of the other way around. Your white privilege allows you to think such teachings are not necessary. How lucky for you that you don't have to worry about that.

      March 22, 2012 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
  25. Darin

    We need to learn to see everyone as a brother and part of one human family. My heart goes out to Travyon's family. You can see from his pictures that he was a beautiful kid – and it's so sad that some people won't see it for the color of his face.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Shawn

    Here are homicide counts from the department of justice: http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/homicide/race.cfm , only available up to 2005:

    White on White: 4755 Black on Black: 4497 Black on White: 934 White on Black: 337 Other on Black: 4

    Even ignoring that the black population is 1/10 that of white, the fears laid out in this article are misplaced.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Race Card

      II applaud your invokation of some form of statistics. It seems – and this may be stereotypical – that when "white on black" crime occurs (independent of actual motivation), the victim cries out for a racially motivated crime. That's what the author of this article is implying.

      But, how often do you hear of black on white crime in the news where the victim and his/her family cry for a racially motivated crime? Most often it's written off as "wrong place wrong time," without a hate crime theme. Double standard?

      March 20, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • Shawn

        I kept the statics simple. These are pure counts of nationwide killings in 2005, not per-capita (which makes it really frightening, but unfortunately, something a lot of people can't seem to understand).

        March 20, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sam

        Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that white people are more likely to kill black people for being black than black people are to kill white people for being white?

        March 20, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • Shawn

        Even if true, what possible difference can that make? A white person is 3 times more likely to be killed by a black, than a black by a white. Now you want to assign a 'this murder is worse than that murder' rule to it? Lets say its 4 times worse for a white to kill a black... wait, you've got something there.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • Real All Day Long

        http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/hc2009/data/table_01.html These stats are from the FBI as of 2009 and they have additional information on the reports. the problem is not a person committed a crime against the black person it is the actions of the system afterwards. As you stated if it happens the other way do you really think that they would not be charged at the very least. Sit in jail up until they have been proven innocent or guilty by a court of law. That is the problem and that is the racism. It is the value of a black mans life versue that of another race or culture. Don't be so blind to thank that eveyone is looking for a reason to say these things who wants to feel like everyone is against them. How is that going to ever help? Oh, I forgot we don't want to be better, just keep getting welfare and unemployment. People get real and understand that because u haven't experience it doesn't mean it is not true. Most Black people live with it and do the best they can to better themselves and their family.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Objective

      I think the underlying issue is that the KILLER is walking around free. To make a point, I'll take a concept from the film " A Time to Kill"..... what if the boy was white and the KILLER was black?......
      Please stop complaining about how fair black have it in this country.
      I get it. You did not own slaves... You did not start the whole inequality concept, but it DOES exist and this is one example. You can ignore it, but dont be ignorant of it. The USA had slaves less than 300 years ago do you really think that does not impact todays blacks? Please let me know what you think.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Jelks

    I feel as you are teaching your child the same thing as the little girl's(in the airport)mom taught her. How can you justify teaching your child that white people are dangerous but ridicule a white person for teaching the very same thing to her daughter? Seems like you need to think about what you are doing.... you are creating a racist. And yes both races can be racists... it is not a one way street. Hate crimes are committed by both races. How quickly you bring up the black man in Jackson, MS that was ran over by white teens... but fail to mention the old white man in Jackson, MS that was fataly beat up by two black males a few months ago. Oh wait.. that one did not get national attention. His life was just as important and his family is just as hurt.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben Boston

      See Jelks that is part of the problem your interpretation of what she saying. She is not saying that white people are dangerous!! If you got that from the article you need to read it again. What she is SIMPLY saying is that things are different. I am a black male and I understand all to well what she is saying. She is doing the right thing because as a black male as well spoke, dressed and mannered as you may be you are a threat!! I have know this since I was young from two sources the first being my own experience having mostly white friends. As a teenager there were 4 of us in a friends car and we were toilet papering someone's house, stupid but harmless. At one point during the night we got pulled over, I was in the passenger seat. I was pulled out of the car and searched...just me. It's not about fearing white people or white people being dangerous. It's about peoples perception of ME and how I need to act knowing what they think about me not what I actually am. That is what black children face in this country and that is why Trayvon Martin is dead. This women is equipping her son to deal with the realities of what he will have to deal with. Not teaching hate.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  28. ELDER Scrolls

    All men were created equal. we should all have the same opportunity and rights. God gave each person born the same amount of luck to swim up and reach that egg. This is a simple tragedy and disgrace to life itself. All the more hope for 2012 to deliver justice to all of Humanity.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Drew

    Christy,

    Does it ever cross your mind that the little girls just say that about all boys, a common theme among young girls and boys. I don't understand why just because a little girl didn't like your son, it automatically has to be racism? Are you saying that no where in the world has a little white girl ever said “Don’t play with him! He’s dirty and dangerous!” in regards to another white boy? And how about your rule "Don't run with your white friends". So someday, your boy is going to turn to his friends and say "sorry, I can't do that with you because you are white"? Have you ever considered how the other white boy would feel? Because in case you haven't realized, this white friend of your son would be a victim of your son's racism.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • del

      Are you serious? Did you really just type this out thinking it makes sense?

      March 20, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • Drew

        What doesn't make sense about it?

        March 20, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • Reallist

        fact – black people are killed most in this country by other black people. this was not a hate crime, so should not be a racial issue. the original poster of this comment is correct and the writer of this article is a bigot. if you want to change how people react and stereotype, you must first change the culture of your own people to not support the stereotype. stereotypes are called stereotypes because they have a possible chance of occurring – the asian person has a decent chance of not speaking english, the trailer park caucasian has a decent chance of having alcohol and a firearm within reach, and the black person with the hoodie has a decent chance of carrying some form of concealed weapon. this is called logic enforced by experience where people choose to be cautious. people make excuses for their inherent racism and reverse racism, but they need to take responsibility for how they behave and not hide behind. the shooting of trayvon is not a race issue and the writer of this article should be more afraid of people from her own culture killing her son as opposed to making this out to be a race issue.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Jim

    This is definitely a terrible situation, and like that ones she points out, there are plenty of horrible things black people do to white people, that put these stereotypes into peoples heads. The past summer, it was only black kids beating and robbing people with flash mobs, like in Philly or at the Wisconsin state fair. It was black people who raped and killed a white couple in Tennessee because they were white. These types of things cut both ways, and it is a fact that black people commit a very high percentage of the crime in this country. Living in a major city, I will say it's hard to distinguish between good kids and bad ones, because they both basically dress like thugs. I think if the culture improved, in a more positive way, a lot could change. I just don't think America is ready to accept they way a lot of inner city black people behave, and to be honest, they are tired of it. Cops get accused of unjustly killing black people all the time, but at the same time they are scared themselves, due to the black culture, and the people they have to deal with day in and day out.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Mike in Ohio

    The person responsible deserves a needle in the arm. I heard the 9/11 call and that boy was screaming for his life before the gunshot. That is not self-defense.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Dannie

    I must have read a different article – I see a mother concerned about her son – not a black versus white article at all. Maybe some of you need to reread!

    March 20, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin D.

      Why is she concerned about her son? Facing violence, right? From whom?

      Yeah, we can read. And analyze what she's saying.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack Maehoffer

      You're right. I didn't even know Oglesby was black.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Race Card

      This is clearly a "black versus white" article, if you bothered to read it. The author states it plainly, multiple times. Two of them being:
      My son is black. His race gives me much more to fear than his fearlessness.

      Maybe I shouldn’t keep reminding Drew about the risks that come with being black and male in America.

      The race card is pulled far too frequently in America. Was this case racially motivated? Or perhaps just overzealous neighborhood watchman? What if Trayvon were Hispanic – would it be racially motivated? What about if he were white, could it be racially motivated or that point would it just be simply a crazy neighborhood watchman?

      Not everything is about race; the probability of events happening between two individuals of different races is quite high since America is a melting pot.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • Chrystal L. Prather

        I understand. Great story. And to all you racist trolls using fake names to make racial comments. EFF ALL OF YOU! You are what makes America worse with your fears and no knowledge of people of all cultures. You're the people scared to grow, scared of change because you think you'll be wiped out of existence. This is your fears that keep YOU from moving, because you aren't willing to accept that people are different. People are all colors, creeds and guess what God made them. All of you. You sit behind your computer typing away of what you think about black folks this and that yet have No black friend to even know how black folks are. I feel sorry for your children, I feel sorry for the legacies that you have laid down for your generations to come. Because you are too comfortable in ignorance and fear to live, too comfortable in being dumb, too comfortable to even get outside of the boxes you live in to explore what the world has to offer you. Thank you for proving that racism is still alive in 2012. That's all your comments are really doing.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mae

      Dannie, he is referring to the article that prompted this mother to write the article... He is referring to the 911 calls of the young man who was murdered in Florida...

      March 20, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dannie

        Sorry – I was referring to the other post – not the 9-11 call post.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Lynne

    Thank you for this eye-opening piece. I'm a mom to two boys, so I relate to the gasp-inducing moments, to the up-nights worry and to all I must do today to keep them safe tomorrow. But I cannot imagine worrying that they won't be safe because of the color of their skin. This piece is a great reminder of the luxuries I take for granted, just because I - and my kids - happen to be white in America. Thanks for the courage, the grace and the perspective.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • SWils

      Thank you for sharing your story Christie. As a Mother of a young son, it breaks my heart.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Morgan

    I constantly speed around town in my dirty, taped up ride. Contrast that with my black co-workers in their much more pristine cars and restrained driving. Now, ask yourself: who do you think has never been pulled over? If you picked the white girl, you picked right. I'm breaking the law and my car's not up to code, but I'm free to drive unmolested because I'm not black. Welcome to America.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  35. DR

    I agree with everything you have written. You are stating facts. There is still racism not only in the south but the north also. Racism is here and you can see it and feel it.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • BKey

      I can see it right here in this article.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ashy

        DR and it is not just white vs black... As this article clearly exemplifies it is black vs whites as well.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  36. gia

    I read this story several times. Each time i was moved by it. Being a mother to two beautiful biracial daughters, i have seen a lot of different actions, that i am sure i would have not seen if my daughters were of one (white) race. I have seen some "slights" done right in front of me, only because the offender thought it was ok, since there was another white person present, never once thinking that i am their mother. Todays society is a far cry from when i was a child, however, unfortunately, there are still some areas/thoughts/perceptions/people that have not evolved with the times. As my dad used to say "some people dont grow up, they just grow older. "

    March 20, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  37. BKey

    Has it ever occured to the other that perhaps the little girl was taught not to sit on the floor, "dirty," and that talking to stangers is, "dangerous?"

