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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. atroy

    Writer, you lost me at "testosterone-Poisoned". I'm proud to be a man and could care less if you are a Man-hater.

    March 20, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      You should go back an reread the story. This statement has nothing to do with hating men. It's just an awareness of what it is to be a 12-year old boy.

      March 20, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pam

      Atroy, it's a shame that this was the only thing that you got out of this article and unfortunately your lack of comprehension made you take those few words the wrong way.

      March 24, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mohammad

    I don't see black, white, yellow, or red. Burka's help much with this problem. America should have their female and black folk all wear them and problem is solved. A blue sheet is much easier to see at night.

    March 20, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Americanspeak

      Whatever, the killer ain't white, he's a mexican that hates Blacks. If we watched our southern borders closer, they wouldn't be able to come over here and impose their violent ideologies and lifestyles upon us,
      and expect us to lay down and watch our sons and daughters be victimized. Same goes for you mohammad, keep your burkas to yourself, and I'll keep barnequing the Koran in my pit with my Angus Beef while I drink my Budweisers! Go Home!

      March 20, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
      • Wake Up

        Mexican Zimmerman? Sounds jew to me. But you're right, he probably hates black as much as you trailer trash do.

        March 20, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. i'm asian. caucasian.

    What happened to this child was terrible.

    As a white man i have always tried not to hold unpleasant views of b1ack males. But sometimes it's hard. The "gangsta" culture and its violence. The # of jailed b1ack males. Being intimidated when i went to school w them. Having the brothers of the b1ack girls i dated threaten me (which i later found out is suppose to mean they like me?). When i like someone i take them out for a beer...

    I was not born into this world with hate in my heart. I try so hard to keep it out.

    I just really feel a lot of b1ack men are out there giving a bad name. I think america is trying very hard to get over its terrible past, but sometimes those demons challenge us... We all have to be big enough to fight them and say enough is enough.

    March 20, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • yuhmad

      Whether its blacks, whites or other and walking around one have to keep looking over their shoulders. Do not trust no one especially when blacks, whites and asians walking in a gang, automatically, its horrifying.

      March 20, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      I find it interesting to read into the post where people leave their opinions of black people. One minute we are too lazy to work and the next you are losing all of your jobs to less qualified black candidates. One minute we are all high school drop outs and the next you can't get a good education because the university spot you deserved was just given to a black student. We are violent cold blooded killers that carry guns to school but time after time you hear about a white student that goes to school and kills his classmates. It's amazing how so much negativity can be said of the black race because we are somehow judged by the worst members of our population but no matter how many horrendous acts are committed by white people they still choose to judge themselves as individuals. Why aren't white women stereotyped as child killers? Why aren't white men all viewed as serial killers?

      March 21, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Freethinker

      "I'm asian. caucasian" when you see things in the world around you do you take them at face value or do you wonder why and seek explanations? The gangsta culture that you talk about grew in popularity because white-run media outlets were willing to give it play and white children in the suburbs put the music and imagery at the top of the charts. Now a black artist who does not proliferate the gangsta culture has a hard time getting any press or a record deal. There are lots of black males jailed, yes, but it is also common knowledge that blacks and whites have equal rates of drug use/selling but police focus their stings, undercover activity and drug busts mostly in black neighborhoods, resulting in more black arrests. Further the sentencing laws were unequal with higher sentences for drugs blacks are more likely to do "crack" than for those whites are more likely to do "cocaine", resulting in longer jail sentences for blacks. From the 1980s until fall 2011, someone who had just 5 grams of crack cocaine would receive a mandatory minimum sentence of five years. But someone would have to have 500 grams of powdered cocaine to receive a similar sentence. If you are interested in educating yourself on these matters rather than pronouncing that the world is flat because it appears that way to your naked, untrained eye may I suggest you read, "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness."

      March 21, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Steven

    We are sick and tired of being singled out because of race....It is time for blacks to start shooting back..Never no Justice or Peace for Blacks In America........LUCKY THIS WAS NOT MY SON......

    March 20, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Time to start "shooting back"???