    March 20, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ashy

      Oh and Christy, repeating those details to your son are going to do what??? Hmmmm, make him racists towards whatever nationality that little girl was... Way to teach hate. Maybe you should be a better parent and explain to him that some people are not exposed to people of different elasticities and race and don't know how to act around them And then explain that we are all of the human race as opposes to some insignificant color. But no, that would make too much sense.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • BKey

        Ashley,

        I agree 100%. I've written it several times. CNN is just censuring comments.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • sense2hard

        I didn't see where she taught her son to hate white people. I saaw the part where she said his best friend is white.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Minne

      The exact quote was "he's dirty and dangerous"

      March 20, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • BKey

        From a six year old. Sitting on the ground and a stranger.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • del

      You and Ashy have some real issues to work out. Low-lives.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • BKey

        I offer the possibility of a more innocent interpretation of a six year olds comment, and I have an issue to work out? So you are ok with this Mother teaching her son to fear white people based on a comment by a six year old?

        March 20, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ashy

        del, having an opinion that differs from your makes us low lives... Wow, really showing your intelligence. No you are right, she should remind her child of a time when he was judged by the color of his skin, so that he hates the people who did that to him. Good teaching. Keep it up. No wonder blacks commit so many crimes against whites...

        March 20, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Minne

      Are you two working together or something? An article written by a mother who is trying to teach her son things to prevent him from getting harmed. I'll bet she doesn't care that much about whether or not she's teaching him to be or not to be racist. She just wants him to stay alive.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ashy

        Minne, she is teaching him to fear white people and people who are different. Get a clue... Maybe she does not realize it, but she is.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
      • BKey

        And maybe that is exactly what Zimmerman's parents taught him. Maybe they taught him that to stay alive you need to arm yourself because black people are going to harm you, or more generally, just fear black people. Of course, we all agree that is wrong. Just as it is wrong what this author is teaching her son.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nan

      It would be, if that was what she had said. BUT SHE DIDN'T SAY THAT!!!! She speciffically said “Don’t play with him! He’s dirty and dangerous!” KEY WORD!!! HIM

      March 20, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • BKey

        "Him," meaning he, is in fact sitting on the ground, thereby dirty, and a stranger, thereby dangerous. My point is to not interpret the correct meaning of a six year old, but rather to offer to adults reading this racist article that her meaning may not have been of evil intent, and thereby not worth an adult developing her parental message around.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • BKey

        Further, since were attempting to interpret a six year olds intent regarding what she said, lets consider what was not said. What was not said, was, "he is black because, so he is dangerous and dirty," or, "He is dangerous and dirty because he is black." I could offer a thousand examples of what was not said which would be better indicators of a six year old's meaning.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Darin

      There are so many possible situations. Maybe that little girl just saw a movie about black babies attacking children and sucking their brains out.

      Or maybe she thought he was white, but since his skin was so dark, she thought he was actually dirty.

      Or maybe it's actually the simplest explanation. Whatever that could be.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Ashy

    Christy Oglesby: Just so you know this is the same story for white people in a predominantly black community. So please spare us the reverse racism. This is not about white people vs black people, especially since the guy who shot Trayvon is of mixed race. This is about a vigilante fool who decided Trayvon was going to be his victim. Black people need to stop playing the race card in this country if they wish to stop being treated differently. Every time something happens between a white and black, it is automatically a racial event. It could not possibly be that maybe the person did not like the other person because of something else. Always has to be race. It's pathetic...

    March 20, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • kygirl30

      The difference is if a black person killed a white person, they will be locked up with the key thrown away. Wake up! It's about the fact that this family can't get justice after their son was killed due to the color of his skin only.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Minne

      Give me a break, it is absolutely not the same for a lone white person in a black neighborhood. Take off your blinders.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • wayne

        You could not be more wrong. As a teenager, I once got a flat tire about half a mile of a relatively rural black neighborhood. As I walked through the neighborhood to a gas station, three black guys about my age started following me, getting closer with each step. When they finally caught up with and circled me, I asked what was wrong, to which they replied "You don't belong here." "Why?" "I'm prejudiced, b####." After taking a bit of a beating, I managed to escape and get to the gas station.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Melissa Martin

      I am a caucasian woman with adopted black childrern. I learned about the palpable racism in America the first time I ventured out with my son and saw how the world shifted in response to me. I, too, am terrified my son will be victimized by a world that only sees his color in a negative light, and I am equally terrified and disgusted by those who deny the reality so eloquently articulated by this mother who is afraid for her child's safety.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • del

      Your response to this article is pathetic. Typical armchair science from a bigot that probably hasn't left their parents basement let alone travel somewhere that whites were a minority. Thanks for being part of the problem and wasting our time with such a useless comment.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ashy

        del, you are right I have no idea... Been on my own since 17. Went to school 1 block from the projects. Buddy was stabbed by a group of thugs for being white in their neighborhood. But yeah I am an armchair QB.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jacob

        Have you or Minne ever been the lone white person in a black neighborhood? I have, and I feared for my life on a daily basis. Plenty of shootings, gang activities, police called nightly. You could practically feel the hatred in the stares I got every time I left my front door. Does racism work both ways? Yes. Was Zimmerman's act of murder tinged with racism? Absolutely.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Ted Ryder

    Statistically blacks kill a lot more whites than whites kill blacks. Statistics don't count though.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phearis

      Statistically blacks kill more blacks than all other skin colours combined. Odd that if a black person kills another black person, it never makes the news. Hmmmm, Perhaps because it happens a 100 times a day.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • marvin

        You know black people don't like that fact either, right? Its pretty obvious that we don't want to live in fear for our children, no matter what color the threat.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • Real All Day Long

        http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/hc2009/data/table_01.html

        check out real stats

        March 20, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jasper

      And where did you get these statics from? Unless you have a source to back up this claim it is just fiction.
      FYI Wikipedia is not a source.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Real All Day Long

      Stop reciting the same statements and thought of a group of people who have never encountered it. Honestly most culutres kill each other, but it is never stated that way. It is simple because most of the time that race is who they are around the most. There white on white crimes, black on black. brown on brown, yellow on yellow, red on red, and/or what ever race and/or color you choose to use. The problem is the majority (white people in the U.S.) at the current time have the power and positions to affect the other culutures and races based on their own personal views. If you honestly ask a Black Male of the treatment that they received and some of the examples then ask his white counter-part the proof is in the pudding. How often and/or when have you ever heard of a Black Man shooting an unarmed White Teen and not at the very least being charged? Read the Willie Lynch Letter Making of a Slave. Some people don't want to hear the truth. They can find every reason and excuse why a person is treated this way. Every black person is not a thug just as every white person is not a child molester, serial killer, and/or former slave owner. Ask you white friend how many times they have been followed, harassed, pulled-over, and/or assaulted. This is not just a southern thing it is a real thing and it is ok because the time will come when the numbers between the races will be more balance and white can understand that all minorities are not just welfare, complaining, lazy, criminals attempting to steal all of the white's hard earned tax dollars. P.S. I don't understand yet how minorities are so lazy but they built most of the country for free and right now statistically more minorities do blue collar jobs than anything else. THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE. It is not racist to equip your children with the tools need to succeed in this society. You set laws to change the rules, but you can’t change what some people feel inside and when that number of people have positions of power you must act according or ---–

      March 20, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Milky

      Blacks are convicted when killing whites – hence the stats!!

      March 20, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Milky

      All the crime stats prove are that blacks are convicted when killing whites. The killing of Trayvon should count as white killing black, but never will since the killer won't get convicted!,

      March 20, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Rex

    As the father of a 17 yo male, I also am worried for his future, and am sickened by what happened to this young man. Why make it a race issue? From what has been reported, this Zimmerman guy was just a moron and a loose canon who should be put away for all of our children's sakes. I don't blame the family for playing the race card – I also would do anything I could to get justice, whether it was misquided or not. But why are the "responsible" news organizations playing it as well? White and Hispanic children are just as at risk from non-whites and non-hispanics. What about the white child who had gasoline thrown on him and lit on fire by two black kids teens just a few weeks ago, who "wanted to put whitie in his place"? – does CNN not think this is newsworthy? There are countless other examples of this kind of "reverse racism" – are these not important as well? You all lessen the importance and repugnance of the truly racists issues by overrelying on this tired theory, and may very well be perpetuating racism in the US by breeding resentment among those of us non-African Americans who are trying very hard to achieve a raceless society. You are causing more harm than good... Just recognize this event as a tragic example of of an idiot with a gun with a police-glory complex, nothing more.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ashy

      Hey and Zimmerman is of mixed race...

      March 20, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • John

        He's in a race of stupidity...

        March 20, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Real All Day Long

      Were they charged and/or arrested because he wasn't? That is the race issue that a black person can be killed without any consequences to the people and/or person who committed the offense. Nothing more nothing less. The frequency that it happens with is the problem. Not that black people don't commit crimes against other black people or vice versa with other races it the consequence for the actions by the system when a crime by another race is committed against a black person that it breeds racism. That is not playing the race card that is stating the obvious.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Carla Vazq

    How to read CNN articles.

    1. Read the headline
    2. Look at the photo
    3. Read the comments

    And if the comments make any sense, read the article from the bottom up.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phearis

      Well, that would explain every comment you've ever made.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  42. IMANI

    BRILLIANT, POWERFUL ESSAY. You speak for all of us who are mothers, aunts, cousins, sisters, and wives of black men in America.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin D.