      Maybe you should learn from an Indian man named Gandhi: "An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind"

      ...and don't shoot him or his followers because they're not black

      March 20, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      i think you guys have done enough shooting
      ever check on the prison demographics?

      March 20, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tony

        Maybe the demographics would change if white people were actually charged with their crimes, starting with this one...

        March 21, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • ﺶCHEﺶ

      We hear THEE!
      Its Deadly Tsunami brewing in America. We're waiting for that TRIP-off wire.
      Let some RACISTS PUNK, sarah palin, michele buckmann, teaparty tinfoil racist idiot TRIP IT!
      They want to water their Racist Plant with the Blood of a Black Pres. We will quench their RACISTS Plant with a Black Tsunami. Their Racists plant will have NO roots to bear ANY fruit after when that Black Tsunami retreats. Sit tight!

      Baghdad will be like a PICNIC in America.

      March 20, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • NO JUSTICE IN AMERICA

        @CHE

        I agree! With all the bigotry, racism and hate being spread across America by the rightwing conservatives, this country seem as though it is indeed heading for a civil war!

        March 21, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      Blacks already shoot people at much higher rates than anyone else, which is going to get more of you shot. I would never tolerate black violence against my family because I would hunt you and kill you if it happened.

      March 21, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
      • Alyse

        That is the most moronic thing I have ever heard! Crime is crime and yes it happens within cultures...typically in situations that are gang/mafia related hence italians blacks jews irish, mexican etc. This was not a gang related crime... it was cold blooded murder of an innocent boy... Ugh! I can't stand ignorance!

        March 21, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tony

        According to the "statistics" posted above your family members will more than likely get shot by another white person. Will you kill them all too?

        March 21, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • Freethinker

        So white violence against your family is ok? You're a joke!

        March 21, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • Pam

        Peter, you're an ignorant joke.

        March 24, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
      • Daphne

        Can you prove that statement about blacks shooting more people? Please quote us some reliable statistics on that.

        July 16, 2013 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jim in Florida

    Goodness, CNN is really piling it on – second article today on this and both "read between the lines" that the white shooter is GUILTY, period.

    Why don't we get hang the shooter and not have to read this garbage, right CNN?

    March 20, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Steven

    Yes he could be, we need to follow the advice from the NRA and train our young to shoot. Buy them a good holster and gun and this will protect them from the other 260 million guns in the US.

    March 20, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Grob Hahn

    Actually your son has a better chance of being another Derrion Albert than he does of being another Trayvon Martin. That's the way the numbers REALLY work out. This sad event had little at all to do with the relationship between b|ack and whIte Americans but look at all of the people jumping on the bandwagon to condemn "wh|tey". The black blogosphere is now littered with discussions that suggest "something has to be done about all this wh|te-on-b|ack violence" when the numbers literally don't support the claim. Most wh|te people you ask will NOT defend Zimmerman and will also agree that he should have been arrested. Nobody in wh|te Americas will march for Zimmerman and claim he's being prosecuted just for his color. Stick with the REAL issue people. Stop chasing non-existent ghosts.
    Grobbbbbbbbbbbbb

    March 20, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      As a Progressive Black American, i couldnt agree with you more. Zimmerman should be arrested and the Sanford Police Department really have a ton of questions to answer.

      March 20, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Freethinker

      Actually it totally depends on where you live. If you live in an integrated neighborhood with professionals who own homes and great schools, your black son has a greater chance of being killed by a Zimmerman type or a rogue cop type.

      March 21, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. maxine

    i was raised not to mix with blacks socially, but never told my girls who they could play with.

    March 20, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. tired of hearing that white people are raciest

    blacks, mexican, chinese, jewish and etc are just as raciest as white but no one seems to care about that..we will never get past this until EVERYONE changes not just white people!!!
    no one except the people actually there when it happened know what happened or why it happened and EVERYONE else needs to stop guessing!!!

    March 20, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • august washington

      You have some serious issues you need to get past. Not a guess.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • MJB

        He may or may not have issues but at least he is telling the truth. Everybody pulls the racial card. How convenient! Whatever. I don't care what color you are you shoot a kid without Checking your facts as to whether you are in true danger or not – you should be prosecuted-

        March 20, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      We are the raciest though, because we're so fast!

      March 20, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Realdirect

    A lot of talk about Manning, Tebow and not enough talk about Travon's execution.

    March 20, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. scriss

    There is more to this story than what is being told by the media.

    March 20, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • MJB

      I agree. They must either have good reason to beleive this man is being honest about feeling threatened or the police department is diligently scrutinizing every fact with a fine comb before proceeding forward to avoid further inciting racial retaliations – from either party.

      March 20, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • ﺶCHEﺶ

        RACIAL RETALIATION from a 17-yr. old teenage black boy?

        Michael; what are you?

        The son of the Devil Lucifer? Did your mam sleep with the Devil Lucifer hence your birth thru. his evil Blood?

        March 20, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • MJB

        Responding to: CHEﺶ
        Michael; what are you?
        The son of the Devil Lucifer? Did your mam sleep with the Devil Lucifer hence your birth thru. his evil Blood?
        --------------------------------------------------
        Yeah Che – she's still fu@#ing him long and hard to. Obviously I was mistaken- it's not reading you have a problem with merely comprehending what you read. You and a lot of other people have brought race into a matter without having all the facts on hand. But if you want to bring race into this yeah a 17 year old can be a racist just like anybody else and yes a 17 can be capable of severe violence.

        March 20, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • Pam

        If they had reason to believe Zimmerman was really in danger, they would have released that information by now to turn the heat down.

        March 24, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      CHE

      who is the slime ball?

      March 20, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Marie

    RAVE: For this new section of CNN. Yes! American means ALOT of different races, cultures, lifestyles, religions etc.

    My heart is hurting for Trayvon's family. Also, as this Opinion piece pointed out – my heart is borken by the racial problems we have in America. Well, not just race-based hate, but hate in all of its forms actually.

    So, I have started posting everywhere I go on the internet about this problem. Whether its Blacks, mexicans, gays, poor people, jews, schoolyard bullies or whatever form the hatred takes ... I am hoping that the majority of us in the world can BAN TOGETHER and become a UNITED front to combat this sickness and replace with a more caring and loving society for everyone.

    We have to be brave. I've taken the "HIGH ROAD" long enough. It's time to be thoughtful in our response, but also be diligent in our effort. To confront the issue without losing our own souls.

    Bless you Ms Oglesby

    March 20, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mclute

    where was the outrage of the TWO white English tourists that where chased down and shot in Florida by a black man? Was none cause whites deserved to die.Racism is fine if you black. Blacks are better than whites.

    just google "two english tourists murdered"

    March 20, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • mclute

      A 16-year-old boy, named by police as Shawn Tyson, has been arrested and charged with two counts of murder.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • Realdirect

        @mclute///

        Jeffrey Dahmer, was white killed gays and ate their private parts. What's your point!!!

        March 20, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • js

        Does this really need to be spelled out to you? That young man was CHARGED for his crime whereas no action has been taken against Zimmerman for his murderous actions. I'm pretty sure that most people abhor all murder, this particular incident has caused controversy because of the racial implications involved in both the motive and punishment (or lack thereof).

        March 20, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marie

      I am outraged at that too. I am outraged at ALL murder. Why do you say we're not outraged? I am tired of hatred period ... in ALL of its forms.

      But – if Trayvon was white – do you think he'd be dead right now?

      March 20, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pam

      Mclute, the outrage is probably under a different article. This article wasn't about that.

      March 24, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. rachel

    Beautifully written. I am a very successful white woman with two bi-racial teenage boys. I cannot tell you the # of times that people I work with or come into contact with through work say very racist things. I am around successful business people and I am talking about things said in country clubs, expensive restaurants and vacation spots. Racism is alive and well. You'd be shocked what people say around me because "hey, we're all white, we must feel the same way". Yes, I say something, I rarely bring up my children, just that what they said is weird or out of line and yes they are embarrassed. The point is it's how they feel and it's shocking.

    March 20, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • maxine

      you had to have thought that might happen, being the mother of bi racial children.
      People have no class anymore, so you should not be surprised.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
      • CBC

        "People have no class anymore, so you should not be surprised."