      The author is saying African-Americans are not free in America, they are "free-ish". I think that's disgusting and insulting to those that died in the Civil War and Civil Rights Era to give them their freedom.

      People love to pretend they are the underdogs. It gives their minds an excuse if they fail.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ashy

      It is puzzling to me... If America is so bad to you why stay? Canada is just to the north or Mexico is just to the South...

      March 20, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kevin D.

        Exactly why stay in a place where you are slave-ish? Which is what Ms. Oglesby is saying if her son is free-ish. Awful that she would subject her son to being slave-ish.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jasper

        As an African American man who has served in the Military I love my country! But that in no way negates the issues that plague my country. What really PUZZLES me is whenever any minority says something about race inequality the first thing SOME white American does is become angry. Does your anger steam from the fact that you may be racist and are upset because it is being spoken about? As an American I have to right to speak my truth, my experience and my life. And unless you are an African American man you know nothing about my struggle. I choose to stay here because I CAN! I will not run because people are ignorant. I will teach my son to stand for what is right and what he believes in. Not to run because you are surrounded by idiots. In that case there would be no place on earth for him to go.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ashy

        Jasper, Because I question a black person who I think is teaching her son to be a racist I am a racist??? Or because I say if you are so mistreated move I am being a racist??? I am not in the least bit a racist. But I am also someone who can't stand when people complain and do nothing about it. If this article was written by a white person I would have the same comments for her. She is teaching her son that he should fear people who are not black and people who are involved in law enforcement. There will always be people who dislike people for race and religious differences... Sorry, but that is not the norm in today's society.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jasper

        Ashy I agree with you, there will be people that are racist and intolerant. And I was not calling you racist, just making the point that whenever the topic is brought up people get bent out of shape, and the question I posed was is it because they are racist. I do not think she is teaching her son to be racist. My mother and father gave me the same lesson. They are preparing him for life in this world. I do not discriminate against people based on color, but that will not stop the world from discriminating against me. I understand that, it’s my life and I live it.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • Freethinker

        Ashy is she teaching her son to be racist or is she talking openly to her son about racism and its effects. That by some he will be guilty until proven innocent and he should not do things to make them think more so. I find it interesting that you would call that racism. I find it even more interesting that you are more upset that she is teaching her son about the ways of the society we live in than that society is the way it is. Very telling indeed.

        March 22, 2012 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Uberni99er

      Its an extract from her upcoming book 'Born to Fail'

      March 20, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Lance

    And the moderators begin to selectively control the dialogue through omission (at best) or censorship (at worst). I expect nothing less from CNN!

    March 20, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shawn

      Or an annoyingly slow web site...

      March 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      The actual big threat to a young black man is to be uneducated and not having the support of your parents to teach you the difference of right and wrong. Yes I am a black man, no I didn't grow up in the suburbs. Yes I did attend public schools.
      I have 2 sons that are fully black one in college the other in Jr High and yes I have told them to be aware of their surrounding and the situations that arises. I teach my sons to respect all adults however do not get yourselves in uncomfortable situations.
      As far as Trayvon, he was shot by a man that had something against young black men. I do not believe that this INDIVIDUAL should be roaming the streets. His days of seeing light in the morning should be over. He figured tha he would take the law into his own hands when there were actually no laws that were broken. He was told to NOT act and allow the police to handle the so-called situation. I figure that jail is to good for this man.
      Also can someone explain to me why as a Neighborhood Watch Captain are you walking around with a loaded gun?

      March 20, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Let him live

    Christy,

    I understand your fear. It comes from both experience and wisdom. But, the world has changed so quickly and you need to let him live as boys are prone to do with reckless abandon. I live near you. Our boys may have gone to the same school though I probably can't get my son into the school your son will go to because of my son's skin color. My children are upper middle class white and brown kids. They run and play all day in Atlanta with other kids of all stripes. We have Asian, white, black, interracial, Indian, and Puerto Rican children living in our neighborhood. All the boys are boys and love life. Teach him about how the world was but also teach him how much the world has changed.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  45. lisa

    In a nutshell this could be your child or mine. Black or White. I know of a police officer on the Savannah Chatham Police Dept. that constantly says how much he dislikes blacks. In fact, he is a black male. Crazy.
    As far as George Zimmerman he made it about race. It has been reported that he called 911 many times about black males in the neighborhood.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Russell

    There is, of course, racism in this country still. Sometimes it may surface in the most horrible of ways, as it seems to have done with this case. However, I feel that the author may be programming – as another person put it – her son to believe virulent racists are hiding behind every tree waiting to beat him up or kill him. Statistically, his is unlikely to encounter these people. He may encounter the employer that won't hire blacks, but probably not the racists that want to physically harm him. The "Ann" proverb is good, as is the "Prospect" proverb (it always helps anyone to speak properly and dress well), but are the other proverbs making his scared of whites or resentful towards them? Resent can turn into hate . . . are you going too far and worrying too much? Is your message good for your son or bad for him?

    March 20, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin D.

      The last thing her son needs to be fearing is white people. I'm one of those statistics and facts types guys.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Tiffany

    That man (Zimmerman) white, latino, asian or whatever should be sitting in jail right now, because if a black man killed a white, lation, asian, or even another black person he would DEFINITELY be in jail - despite "hard" evidence. For a black person the order is ^ alleged crime ^ jail ^ court ^ verdict, but I guess for non-blacks the jail part is a non-factor. #thatsnotright. By the way, one does not have to be white or black to be racist. A latino/hispanic can be racist aganist a black american, wake up people.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shawn

      You're almost there Tiffany. Take the next step, a black person can be racist against other races as well. Here is the test I like to use on people to see if they are secretly racist. Reverse the races of the people in the story. Do you have the same emotional reaction to the story? If you don't, then you yourself are racist.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • Shad

        Make sense man. Take a break. Dont you have anything to do today?

        March 20, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • JomoDaMusicMan

      The STAND YOUR GROUND, defense in Florida was passed in Florida so that a White Person can kill Blacks and would not have to stand trial. But a Black Person would go directly to jail if he tried to use it to kill anyone. There is a case in Tampa right now. A 75 yr old black man (Dooley) was attacked from behind by a 40 yr old white man and after a struggle a gun goes off and the white man is dead. The Black man was arrested and after posting a $50,000 bond released and his concealed weapon permit was removed and he was ordered by the judge to NOT TO GO BACK TO HIS OWN HOME. White Public Opinion wants Dooley to be tried for murder and it appears that the prosecutors are yielding to this pressure

      March 20, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • TT

        You conveniently left out a few facts from the Dooley story: 1) The now dead man was playing basketball with his 8 year-old daughter in a public area. 2) Dooley tried to chase off a skateboarding teenager who was breaking no laws. 3) When the now dead man told Dooley that the kid could stay, Dooley came across the street WITH HIS PISTOL to confront the now dead man 4) The skateboarding teenager has testified that Dooley was the aggressor throughout the entire incident.

        You knew these facts, but chose to omit them. You have zero credibility.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Kevin D.

    It would be a shame that if every time a white person was killed by a black person, this type of article went out warning against being near someone of the other race. Let's get past this type of thinking! This author should be ashamed for perpetuating racism.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shawn

      That would be racist or profiling – so we mustn't do that.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • JomoDaMusicMan

      I find it amazing, that you accuse the author of perpetrating racism. When a White Racist Hunts Down & Kills an unarmed Black Child. If it was a Black Man, and he could be a Black Cop that kill a 17 yr old white child, I guarantee that he would go to jail for life. In Florida, the only Police Officer who was ever convicted of killing someone in the line of duty was a Black Cop and he killed a White Man who was dragging him and he begged this white man to stop and he shot & killed him. this Black Cop was convicted and sent to Prison. Several yrs ago in Crystal Rivers Florida, a white cop shot a handcuffed black man in the back of his head and it was ruled justified. Anybody in the house from Florida, remember that

      March 20, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Melissa Martin

      This was not a black person who was killed, it was a black child.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Freethinker

      Most times innocent black people are killed by racist or prejudiced whites it doesn't make the news, The author was kind enough to share some insights as to what normally goes on behind closed doors. Blacks used to tell their children to be careful because they could be lynched for looking at someone the wrong way (Emmett Till). Times have changed but there are still people who will see a black person running and assume he stole something or robbed someone or raped someone and take action based on that ignorant assumption. It may sound silly but this is what it means to be a black person in America. To constantly think about how you could be perceived and to understand that people's perceptions of you and reality can be vastly different but you need to take all possible precautions to allow you to come home at night. That's not racist. That is the reality of being black in America. I understand it is not YOUR reality. How lucky for you.

      March 22, 2012 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
  49. Chris

    People such as yourself keep racism alive and well in this country, Mrs. Oglesby.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • yorky1966

      No, it's people like George Zimmerman, the teens that killed James Anderson and James Byrd's killers that keep racism alive.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      Your comment is an epic fail. The story she is telling and the stories of other young black men in CURRENT America are all too true. I am white and I know that I do not have to worry about these same issues and will not have to worry about them for my children. But I strongly empathize with Ms. Oglesby and I know that I DO have to worry about these issues for our country.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • KJC

        Agreed. I am white, and I am tired of people talking about our "post racial society" when a group of kids ran over an innocent black man with a pickup truck just months ago. I think we each like to take pride in being so much more noble than anyone else, but deep down, I think almost everyone has at least a minimal struggle with accepting people who look or act differently. It's not that it's right, and most people I know would fight that temptation, but it's still there. When we have clear studies showing that identical resumes will be received differently by a hiring manager depending on whether the name at the top sounds ethnic or not; when we have thousands of comments on CNN message boards suggesting that all Latinos are "Mexican" (which they're not), illegal, lazy, greedy, you name it; when we have laws that make certain types of drugs which are more prevalent in the black community carry higher penalties than equally dangerous drugs found in white communties; we have to be real and admit that we are still in the process of dealing with the issue. It's not all better. Consider this: some people have expressed concern that if there is a higher Latino population in this country than white population, they will pass laws in their own favor. Or that it could happen at state or county levels. So what about the current majority population? Is it possible that we are blind to passing laws in our own favor? Absolutely.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Your comprehension skills are lacking. Please read the article again. Hopefully, the second time around will help!