        Maxine, you're a prime example of "no class", and no, I'm not surprised.

        March 20, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      so where's your husband?
      did he take a powder on ya?
      figures

      March 20, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Martin

      You are a SINGLE white female with 2 future black thugs for children. You forgot to mention you were a black males baby momma and that you will be single "and poor" for the rest of your life. Also your black children are no more "beautiful than any white persons children, only you think they are "beautiful".

      March 21, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • Freethinker

        Your mother would be so proud of you Martin. Such a fine example of a human being.

        March 21, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  15. A.Marie

    This was such a well-written, thought-provoking article that I just felt compelled to comment. Ever since my children have been little, I have taught them that the color of a person's skin does not define them. My Mother taught that to me and I don't see color....I see a person. That is just so sad that people of color still are faced with such distrust and hatred....I just don't understand it.

    March 20, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Francesca

    What happened to Trayvon is awful and in no way am I trying to justify what that neighborhood watchmen did (he deserves to be brought to justice) but this article irritates me so much. Everytime a black person is killed by a white person it all of a sudden becomes about race and how black people are always the victims. Plenty of white people are killed by black people everyday but you don't see a white person making it about race and how just because the vicitm was white it happened. The fact of the matter is this whole world is full of backwards, ignorant, bad people and there is unfortunately going to be no end to that. Murder is sad and wrong no matter who is the offender and who is the vicitm. I'm not blind, I know that racism exists in this country and all over the world. Do I think it's wrong, yes I very much do. Teaching your kid that a white person can't be trusted is racist, plain and simple. So before you start pointing fingers take a look in the mirror and see who's looking back at you. What happened to Trayvon can happen to anyone of any color, ethnicity, religion, nationality etc. I think the most important thing to do is to make sure your loved ones are aware of all the dangers of this world and that they are not invincible. Finally, before everyone starts crying about race let's not forget that a 17 year old boy, regardless of color, has been stripped of his life. That's the real issue here. He will never get to enjoy all the beautiful things that this life has to offer. To his parents I'm terribly sorry and heartbroken for you and yours. I hope you can find peace in this time of sorrow

    March 20, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • h

      No you cannot understand. As an a 55 year old black woman I know some things have cahnged but recently my niece who is 4 was told by another child she could notuse the slide at school because she was brown. Another samll relative was told by another 6 yearld she did not belong at their school. The weight of history is hard to bear because we cannnot escape it. What you do not understand is that when my nephew whi is a corparate attorney get in an elevator white women clutch their bags and back in to a corner. Racism exists in many forms some very subtle. The criminal justice system does not traet people of color fairly. The sad reality is until we stop pretending it that color does not matter we will never get past it.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • A mother

      The outrage stems from the fact that the killer has not been charged.

      March 20, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • js

      But if you look at the facts of the case there are major racial implications in both Zimmerman's motive, the Sanford police's handling of the case and the lack of media coverage until now.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  17. cliff

    If a black man shot a white, innocent, unarmed teenager, would this be a race issue?

    This is not a race issue. This is an issue of someone taking their "authority" WAY too far.

    March 20, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • writermom6

      I think this was a racial issue from the beginning. Would Zimmerman have gone after a white boy? That's possible, but much less likely. And the fact that Zimmerman hasn't been arrested yet definitely makes this a racial issue. If a black man had shot and killed a white teenager, do you think he would still be walking around free?

      March 20, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • cliff

        If the teen that was shot fit the description of every suspect of every burglary that had happened in that area, then yes. There is a process. Whether you disagree and beat your Million-Man-March chest about it doesn't matter.

        What happened was not a race issue. It was a hyper-vigilance issue.

        March 20, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jackson

        writermom6 – you need to read more; there's tons of shootings with white victims and black suspects where no arrest is immediately made. Your post just underscores the point that certain person's persona of racism makes it a far bigger issue than it really is.

        March 20, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • Shawn

        OJ killed 2 white people and he's walking around free

        March 20, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tony

        Apparently, after reading countless post over the past week or so, I have come to the conclusion that white people don't commit crimes, especially violent ones and never against other races. I'd go out and hug one but I'd probably get shot.

        March 21, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Franky

    And people don't understand why Obama always seems somewhat too calm and aloof, there is good reason, anger is not the blackman's friend. At all times you have to stay calm it only re-inforces the "threat" in some whites minds. And Obama is painfully aware of that. I just wanted to point that out to people.

    March 20, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • MJB

      LOL – I was wondering when the trolls where going to star blaming Obama for this tragedy too.

      March 20, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  19. ya no

    Judging by some of the comments here, small wonder we have – by far- the highest incarceration rate in the 1st world. A bunch of bipedal jackals that somehow sneaked into the 21st Century.

    March 20, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  20. TheZeitgeist

    Tragedy of the kid getting killed is a tragedy all the same, but this lady is over-reacting about her boy. Statistically, race-motivated killings of black people by white people are exceptionally rare.

    The author's boy has an order-of-magnitude higher probability of being murdered by a black person for color of his shoes than a white person for color of his skin. Important to keep things in perspective as we engage in another bout of navel-gazing here. And to put that in perspective, getting killed driving cars poorly will kill more teens than all the teens murdered for any reason this year combined. The author should keep that one in perspective weighing statistical risks to her testosterone-fueled kid.

    March 20, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • ya no

      You're most likely correct with your assertions – statistically. Unfortunately, when your kid is at risk, injured or killed, statistics seem to lose their relevance.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian C

      It's not about statistics. At the end of the day, there's no question her son is in more danger running through a predominantly white neighborhood than you are (I'm assuming you're white, though you may not be) or by getting pulled over by a cop. It might be .00001%, it might be 1%, it might be 10%. I have no idea. But statistics or not, the evidence is there. Not sure why you feel the need to refute it.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • Daniel

        How bout this, I as a bald headed white man run through say South Central, at the same time have a black man of similar staure and build run through Beverly HIlls, now tell me who do you really thinks stands a better shot at getting assaulted? Honestly.

        March 20, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • TheZeitgeist

        I would rather be a black guy in a white neighborhood than a black guy in a black neighborhood if I was so concerned about my person, statistically speaking. This kid was killed I am guessing while some two-dozen or so black people were killed in cold blood same night across USA. With guns. For reasons just as senseless and crude. But since its other black people doing the killing its no big deal.

        Again, statistically, this is stupid. There's million moms of black kids who would love to worry about their kid in the white neighborhood going to white schools versus the black world their kid lives.

        March 20, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Jackson

    Racism exists within every society. Articles like this just make it worse – not better. We have a very popular black president and every white kids favorite basketball player is LeBron and favorite golfer is Tiger. I just don't see the racism in the USA that other people do. I think sometimes people attribute certain things to racism when it has nothing to do with racism. I was with my black friend at dinner and he was complaining that a cop pulled him over and gave him a ticket for not coming to a complete stop at a stop-sign. He said it's because the white cop was a racist. Well, my caucasian wife was pulled over a week earlier for the EXACT same infraction (failure to come to a complete stop). Black people tend to think that when anything happens to them, it's because they are black. That type of thinking just makes racism worse – not better. CNN shouldn't have posted this article.

    March 20, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • JUGGERNAUT

      KEEPING OUR HEADS IN THE SAND, WILL NOT MAKE IT BETTER.

      ARTICLE LIKE THIS EXPOSE IT AND THAT IS MUCH BETTER OPTION THAN KEEPING OUR HEADS IN THE SAND.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jackson

        Expose what? Maybe I just have good people around me but in the hundreds of people I know, I cannot think of a single one that I would even remotely consider racist.

        March 20, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hannigan

      If you think not talking about a problem is right you are so wrong. Problems only get solved when when people talk about them identify the issue and set up a few ideas that can be the solution. Race is a huge issue in the country and just cause it happens all over the world doesn't make it alright. If you think that it does you are wrong again. Only you can change how you treat other people. If you want to treat them like carnage then you will be treated like carbage. I am not going to treat you better cause you have the same skin color as me.
      A 17 year old boy was killed and police didn't do their job. Under any reason that is grounds for determination. You know the individual who shot the victim. You can see the evidence as clear as crystal. From their reports they admit the kid had no weapons.
      Skittles and Arizona ice tea vs a loaded gun with bullets. I think police should arrest this 28 year old donkey. Put him on trial like the law is suppose to do and have a trial jury. They can listen to the police tape the conversation. The situation the ladies 911 call. Cops enforce the law you don't decide when you want and don't want to do that.