      March 20, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  50. pm Ohio

    I think that things have changed for the better in the last 40 years, but there are many racists still out there. Racism is taught. Just like the little girl in the airport. She just wanted to play with Christy's son, but the older sister taught her racism, which was taught to her. I think she is taking it too far, though. You can't predict if and when you will encounter a racist that intends on harming you any more than you can predict if a lightning bolt will hit you. What will he think if he goes through life thinking everyone is a racist and realizes that 99% of the people out there are good people?

    March 20, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      I don't believe she is taking it too far. Past and present events have shown that racism is alive and well. Sad, but true. If making her son aware of this, allows him to make informed decisions, well kudos to her. To use your analogy, no one can predict when lightning will strike, but we do take precautions, by not standing under a tree during a thunder/lightning storm, we do stay away from windows during these weather events, we do stay away from open areas, etc. It's all about being aware and being informed.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  51. yvette

    Thank you Your words are mine and many more mothers whom raise black sons alone or not alone.Bless you

    March 20, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  52. QQ

    QQ some more!!

    March 20, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Calistudent

    Thank you Christy Oglesby for a powerful and insightful essay.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Shawn

    Thank you, this was moving and effectual. I have three sons and well aware of the dangers they may encounter since I am a black male in America. I to have learned no ampunt of education or money can protect you from ignorance. Jesus said my people suffer for the lack of knowledge. Unfortunately a family is in morning because of the ignorance of an individual.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  55. psy

    In the end, an unarmed child on a parent-sanctioned errand was stalked, chased and killed by an armed adult who outweighed him by 100 lbs. Racial implications be damned! That should not be acceptable in ANY society.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • JomoDaMusicMan

      If, the Black Child was WHITE, he would still be alive. Zimmerman would have Smiled & Waved at a White 17 yr old and not hunted him down and shot him like he was hunting Big Cats in Ohio

      March 20, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Rick

    Unbelievable the number of completely racist articles have been written since this story broke a few days ago.

    I agree... There are racist white people who kill black people because of their race. And 100 times more black people who kill black people... because of their race.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jess C

      You are a sad example of what America needs to be rid of. Your comment is based on your own stereotyping.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Candace

      are you serious? u need help.

      This is about TRAYVON MARTIN. Try to stay on topic.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • JomoDaMusicMan

      Rick, I agree that there are many whites who kills blacks because of their race. But very few blacks kill blacks because of their race. Blacks kill Blacks because they are either angry with them or love them & can't have control over them (relationships) or they want something that this other black person have so they kill them & take it.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angel

      Where are you getting the information that black people kill black people because of racial motivation? Sometimes black people kill black people in gang wars, robberies, etc with absolutely no racial component whatsoever.

      March 21, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Lonnie

    I live next to a neighborhood where the kids wear hoodies even in the heat of the summer. At least once a week a kid dies by the hand of another kid with a gun. Last month the kid who did the killing was thirteen years old. These kids scare me and I carry a gun. I am too old to ask questions.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil in Oregon

      Yep, you don't have to be a minority to be in danger. Quite the contrary, anyone who looks like they have money is a target if the drughead needs a fix.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Solex

      So your only answer to fear that you generate yourself is to shoot first and ask questions later?

      March 20, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Pappy521

    I am a 46 year old Black husband and father of 5 girls and 2 boys. Two years ago while driving into Hickory, NC I noticed a squad car with 2 police officers had pulled up behind me at a stop light. Professionally dressed in a suit, driving a company car I proceeded to watch my speed and use my turn signal while enroute to a luncheon. After driving 3 miles with officers still in tow, I came to a full stop at a yellow light in a right turn lane, looked, turned right and then signaled to turn right at the next corner. As I was making a left into the parking lot of my destination the blue lights came on. My parents' lessons and my own experiences prepared me for the questioning that followed by the officers who stopped me for failing to signal while I was in the right turn lane. Was this racial profiling? Does it matter? What does matter is that I survived the encounter and as a parent of 2 boys, 8 and 14 months, I'm afraid I will have to train them in what they must do if and when they find themselves in a similar encounter with "authority."

    March 20, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack Maehoffer

      The USA is the most dangerous place in the world to be black. Except for that place that George Clooney talks about probably, its easily in the top 3. Obama needs 4 more years to change the hearts of others.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • Phearis

        The US is most dangerous place in the world to be black? That's hilarious and you're high! Ever heard of South Africa? Somalia? Hatti? Columbia? Brazil? People in the US don't know how good they really got it. There are MUUUUUCH worse places in the World.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • John in NY

        The important fact you fail to include is that the major threat to young black males is other black males.

        Sorry to burst your ranting but there are far more black on black murders then there are white/black or even black/white murders.

        Was this man's actions justified? No, from what I've read, and assuming it's true, most definately not, but the sad fact is that law abiding black men, of all ages, often suffer because of the criminal behavior of other young black men.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • KJC

        While I definitely think there are a lot of racial issues in the U.S., I'm not sure if you've done much traveling. When I went to Ecuador to study abroad, many of our host families called Afro-Ecuadorians "monos" which means "monkeys" in Spanish. And this sort of language was culturally aceepted. Only 1 in 10,000 Afro-Ecuadorians goes to college in due to the racism and socioeconomic issues. It felt like I imagine the U.S. did 50 years ago. Now, the racism in the U.S. tend to be more subverted (or at least moreso than it used to be), although, as I said, I do still believe it exists. All that is to say I am just guessing that Ecuador is not the only country to still have these problems on such an overt and widely-accepted level.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
      • Smilin'

        You're a moron.

        Ever heard of England, and the Barclay's Premier League, or Germany, where they, too play soccer (football) and in the recent past (this season), players and fans have been penalized for racist comments/chants, or in Germany where fans have been known to throw bananas on the field when African Americans are playing???

        When's the last time you were at a professional sporting event when something of this sort happened?

        Racism in America? You bet, and anyone would be foolish to deny it. Does it work both ways, you bet – simply pay attention, and it's getting worse, not better with the way the Sharpton's and Jackson's of the world do "business."

        Mr. Hope and Change was supposed to unite the country, but regardless of who is elected, after this next election cycle is complete, there will be more divisiveness in this country than the early 60's because it will be ALL about class warfare and the nanny / welfare state vs. the self-empowered, achieve all you can in your lifetime vision.

        Why do Sharpton and Jackson get SOOO much more airtime / credibility for what they say vs. a Bill Cosby???

        Accountability begins at home.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • andwhat

      And 4 years ago driving through Baltimore... 4 black youths attempted to rough me up... for DRIVING through their neighborhood.

      So I don't get it.

      What the f!@# is the difference?

      BOTH are racist.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
      • Shawn

        Unfortunately, your incident would simply be described as a crime, not racism.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tony

        You are alive and Trayvon is not – that's the difference you idiot.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • JomoDaMusicMan

        You must be an idiot, if you can't see the difference. You was ruffed up by street thugs, who happened to be Black. Police Officers are public servants who are paid to SERVE AND PROTECT. RACIST COPS CROSSES THE LINE, WAY OVER THE LINE. OH, I FORGOT, BEFORE CRACK COCAINE THE MAJORITY OF BLACKS COPS KILLED IN AMERICA WAS MURDERED BY WHITE COPS. 80% OF THEM

        March 20, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • Pappy521

        There is no difference. You were assaulted because you were profiled and those thugs thought you were easy prey. What happened to you was criminal. Likewise, a 17 year old was profiled, stalked and eventually killed. And like your attackers, what was his attacker did to him was criminal.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • Angel

        Let us first make a clear distinction. You were driving in Baltimore City, which is NOT Baltimore County. Also driving through certain areas of Baltimore City at night is just asking for trouble. I'm African American and I've had issues driving in Baltimore City because I "didnt belong there". Trust me when I say you were profiled because as easy prey bc these youths knew you didnt belong.

        March 21, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phearis

      7 kids?!?! Geez dude! Ever heard of a condom?

      March 20, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • Pappy521

        Heard of them? Yes. Needed them ? No. I love my wife. I love my kids and I can adequately provide for them all.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Harold

      There is a Barney Fife in every city. Been there done that and got the ticket...out of state...lost and late at night....I'm not black either.....

      March 20, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • racistBS

      Maybe if african americans stopped promoting thuggery, they wouldn't be racially profiled. Ever think of that one? The majority of rappers are african american and all they do is sing about killing people and raping women and doing drugs. Yet society practically deifieis these people.
      I'm caucasian... I was once pulled over for no reason after leaving a fairly unsafe neighborhood in my area. The officer who pulled me over was Latino. I didn't think he was being racist for pulling me over. I thought he was doing he job and making sure I didn't just buy drugs. How can an officer tell who is in the car and what intentions its occupants have? I'm tired of the african american community making excuses and feeling sorry for themselves.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • John Lubeck

        Your comments are about as ignorant as they can be. By your standards, if a white child does something wrong, then all white children are somehow part of that group. But in fact, we know that's not what you will say, because you are a racist and white children don't do anything wrong.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
      • Pappy521

        Let me be clear. If I'm driving in a rough part of town, then I need to watch out for danger. If I'm driving through a known drug infested neighborhood, then I should expect to be pulled over. If I am assaulted by someone who wants what I have, it doesn't matter what their race is – I will defend myself. NO ONE is saying everyone crime committed agaisnt a Black person is raciially motivated. The issue here is this: when I am doing everything right – the right look, the right place, etc.. – and I am treated as though I have done something wrong, I am then forced to ask myself, what is wrong with this picture? Call it what you want to. And by the way, racism is not limited to Black and White, that just happens to be this country's history.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  59. William

    For every black male who is killed by a racist white person, there must be at least another thousand who are killed by other black males.