      March 20, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • js

      Thanks for reminding me that when Obama got elected that racism suddenly stopped in this country! I can't believe I forgot.

      It's people like you who think we live in a post-racial society that are preventing real change. As another commenter said, keep your head in the sand.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  22. raydd

    If her son is gunned down, the odds are overwhelming that it will be by another black. Look at Oakland, Los Angeles, New Orleans, etc.
    Where is the outrage at the 100+ young black men killed every year in Oakland?

    March 20, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Franky

      Yup same goes for Zimmerman, the odds are he is far more likely to be killed by another white male than he would be by Martin if that's your argument. In fact, the the little white girl too would also likely be attacked and or killed by white male than she would have been by her son. The fact is irrespective of race, most crime is "intra" -racial not "inter" – racial. So, your whole argument is moot.

      March 20, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  23. cjkirk

    I completely understand what this author is saying. She is not being racist at all, only telling you the truth of what black men have to worry about. I am a 31 year old black man, I have my bachelors degree and working on my MBA now. My mother and father taught me the same lessons the author of this article seems to be teaching her son. I am a big black guy with what people have told are imposing features. I have a professional job so for work I dress in shirt, tie and slacks. When I'm not at work, heading to the store for example I will throw on jeans a t-shirt or a hoodie. If I were walking in a neighbohood and no one knew me, I may be profiled for being a thug because its happened before where i was questioned. If a white man wore the same outfit he would just be someone who is dressed comfortable. This is just the reality that black men who are not causing trouble have to deal with.

    March 20, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • mclute

      I live in a black neighborhood. It wasn't whites that broke out my windows. It wasn't whites that siphoned gas out of my car. It wasn't whites that shot out the glass in the door to the apartments nest door. It wasn't whites that hit and run my car three times. It wasn't white police that took the police report each time. It wasn't whites that drop trash on the street instead of finding a trash can. It was some whites in the endless stream of cars that arrive for 5 minuets and leave at all hours of the day and night.

      But we know, whites are all to blame for every problem of society.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • cjkirk

        Please don't misunderstand what I'm saying. I'm not saying that all black people are innocent. Sometimes I'm ashamed of the people in my race due to the things you mentioned. All I am saying is this teen is dead because of a stereotype not due to racism. But a black man being stereotyped could get him profiled, beaten or killed. That is all I'm saying. Every race gets profiled I'm not naive to that fact, but here is a question for you, when is the last time you heard of a white man being accidentally shot because he was in the wrong place? When is the last time you heard of a black man with the same question. I do know a few rotten apples spoil the bunch but when we talking about people, some people like Zimmerman pluck off a black man simply because he is black.

        March 20, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jackson

      cjkirk, what you're saying may be true but I don't think it's b/c people are racist. We all stereotype based on our real-life experiences. If I were in a dark alley and there was a white skin-head, heavily tattooed and piercings, I'd be scared no doubt. I think we all have a sense, based on real life perceptions of when we should be more alert to potential harm that could occur to us. That doesn't make anyone racist. Even though people may stereotype, most everyone I know fully accepts and loves people of all races and nationalities. However, it doesn't mean they won't stereotype when faced with potentially scary situations.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • maxine

      sadly that is because other men before you do not know how to act!
      I am careful around men, period, black/white, it doesn't matter to me. If I don't know you, I am on guard.
      Unless I think I can take you....but if you are bigger than me? I am careful to the point of being aloof.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  24. davey

    state department issues a warning for americans traveling to mexico and soetoro sends his daughter theer for spring break. of course 25 secret service agents accompany her. how positively tolerant at the risk of your kids barry.

    March 20, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • DDM

      Yes, seems an odd choice to me, too, with all the violence reported south of our border. No place in USA for these kids to spend money?

      March 20, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
      • verafish

        Or mayyyyybe, Malia's *class* trip was decided by the school or the class and wouldn't it be just a little dictatorial for the POTUS to say "No! Make them have spring break here in the US!" (psssst, she's in Oaxaca, which is NOT on the list of dangerous cities due to the cartels. Whaddya think o' that?)

        March 20, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  25. meamma

    May God Help Us!

    March 20, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Michae1hawk

    Comparing this Florida case with Emmett Till is just unethical. Between the races, the undeniable fact is Black on White crime is vastly greater than White on Black or White on anyone crime. Maybe Black Mother's should simply teach their children to behave. Accusing everyone of racism when statistics like this prove otherwise is unethical.

    March 20, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • JUGGERNAUT

      RACISM AND CRIME FOR MATERIAL POSSESSIONS ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS.

      NICE TRY~

      March 20, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • KLDGBB

      Seriously? Trayvon WAS behaving. He had simply walked to the store to get a snack and was minding his own business.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • MJB

        How do you know? Where you there? Did Trayvon treaten the other man? Do we have to stop to access and determine someones age before we make a protect ourselves or check their pockets to ensure that what their carrying is a skittle bag and not a knife? If he was so innocent why didn't he jjust run away? How do you know that Trayvon didn't provoke violence as well? You don't know anything. You only know some poor parents are completely heart broken and what they tell you. I'm all for compassion but lets get the facts before we pass judgement. I'm not gonna be standing on some side line pulling a latin/black racial card without having all the facts before me.

        March 20, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      When a black man robs you, you will lose everything that you have on you at the moment. When you are robbed by white people you will lose your job, your home, your 401K, and your lifes savings. Not only will they not get arrested, they will also reward themselves with a nice fat bonus check.

      March 21, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pam

      Michae1hawk, who's accusing everyone of racism???

      March 24, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  27. mclute

    your son id far more likely tyo be murdered by a young black man than anyone else on this planet. Every day numerous young blacks are killed by other young blacks. It is a culture of murder that is allowed to exist by the members. Many of them memes openly condone the killing of whites. Whites are to blame for every evil of the world. The actions of one white are blown out of proportion by the media to foment this hatred. This country will never have racial peace because of black racism. Bill Clinton disagrees with Obama and he is branded a racist. The President can sit in a church for 20 years where the preacher says GD America, but he didn't know anything about it. Continue the lies until we kill each other.

    March 20, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kunle

      How are you allowed to take the murder of a young child, whatever his color, and turn that into your stupid, uninformed, heartless and yes, racist rants against black people. You should be ashamed of yourself. Shame on you!

      March 20, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • Umm.....

        How are you allowed to take the murder of a young child, whatever his color, and turn that into your stupid, uninformed, heartless and yes, racist rants against white people. You should be ashamed of yourself. Shame on you!

        See so much better now.

        The lady's racist, a bigot. Oh wait, no she's not: all white people really are the same.

        March 20, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  28. ﺶCHEﺶ

    Until we as BROTHERS, start arming ourselves to the HILT and meet fire with deadly fire in return by 10 folds; this injustices and PAINS melted out to us for generations will NEVER end.
    Until we as BROTHERS, show this country with DEADLY policy of An EYE-for-AN-EYE we as people will always grieve in imaginable pains.
    If they gun down your son or any member of your family you take down 10 folds of their household in return to even the score justified or not.
    No court system needed for there wouldn't be one! This is the only way ANY RACIST understands.
    I'm sick and tired of burying too many of our sons, brothers at the hands of the police, racist America etc.
    Trust me if Trayvon was my son; this PUNK will NOT live including any member of his family.

    March 20, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • cliff

      Remember that one time, when you COMPLETELY JUSTIFIED THE STEREOTYPE

      March 20, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • Michae1hawk

        @Cliff, Nice.

        March 20, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angela

      Extremist behavior surely won't help. Have some tea and relax.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Eddie

    Those who minimize racism and say it is not as pervasive as minorities make it out to be are part of the problem.