    What happened to Trayvon was a tragedy; and having listened to the 911 calls, I believe Zimmerman will be convicted of murder. But for god's sake, the implication that black men in America should fear for their lives on account of white racism is absolutely preposterous. You should be ashamed of yourself for promoting such a silly, insidious narrative.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wayne

      Where did you get that stat from? outofyourbuttpedia?

      March 20, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • Phearis

        Yeah, the exact same place Rick Santorum gets his facts.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • William

        Oh, please. I'd be surprised if you could find anyone here who would dispute the observation that black on black violence affects a *much* larger number of black males than racially-motivated violence by whites does.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lioness27

      White Americans in the South response to the end of slavery was Jim Crow. Their response to the end of Jim Crow includes the filling the prison Industrial complex with many blacks for crimes that whites also commit but only receives citations or some other minor punishment for. Just look at the poles that cite how whites in the south still believe President Barack Obama is not an American although he had to show his birth certificate to the general public multiple times. Which White President had to do that. Racism is alive and well even though you choose not to acknowledge it.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • William

        I don't claim that racism is dead - just that it is statistically rare, these days, for a racist white person to kill a black person (whereas this blog post would have you believe that every black American male is at risk of experiencing such violence).

        March 20, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • John in NY

      Exactly, it's a sad truth that the largest threat to black males, or all ages, is other black males.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pappy521

      I agree that black on black crime is high, but that is a social issue of another order called poverty. Here in the rural areas of the Carolinas you will find the same type of crime that happens to be white on white, white on black, black on white and, as you already pointed out, black on black. What I as a black man, husband and father - who has worked hard to live in the right (not necessarily "white") neighborhood, put my kids in good schools, and doing everything I can to reduce the opportunity for harm to befall them - struggle with is that they will be harmed by the very persons that were supposed to protect them from harm.
      It is a rare event but that doesn't make experiencing racism any easier when it happens. No one enjoys being wronged, that goes without saying. But being wronged because of how I look (no matter what that look may be) is like pouring salt, dirt and acid on the wound.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eddie

      OK let’s say Black people kill more Black people than whites, from your post I can assume that justifies to you a white person killing a black person because......they are killing each other anyway.

      Is that what you mean?

      If not what the heck do you mean?

      March 20, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
      • William

        No, that is not what I meant. The article above (and several others like it which I've read during the last few days) gives the impression that the *specific* kind of tragedy which befell Trayvon - that is, a white person killing a black person - is common in America. Thankfully, that is NOT the case, as these kinds of incidents are quite rare; but when such incidents do occur, they are blown out of proportion by people who feel the need to keep race relations at the forefront of American discourse.

        March 20, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  60. racistBS

    I've had enough with people claiming "the world is racist" when it's predominatly an issue with the inbreds of the south. I read articles like this one and it's obvious to me what the author is trying to say... "i'm racist and I'm rasing my child to be racist, but I'm playing it off like I have no choice because the world forces me to be that way" Here is an idea... raise your child to not be a thug and you won't have to worry about him or her being exposed to bad situations. Rap artists and professional athletes are not role models. Take that crap out of thier lives, teach them how to be law abiding citizens, and you kids will be fine. Minorities aren't the only people that may be in the wrong place at the wrong time, but that is not the fault of white people. Look in the mirror and see your racist views before you start pointing the finger.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lioness27

      You sound like the thug. People like you want it both ways. What in the article makes you assume this woman is raising a thug because she is black and he is a black male child he is automatically being raised as a thug. You just proved the point she raised. You imbecile.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Chris

    Wow...
    "“I know. I know, mom. I can’t run because I’m black.”

    Way to perpetuate the stereotypes you constantly complain about. If you teach your kid to be a stereotype, that's what he'll be. Disgusting.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • I disagree!

      You think that's disgusting . . . her warning her son.
      I think it's disgusting that she has to warn her son. And if you think she doesn't need to warn him, then clearly denial is not just a river in Egypt. Wake up, Chris. The world, this country especially, is not the safest place for boys with brown skin. I'd rather my child be cautious than dead.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • tehmeh

      Wow Chris, apparently you didn't read the article. But then why bother when your mind is already made up.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  62. KPL

    This author is just as racist as any white person I've ever met, in fact, maybe more so.......

    March 20, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Freethinker

      Funny that you are not as concerned about the racism in the society we live in as you are that she is teaching her son how to be safe in the face of said racism. You might want to re-direct your efforts and your concern so you can gain at least a shred of credibility.

      March 22, 2012 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
  63. Jan

    Wow. Beautifully written and heartfelt. Thank you for sharing this with us, Christy.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  64. bird

    this has got to be the most racist article I have ever read anywhere! Kudos, you have even managed to outdo the Racist in Chief, Roland Martin. Wow!!

    March 20, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julie

      I am the white, adoptive, mother of a minority child and I fear for my child and her future every day. You simply do not realize how alive and well racism is in this country until you find yourself on the receiving end of it. I had no idea, until I brought my beautiful baby home, that an adult in this day and age would spout racial slurs at a toddler for nothing more than being in line in front of his child. There is nothing racist about wanting your child to be aware of the world as it is.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • KJC

        Thanks for sharing Julie. You offer a really helpful perspective.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Harold

    CNN has become the cover of one sided rhetoric. How about the non-black citizens of this country who are treated the same way in black areas or cities. You must be here to buy drugs or something is the line though you live in the projects along side every other struggling parent. No one reports about the prejudice against white America fo fear they will be called racist. If you are against Obama, you are racist, If you don't support programs that lower scores so no child is left behind you are a racist. What happened is a travesty but it does not mean that mainstream America is like that. CNN has become the pro-Obama , pro rehtoric network that very seldom reports anything negative against minorities. This is why America thinks the way it does. There is lots of reverse discrimination in America but you never hear about it because if someone complains they are considered a racist. Would CNN have printed this article if it was a white reporter reporting about their child being raised in a black American area.... probably not.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • EarlGrayHot

      That's because white kids aren't profiled as African Americans are and not just in the South. A white kid running as this poor kid did wouldn't be chased down and murdered by a neighborhood watch moron because of the color of his skin and I think the 911 tapes will make that clear as will his GF's testimony. Seriously folks! I'm white, 61 years old and I can see plainly there is racism still alive in this day and time. Is the author overstating the issue? Maybe. But she is making sure her kid has the best chance to survive in her eyes. Do I wish for the day when all people will be treated alike? Yes, but that day isn't here yet.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Mary

    I've been sick to my stomach in hearing of Trayvon's tragic story. As a parent, I wouldn't let me own son venture to the mailbox for fear that someone would take his life because he wore a hoodie or that he's black. I saw a young man this morning walking with a hoodie on and holding a water bottle in his hand. I feared for him. Laws that allow innocent young people to lose their lives because someone says they think they're being threatened should not be justified and on the books of any state. The Florida legislature has some work to do to reverse this unserving law. This tragic event could happen to anyone's child and when you give permission to someone who has predetermined in their own mind that "certain people" are problems,you're going down a very dangerous path. Would Mr. Zimmerman stand still if one of his children were killed by his same motives? I think not. This is a sick case and Florida should be ashamed of itself.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Bill

    Mrs. Oglesby; THANK YOU. You have deeply and completely touched my thinking on this subject as well. I was one of those black teenagers who was potentially at risk during the late 1960s. I know..... what pain..... The Emmett Till story caused,as I was born within the month after Emmett Till was brutally murdered.. Treyvon's story is indeed....The Emmett Till story of Our Times.... As Emmett Till's story deeply touched and mobilized the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement..... so may Treyvon's help to bring many diverse and caring peoples from all races,genders and generations...together in solidarity to bring justice to bear and to dialogue on this huge subject of race and injustice, a subject that Dr. Martin Luther King talked about 50 years ago next year in his "I Have A Dream" speech. May we all come together for justice and human rights ...in memory of.... Treyvon Martin.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      You know nothing about Trayvon other than he is black.
      You know nothing about Zimmerman other than he is not black.

      Yet you side with Trayvon. That, my friend, is racism. enjoy.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  68. RS in Washington DC

    I too have cried a few time since this incident. I am in my forties, doesnt have a son but is still fairful and always conscious of my being, attire and perception. I COULD HAVE BEEN ME. Thanks for the article. As a mentor, I shall ad it to 'my tool kit'.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • bob

      I COULD HAVE BEEN ME. i actually find this quite profound and i am not being sarcastic. i will remember this the next time i am lost in rage about what someone did or said to me in the past that keeps me in the past. it's a basic teaching of many religions and spritual teachings........what someone says about you or does to you does not touch in the least the essence of who you are.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  69. nyker

    It is sad to say, but the South is the cesspit of America due to the whites that live there (I'm white)...ignoramuses and you just have to look at the presidential candidates from that area to see this (Clinton an exception but he has escaped the area now). You need to move north and find a more civilised society, such as NY as someone else suggested. It's still not perfect but it is leaps and bounds better than anything down there.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Learn to spell, and perhaps your little condescending rants will have a better chance of making some sort of impact.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • haha

        nyker, your post embarrasses anyone with any form of intelligence

        March 20, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • nyker

        Perfect spelling...someone who has a broader mind and more intelligence would pick up on the fact that I was using English and not American English. So slow.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Nancy

    I was born in 1963 in a town that had a sign at the city limits "________ don't let the sun set on you here". I remember the first time I saw a black person was when we went to the city to shop just after Thanksgiving in the late 60s. I was separated from my mother and about 6...I ended up in a group of boys about 8 or 9, all black. I was terrified...never really being close to a black person before. My mother found me and I was all upset. She said "calm down...they are just boys and they happen to be black, imagine how you are making them feel when they were just trying to help you!". I have never forgotten my mothers words...I just wish more parents would teach their young children this lesson.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      deep

      March 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • RickInTexas

      Exactly – If you teach your kid to be afraid because of his race/color, you are teaching him that he is different or less than equal. I know that racism exists, and I think it's horrible, but the longer we teach kids to expect that racism exists the longer it WILL exist.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Jack Maehoffer

    This article is so well written, so strong. The greatest threat to young American blacks is posed by older racist whites. As a white man in his 40's, I can tell you that I am ashamed about how my contemporaries dish out violence and hate towards young black men. The white run media always publicizes the black on black crime that "supposedly" takes place in the ghettos. The numbers don't lie though, and we are fortunate enough to have Sharpton, Jackson, and now Oglesby to remind us that we have not advanced since the 1860's.

    Thank you Oglesby, for keeping the pillowcase off my head. If I didn't have people like you, a job and a family support, who knows where I would be. Obama 2012.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob A

      "The greatest threat to young American blacks is posed by older racist whites."

      Hogwash!

      Maybe this is the greatest threat that is likely to become national news if it happens, but is actually VERY low on the list of real threats to young American blacks. Please get your facts straight.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jack Maehoffer

        Rob A-

        Murder of unemployed black youths by rich white educated males is spiking to 1968 levels. Think about that. When was the last time a black youth was shot by a rich white guy in downtown Detroit after midnight? How many black youths have been shot in suburbs at white guys houses after midnight? I think I've made my point, about where it's safest to be young and black in America.

        Unless we accept the fact that we are the problem, and not the solution of the problem of racism in America, then we will have not progressed to where we need to be going forward with social justice in tomorrow's America. Guys like you would rather pretend to not know the difference.

        March 20, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • Rob A

        "How many black youths have been shot in suburbs at white guys houses after midnight?" Well you bring it up, I don't know, how many? I can't imagine that the number is so big as to be high on the list of ways a black youth may die.

        I'm not saying these things don't happen, just trying to put things in perspective.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • jog313

      Your ignorance belies your self-imagined wit.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Two problems with this scenario. The first is, and I'll say it again: THE MAN THAT SHOT THIS KID WAS NOT WHITE! HE WAS HISPANIC!!!. The second is that every old white person is a racist. That's a stereotype. Imagine if we labeled all black persons as criminals just because 'black' parts of cities tend to have hire crime rates?

      March 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  72. kristinewt

    The tears are familiar here as well I've been following this story and crying for days in disbelief. I sat at first in silence wondering and knowing we were all going to know of Trayvon's devious deeds that caused this man to take his life. With no news of that, I have become increasing agitated and upset following this story daily. On just last night my 10 year old says, to me, "Mom, you've been looking at this Trayvon Martin story too much. Mommy, I'm not Trayvon Martin." I looked at him with tears in my eyes remembering when he was born my thoughts and concerns for my childs life. I told him, "But son, you are, you are Trayvon Martin."
    My daughter I never feared for but my son, I thought I'd give him an early start, I taught him to read early on and he skipped a grade instilled in him the importance of doing well in school. This touched my heart to learn that in America it's just not enough. The question is will it ever be?

    R.I.P Travyon Martin.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Dannie

    So beautifully written. As a mother of a white 16 year old boy whose best friend is black I have heard stories of "mall cops" following them when he is with is black friend and not with the white friends. Seeing only skin color they wouldn't know that his best friend is a straight A student who comes from a wonderful family. Such a shame that people are targeted by skin color and ignorance. RIP young man and we all pray for justice.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Lance

    Zimmerman was flat wrong, and should do a long prison sentence. However, I am almost as shocked at the way that the author is PROGRAMMING (yes, I choose that word deliberately) her son to believe that he will forever be a victim of an unjust system. Just disheartening...

    March 20, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chrissy

      Its absolutely not programming him to be a victim. Its programming him NOT to be.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • George

      It's sad to see a young life cut short no matter what the race of the individual, what is even sadder is that we are now in the year 2012 in the United States of America, “the most civilize country in the world”? And we can not get past the racial profiling; we are a Nation, form by Immigrants from all over the world, who came here because they despise injustice and lack of equality. We forgot these basic principles and now are very quickly to past judgment on all other third world countries for their shortcomings, without looking in our own home, we have failed to raise our children’s to see past the color of some one else’s skin, this is the root of the problem our children need to do better we need to get past the white man is racist pig, black man is a criminal, middle eastern is a terrorist, or Spanish is an illegal or a gardener, we are quickly becoming what any other great empire in history, a society full of greed and blinded by our lack of morals and government corruption. I pray for the family of the latest victim may him rest in peace. And God help us all.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Aaron

    Beautifully stated. I sincerely wish the entire humanity drops all its weapons and lives in harmony and peace with each other. Enough with all this violence!

    March 20, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  76. lindy

    I understand where Christy Oglesby is coming from, but her extreme hyper-vigilance is likely to traumatize her son. It is extremely hard for human beings to feel self-confident in an envrionment they perceive as constantly threatening.No question we live in a troubled, imperfect world, yet in seeking to protect her son, she may well plant the seeds of self-destruction. Out of fear, human beings withdraw emotionally, turn to drugs, or act out aggressively.
    I would like to ask ChristyOglesby if indeed she is conveying a balanced wrold view: when she tells her son over and over the story of the airport, telling him he will be perceived as dirty and threatening, does she speak of the many times he has met with acceptance and support from people of all races? And has she exmained her own feelings: did the airport story impact her so deeply only because of fears her son will be rejected? Is it possible she also fears Drew might someday choose someone a woman of another race and background?

    March 20, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Emperor Norton

      You've got to pick your poison on that one. Either she teaches her son to avoid being a victim and traumatizes him, or she teaches her son to be a victim and somebody else traumatizes him. It's a catch-22, and I'd make the same choice she has.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob A

      Lindy I agree.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  77. Rob A

    Hi Christy, I do think you over-react. Now let me start by saying, though I have very good friends that are black, I'm not black, so I could never know what if feels like to have to deal with such prejudices.

    However, how often does someone get murdered they way Trayvon was? You have to look at things by odds. Better to teach him not to text and drive, odds that he might be killed in a car crash are thousands of times greater than that of meeting Trayvon's fate.

    You may be teaching him to look at the world in a particularly pessimistic way. The vast majority of people, white or black are not going to go hunting down black boys the way George Zimmerman did. Zimmerman does not represent white people any more than Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Dahmer does.

    Was the little white girl you experienced when Drew was three represent an accurate picture of any little white girl you may have encountered? Based on your words one would think so. I question the accuracy of your conclusion, and how this has affected your world view and the view you are teaching your son.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Rob A. try to put yourself in this mother's place. She is a direct descendant of people who were treated this way during the 1960's. This not an over-reaction it is reality.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • Rob A

        Yes, but please try to understand I'm not saying that this isn't a concern. My point is to put things in perspective and not to live your life in fear. Is there racism in modern America? Of coures, but chances of being murdered in such a way are not great enough to live your life expecting such a thing to happen as happened to Trayvon.

        The fact that this has become such a big news story would indicate it isn't exactly an every day event.

        March 20, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • jog313

      "Zimmerman does not represent white people any more than Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Dahmer does."

      See that's the problem. We know that's true. But in Zimmerman's mind, and the mind of any racist, any random black criminal represents all black males and that makes all black males suspect and in this case deserving of death.

      That is what black men deal with in this country every single day and it results in everything from false arrest to job discrimination to ultimately ghettoization.

      Because the country fails to see this, we have horrible incidents like this.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • bird

        Zimmerman is not even white. why are white men even being mentioned at all?

        March 20, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • Rob A

        "Because the country fails to see this, we have horrible incidents like this."

        Horrible incidents like this happen because of horrible people like George Zimmerman, nothing more.

        Race can become part of their hateful cycle, but it didn't cause it. A hateful person who is black can also choose white people as their victim, is this because the country fails to see racism?

        Every murder is a hate crime, regardless of the race of the victim or the murderer.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • bird

      blacks murder whites at a much higher rate than whites murdering blacks. I guess can't mention that though.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Chrissy

    This breaks my heart. Ive taught the same to my son and it is a damn shame that I must do this.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  79. PO

    There are people who are prejudice (black and white), but their numbers are dwindling. I think all parents fear what will happen when their child drives away in a car with friends. I told my son that if stopped the only correct response is to keep your hands on the wheel if he's driving or where they can be seen if he's a passenger. He is to respond Yes Sir/No Mam. He will not speak back or interrupt the officer in any way. That's not because of his skin color, it's because that's the proper way to handle the situation. Yes, my son is white, but my other "sons" (his friends) are White, Black, Hispanic and Asian. We have taught him that "race" is not an issue and he should ignore someone's color – it's what is on the inside that counts. Our son-in-law is Hispanic. Our daughter dated boys of different races, and we could have cared less, as long as they treated her right. Our son has a crush on a little girl from India right now – she's darling. Parents should be teaching their children to be color-blind, just as my parents taught me. And yes, I live in the south.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • maryettag

      You r missing the whole issue...my family is Black, white, Mexican, Irish, Jews, & Asians, however, it is difficult for you to understand what it is to be a Black male in America. No matter how racially accepting YOU are- Black males have a more difficult experience in America, even more difficult than Black females. I grew up where JIm-Crow laws were in affect, but have lived in California for over 40 years. I have 3 sons & 10 grandsons- I fear for them & pray for them everyday because of the color of Their skin & Their gender. Its wonderful to know how tolerant you r, but mainstream, white dominated media & corporate America does see r espouse the same views as you. My sons & grandsons have experienced racial prejudice & discrimination on many levels. Where & when does it end? It ends when ALL America stops pre-judging people because of who r what you r, & what u wear; and begin to accept people as people! TMO!

      March 21, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  80. David Brooks

    Racism is pathetic. I encourage anyone who experiences this to head north. While Minnesota may still have racists and bigots, there are not a lot of them. If you move to the Twin Cities you will simply be treated as a human, not the color of your skin.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  81. JSU95

    This opinon piece, has me a little teary eyed. So eloquently stated. Of course there will be those that will not understand and have negative tings to say, however, until they have a walked a quarter of a mile in the shoes of a black man, they will never understand the prayers, the fears, the concerns that mother's often have for their son's, something that has always been a burden for a mother to carry; the fear for her child who happens to be a black male in America. I thank you for writing this. I know what I saw my Grandmother's pray for every single day of their lives, their son's safety. Every black man is not a thug, unedcuated, a rapper, a criminal, whatever else labels are associated with black males. There are black men who serve their communities, who are husbands and fathers, who have education. who are responsible productive citizens in society, even with all those things you can still be DWB (driving while black) you can be put in a category that you are less than who you are, you can be labeled as "up to no good" because merely the color of your skin, the browner you are the most suspect you become. Truth is truth and for some, the truth will make some very angry. I commend Ms. Oglesby for speaking her truth and her reality as a mother raising her child who happens to be a black man in the making. I pray that one day things will be different for my children, and that we as a people become just as outraged if not more when our young men are slain by the hands of their very own, it's not okay to kill our own, it's not. I certainly hope that Zimmerman goes down, he needs to.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • JomoDaMusicMan

      I am a sixty-five yr old black male and I know exactly what the writer is describing. There are those who are driving that do not think I have a right to cross the street, they will speed up to try to hit me or make me run across the street. Many of these same people would have slowed down a block away to let a dog, cat, bird and even a smaller creature cross the street. There are white police officers who have stopped me and asked where am I going & do I have a weapon. There are the flag waving individuals, many who have never served American but still think they are more patriotic than me even though I served in the Air Force 10 yrs. There are those white americans whose house is under foreclosure but still refused to sell to a black person and would much rather lose it. Believe This, I have lived this life in America and this foolishness went on and still is happening in 2012

      March 20, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
      • Rob A

        Jomo, what about the white people, who would represent the vast majority, including myself, that do not act the way you describe? Why do you not mention them?

        March 20, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  82. maryettag

    I completely understand how this mother feels. I can't count the number of times I have taught, warned, & admonished my sons & grandsons with the same knowledge. Yes, I am a Black mother who prays EVERYDAY for safety & protection of my Black sons & grandsons, especially from the police. My oldest grandson is now 23 and 6'5" tall. He has been well over 6 feet for the past 6 r 7 years. When he was 19 he was standing on the bus stop in downtown Oakland, CA with some other young people. The police pulled up & singled him out of the group, handcuffed him, put him in the back of the car & drove him a few blocks away for a white man to identify him as the culprit that assaulted /robbed him. The man told the police no he wasn't the one & wasn't close to the description. However, he was still put on handcuffed, curb, & told to shut up by the police. My grandson never told his dad r me about this incident until we were together downtown a couple of months later when he saw the same cops doing the same thing to another young Black man. A cold chill went over my heart! I was terrified that it happened to him, but that he remembered the policeman who did it to him!

    March 20, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Shawn

    These reactions are simply shocking. At what point did this become a racist act? Why do Americans so greedily accept that any action against a person of color was because of their color? Zimmerman isn't White, so what does that do to this story and all the embracing of White racism that has ensued?

    March 20, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jose' Valiente

      what happened was all about race. not the race of killer, but the race of the victim. Do you really beleive if the victim was white and the killer black, the killer would not be in jail?

      March 20, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • Shawn

        Really? The definition of Racism (here) is White against Black. That's it. Anything else is defined simply as crime or prejudice. Zimmermans race certainly does matter. If he was Black instead of Hispanic (and don't pull that lame claim that Hispanic is suddenly White for the purpose of promoting racism), would you still feel the same?

        March 20, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • Mary

        Racism is a human trait, a sin, and can be cast against anyone by anyone. It's not limited to whites. In this case, we have a case of racism perpetrated by a Hispanic against a young black male. If you are human, yes, you can be racist against anyone who is not of your same color. Sad but true.

        March 20, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • Shawn

        Well said. Unfortunately, in America, we don't understand the full meaning of the word. The litmus test I like to use is this – if you reverse the colors of the players in the story, do you have the same emotional reaction to it? I do. But few people in this posting would have invested any of their time following up on this story if the shooter was black and the victim white.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • ya no

        shawn: " But few people in this posting would have invested any of their time following up on this story if the shooter was black and the victim white." What's this, more crystal ball gazing cleverly disguised as a compelling argument? How could you possibly know what I, or any one of the other 299,000,000 people in this country would or would not invest?

        March 20, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Hopeful

    Poignant, thoughtful, and well written. The implications for our society are bittersweet. Friendship should be color blind, and so should justice. Will we humans ever learn?

    March 20, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Mrs. Oglesby; THANK YOU. You have deeply and completely touched my thinking on this subject as well. I was one of those black teenagers who was potentially at risk during the late 1960s. I know..... what pain..... The Emmett Till story caused,as I was born within the month after Emmett Till was brutally murdered.. Treyvon's story is indeed....The Emmett Till story of Our Times.... As Emmett Till's story deeply touched and mobilized the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement..... so may Treyvon's help to bring many diverse and caring peoples from all races,genders and generations...together in solidarity to bring justice to bear and to dialogue on this huge subject of race and injustice, a subject that Dr. Martin Luther King talked about 50 years ago next year in his "I Have A Dream" speech. May we all come together for justice and human rights ...in memory of.... Treyvon Martin.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • ya no

      Fortunately, some of us have considered the upside and downside of racism, and have decided there is no upside. Some of us, sadly, will never overcome our visceral reflexes. Or for that matter, ever know what a 'visceral reflex' is.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  85. P jac

    I have been crying since I heard this news. It could be my son who is now 12, plays football, cannot hear me when he listens to his ipod. I am sad and this seems to have moved us back deacdes

    March 20, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  86. Tony Atlanta

    It said that black young people are fearing that they might be kill by racist people.
    These justice laws need to be change to protect people from racist american. Trayvon Martin didnt deserve to lose his life because he a young black man. I am a grown man and I fear that the police will kill me for no reason just because I am black in america. We all are american regardess of my skin color and I hope this is a wake up that the racist have to stop.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  87. Juan

    They should show how he was dressed at the time of the shooting, not glorified pictures!

    March 20, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Becky

      There are photos of him with his hood up from his Facebook page. He still looks angelic.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Augustine

      What is your point? You have dress a certain way to prevent yourself from being killed?

      March 20, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mania

      Because being a 17 year old walking from the store with a tea and skittles with a hoodie on your head when it's raining is a crime that you should be killed for.... really Juan?

      March 20, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • maryettag

      You are ignorant! The definition of ignorant is having a LACK OF KNOWLEDGE, which apparently you have. The way one dresses should have NO SIGNIFICANCE of being a suspect! Zimmerman clearly stated he was tired of them getting away all the time. Who do you think the "them" is? We can not & should not have to wear a football, basketball, 3-piece suit all the time, everywhere we go to not be feared!

      March 20, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • LHS

      @Juan – What the frick does how someone is dressed have to do with the fact that this young man was killed FOR NO REASON?!? That's making a horrible assumption. Kids of other ethnicities try very hard to emulate the black culture per se, and I've seen other ethnicities dressed with hoodies and jeans. Guess what? I would bet those children are still alive. What you said is the same as making the assumption that because your name is Juan, you're an illegal from Mexico that picks fruit. Not cool, man!!

      March 20, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • ya no

      juan: Why? Regardless of what he was wearing, it would lend no credence to your assumptions. Do the responses here tell you nothing? Does anything tell you anything, or are you trapped for eternity in a pitiable loop of ignorance? I'm really, really sick of stupid, and those that cling to it at all costs.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  88. MBass

    hristy....thank you for sharing. I live in Atlanta with my 13 year old son. My son and I watched the story on the news last night. I do not want him to feel inferior; however, I would be remiss if I did not explain to him the challenges he will face because he is a black man in America. I cried on the way to work while listening to the story again on the radio. We have to educate our sons and protect them as much as possible. However, it is a heavy burden for a mom to accept the reality that her child could be murdered because he is African American. I pray that racist individuals wake up and stop the madness. Racism is born out of fear and ignorance..

    March 20, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • maryettag

      I agree wholeheartedly! I have 3 sons, & 10 grandsons whom I pray for everyday because we live with this fear!

      March 20, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  89. GMAN

    Why when someone talks about a wrong that has happened they can never see that it was in fact a wrong. Don't always try and defend a WRONG because no matter how much you try and not see it; when you close your eyes it will still be a WRONG!!!

    March 20, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  90. pinkie

    Another insulting article from race baiting CNN . As for the aiuthor, s hove it.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      Another ignorant post from a tea party bigot

      March 20, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • otisross

      i can just see you as a racist a s white person who i would like to meet this country will never change and i mean never change this is the most hateful country in the world too say they believe in justice is the biggest lie in the world it is people like you who need to be over seas in a war zone

      March 20, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ranger14

      I suppose you don't like any article that threatens your hateful heart.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blah

      If this was an article by a white woman...it would be decried as racist bigotry and yanked offline. The hypocrisy of people never ceases to amaze me!

      March 20, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • ya no

      pinkie: Maybe you and 'blah" could pool your IQ's and break into the double digits. Probably not. You guys have a million inane (look it up) rationale's for your terrified existence, but none of them sell.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Becky

    Trayvon's murder scares me to death. I'm the white mother of two african-american children, a boy and a girl. They are 12 going on 30. I've tried to teach them about how to be careful (never argue with a policeman, yes sir no sir, don't turn off that car's lights because somebody will think you are trying to steal it). I know it's woefully inadequate. They know I'm not speaking from personal experience, and probably think I'm half crazy and exaggerating - but I'm not, I've seen for myself what can happen. I now have to add to the list: don't go anywhere, do anything, say anything to anybody but family when you visit your white relatives in Atlanta. Now how sad is that?

    March 20, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob A

      "I've tried to teach them about how to be careful (never argue with a policeman, yes sir no sir,"

      The police officer is in a position to arrest you, or even shoot you, so it is really common sense, regardless of your color, or the color of the officer.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  92. Ngozichukwuka

    Thanks a million for this writing; it is now the tool kit for my boy as he grows up…I will also yours as the base of mine…May good Lord Guide our kids…

    March 20, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  93. GMAN

    This is a shame... Don't ever forget...

    March 20, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Shawn

    It is unfortunate that you are so caught up in racism, so deep into it that it is an intrinsic part of you. There are infinitely more cases of blacks robbing, beating and killing whites (check statistics), yet you are concerned that your son will be victimized by some white person? Every single case of racism (real or imagined) makes the headlines in America – so, since Jan 2011 there have been approximately 6 cases of it nationwide! On the other hand, many thousands of black males were jailed for their crimes committed against whites in the same time period. I think it wise that you are focusing on the wrong problem.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Becky

      You must be watching Fox News if you think there has been only six cases of racial hate crimes committed since January 2011. I suggest you learn how to google.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • Shawn

        I suggest you spend a little time researching the unbelievable statistics of crime in young black males. They are staggering, and, unlike claims of racism, quantifiable.

        March 20, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tony

        There's no point in talking sense to an idiot, Becky, as you give him too much credit. He is obviously someone who confuses his misguided opinion with "fact."

        March 20, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • Shawn

        Ignorant is the word I'd use to describe you, if you disbelieve the statistics. And, for your edification, ignorant isn't an insult thing, just a lack of knowledge on your part.

        March 20, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • Shawn

        Ignorant is the word I'd use to describe you, if you disbelieve the statistics. And, for your edification, ignorant isn't an insult, just a lack of knowledge on your part.

        March 20, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mania

      It is unfortunate that you truly believe that every case of racism has made the national news. However you feel about black on white crimes, that is not what Christy Oglesby was speaking about. This is truly a story about real fears, no matter if you don't think they exist. They exist to far too many. You can state the statistics, yet the FACT remains that I have to remind my son WEEKLY of how to respond to police officers in our upper-middle class neighborhood if he were to be stopped. I make close to $100k/year, pay taxes and contribute to charities.. blah blah blah.. My son is respectable and has never been in trouble, but I have to teach him that the color of his skin matters to hateful people. That's what this story was about.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • Shawn

        Don't you mean to say 'White' people – thereby making the term 'Hateful' synonymous with 'White'?

        March 20, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tony

        They are not synonymous, but in your case Shawn, they are coincidental.

        March 20, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • ERB

      Please cite references for the figures used in your post. I find it highly prejudicial.
      I happen to be Caucasian and I see and hear racism all the time, snide remarks etc…
      People need to wake up and judge people not by their color but by the content of their character.
      Yes that was paraphrased from Martin Luther King Jr.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob A

      I'm inclined to agree. People spend their lives fearing the wrong things. Look at the odds. Odds of your young son or daughter being killed in a car accident are greater than any other way they might die, yet nobody seems to be very concerned about it.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mommydear

      Shawn from one white to another.....you are ignorant, closed minded and need an education! We only hear what the media puts out there.....so for all intense and purpose they are racist themselves.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • Shawn

        I am far from ignorant, and unlike you – very close to the situation. My wife is black and my daughters are black. Unlike you, I don't 'assume' that every situation involving a black person and a white person is an act of racism. Very few really are once all the actual details come out. And yes, it bothers the hell out of me that everyone immediately screams racism instead of stretching a few brain cells to seek out the truth.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • slb1113

        Shawn is absolutely correct ..what does this story have to do with racism? It is people on this blog that spew this BS that are truly the frightening social idiots of our country today. A lot of people are afraid, intimidated etc. of teens no matter what the color of their skin. I work in an inner city social services agency and our minority community is filled with children who are fed this garbage all the time.. watch out for the white man they think you are bad and judge you simply by the color of your skin....it is no wonder these kids grow up to feel insecure, lower class and more likely than their white counterpart to wind up in a penitentiary. When you are taught at an early age that the chips are stacked against you due to a an incontrovertible and uncontrollable reason, you are CRIPPLED! How about focusing on all our commoness rather than our differences? And EVERYONE should be teaching their teens, expecially male, to Yes Sir No Sir the police.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shad

      Killer Zimmerman is not in jail – so he does not account in the statistics. A black shoplifter is in the jail so he is accounted in the statistics.

      March 20, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • Shawn

        Interesting take on it. Going to have to mull this over for a while.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Darren

      In regards to Shawn's comments re crimes against whites perpetrated by blacks, get your facts straight. Most crimes that occur against whites, are by whites, while most crimes against blacks are committed by other African Americans. Just google any US government crime stats survey/study.

      Let's also be clear, African Americans/Canadians (yes, that's me), are not demonizing the entire white race. We are imparting a degree of caution and awareness onto our kids, on the potential dangers that exist around them in the hearts of racists and bigots. From where I sit, it seems that you and a few other Caucasian responders to Christy's post, are a little defensive and unaware of some of the remaining 'remnants' of a once apartheid society alive and well in 2012, or choose to ignore it. And Canada is certainly not immune from racial bigotry and hatred, either. Great post, Christy, it's unfortunately so true!

      March 20, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  95. wcb2009

    The south hasn't changed much... Having moved from upstate NY to Atlanta not too long ago I was shocked to see racism is still very common here in Atl. Whether it be targeted at African Americns, Hispanics, and yes even Caucasions, it is still very much alive.

    If I were this woman, I would pack my bags and head to upstate NY.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  96. Mania

    Thank you, Christy Oglesby, for expressing the fears that I also have had since my 16 year old Black son was born. I cried so hard yesterday as I read Trayvon's story. My son would have walked to the store and returned with the exact same items as Trayvon and it could have easily have been him. I cried again today... for Trayvon, his parents and my son.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • LOLOL

      Try being white in South LA or the heart of Atlanta. It's not your color but your surroundings. It just as dangerous to be arab (or Israeli since were too ignorant to understand a difference), or Indian- Native or foreign. Were a melting pot in this country. Dont like it, GTFO!

      March 20, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  97. Ally

    Very well written piece, thank you.

    I just want to share a couple of thoughts I had while reading. In focusing on race as such a large part of your everyday life, do you find you resent other races more? Also, I follow the old addage that we should never forget, or we're doomed to repeat. But sometimes I wonder at people who immediately conclude that some confrontation was due to race. If a possible racial connection hadn't occurred to them...does that mean we're moving in the right direction?

    March 20, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • A mom of little brown boys

      I am not the author of the piece, but as a mom with the same fears, I think I'll take a shot at answering it. There is rarely a 'resentment', more so the constant daily effort to prove that we are just like you! We have the same desires in life as other every day Americans. And just like other families, we want our children to be safe. It is a shame that it's like this. But this story is just a reminder that until things change, black boys are have additional life lessons they must learn before leaving home. I think the fact that so many of our hearts are torn from reading Trayvon's story, along with the fact that we are raising kids that no longer see color (they have to be reminded of it) means that we are headed in the right direction.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ally

        Thanks for your answers!

        I do agree that the best end-state will be a generation who truly sees no color. And I know we're getting closer. Having been raised to see no color myself I'm surprised at all the responses here that mothers are having to so specifically train their children that the color of their skin may make them a target. I worry that in some cases the hyper-vigilance could have the unintended consequence of making the children learn to distrust other races. Perpetuating the problem.

        I guess we just have to continue to pick away at the hateful people in every race. It's just so sad when another reminder pops up that we still have so far to go.

        March 20, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • Russell

        The author has told us about what she teaches her son in relation to white people – how they view him, how some might try to hurt him, etc. I'm curious if she teaches him anything about black-on-black crime. If it's not ok to run in a white neighborhood, is it automatically ok to run in a black neighborhood? Does the author and her son live in a black neighborhood? We should abhor violence towards others, discrimination, hateful behavior, etc., but where is the balance here? Danger can come from many sources, not just whites. It would, of course, be remiss if the author did not in some way inform her child that there is racism and some will only judge him on the color of his skin, but I'm feeling like what she's doing has risen to another level. Hopefully, I'm wrong, but I'm really feeling like she has taken it a bit far.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ally

        Russell, I agree. So many responses from worried mothers here are saying they teach their children the same as the author. That was a surprise to me.

        The response from Amomofbrownboys above was interesting in that she said she feels the need to prove she's as good as the rest of America every day. My next question is: So how many people who have a different skin color than me will look at me and think automatically that they have to prove something to be considered equal to me? Is that automatic racism? Or is that just the best way to be prepared?

        It's kind of unnerving to think that someone whom I've just met might already be against me.

        March 20, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  98. Ro

    It is a shame that we have to do this for our boys as a necessity to survive when others are just wrong. The man that killed Trayvon should be sent to jail. Self Defense is if someone was chasing him clearly he was chasing Trayvon. It is sad that the Federal Government has to get involved and local authorities will not do what is right.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ally

      I respectfully disagree, Ro. The authorities are looking for evidence. I'd rather they take the time to put together a solid case against that man than try to charge him without good evidence. It would be a travesty if he walked just because everyone is wanting it to be over now. As horrible as the whole case is, they need proof. And they only have a bunch of opinions and things that look bad. We need to be patient.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • Becky

        So I suppose the dispatcher's instruction not to chase, the 911 calls that clearly show he was hunted down by an armed man with 80 pounds on him, that he was unarmed, is not enough evidence??? This is not opinion, it is FACT. Are you looking for some white knight (KKK) to make it all go away?

        March 20, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ally

        Becky, I'm not going to get into a row about that case here, because this piece is about racism in general.

        The "facts" that we are reading about now would not stand up in a court of law. I want them to nail this guy to the wall. Therefore I want them to take their time and do it right.

        March 20, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  99. myke

    this story brought tears to my eyes...i tell my 18 year old brother this all the time. He has predominately white friends in our suburban neighborhood. I just want him to be aware of his perception and surroundings. Don't forget that things like this can happen to you just because of the color of your skin. I feel like I live my life trying to break stereotypes all the time. Being cautious of how I wear my hair, or how I choose to turn my hat. I have to be cautious about how angry I get or how I express myself so I wont be labeled "the angry black guy" why must I do this? Why is it okay? Only God has the answers and I pray for those who have a sense of hatred for people just because of the color of their skin. Reevaluate your life before it is too late.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  100. YB

    Very well stated. Thank you for writing this.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
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