    Please allow me to give you a few facts.

    1. The vast majority of people convicted for first degree murder in the USA are White, not because they are more evil than other people but because they make up a larger portion of the population then Black or Spanish people. However, the vast majority of people on death row for first degree murder are minorities.

    2. The vast majority of felony drug convictions in the USA are convictions are White defendants, again, not because they are more evil than other people but because they make up a larger portion of the population then Black or Spanish people. Yet the vast majority of people doing hard time for felony drug convictions are minorities.

    These are just two examples in our judicial system that is blatantly racist.

    When you have one segment of our population saying there is a serious issue and another segment saying the issue is not that bad, it just goes to show how different people perceive day to day life in America

    I do not speak for all minorities, however, as a minority I have little trust in the Police. For every video you see of them abusing a suspect there are another 50 incidents that were not caught on camera. Also, I have some personal experience in what the Police call Policing and it is much different for a minority than what a White person experiences. To have a Police Office stop you because you fit the description of a suspect and while being questioned asks “what banana boat did you come over”. You prove you are not the suspect by providing ID and then the Police Officer says, “sorry you all look alike to me”. I will not even mention the other time where I ended up bloody and with my shirt ripped off my back and I committed no crime.

    The experience I went through I believe is common for minorities in the USA.

    Many of you will say that is not true but my opinion is that the vast majority of minorities will tell you different but it is easier to say we exaggerate that we are too sensitive then accept the truth and make change.

    My wife is White I am Spanish and I have a 9 year old daughter and I have passed down the lessons to my daughter that I have learned such as.

    If you need help go to the police but if you are questioned by the police ask for your Mom and Dad and do not answer any questions without us there or an attorney.

    If you are pulled over do not take your hands off the wheel and do not turn you head or move to open the window if it is closed.

    If you are in certain neighborhoods do not run because it will automatically be assumed by some that you are doing something wrong.

    You may ask why I would teach these things to my daughter at 7 years of age at the time?

    I had to explain what a little girl in her second grade class meant when she said to my daughter “ I am not allowed to play with brown people”.

    That is why there is a house rule in my home ..you do not use color to describe another human being. You do not say white mommy or brown daddy so you do not say black person, white person or brown person you say….that person over there.

    If the tone of my e-mail seems a little angry you may be right, I had to have a conversation about race in my country with my daughter that she is different under the law not equal WHEN I SHOULD NOT HAVE TO, IN A FREE SOCIETY, IN THE YEAR 2012.

    March 20, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • JUGGERNAUT

      EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      March 20, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • cliff

      sucks to suck bro!!!

      March 20, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • MJB

      I'm latin and I have black inheritance. Yes discrimiation is rampant – agreed. But everyone needs to get ALLLLLLL Sides of the story before they start pulling the race card. No one here has all the information. So it doesn't matter whether you're standing on the side line picketing with the blacks and it doesn't matter whether you're standing on the other side line picketing with the latins (in my case they'll need to make a tird picking line for mixed folks like me and your child). Until I habve all the evidence before me I won't choose either one. A 17 year old can be as much of an a$$ hole as anybody else.

      March 20, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ashley

        It's terribly sickening how you are continuously trying to make a case for Zimmerman. If he had headed the advice that the police gave him to stand down and not chase Trayvon there would have been no need for a self defense claim, no need for Trayvon to run, no need for Zimmerman to draw his weapon! He went looking for trouble. Why should Trayvon had to have run in the first place, when he was doing nothing wrong, he was returning home. Zimmerman was the aggressor here, he had to leave the "safety of his car" to even come close to this young man. So he must not have been too, worried or frightened.
        What if it was your son, your brother, your father, who because of the way they looked was gunned down in cold blood. Because that's all that happened here, because of how this young man LOOKED his life was taken. He was profiled, determined to be a threat, and killed. PERIOD POINT BLANK. He was never given a chance to state his case or defend himself.
        Without even considering race it's alarming that a person could take the law into their own hands and commit such acts of finality based off of his judgement, and his judgement alone. He made a decision, he was the judge, jury and carried out what he deemed the punishment for what ultimately boils down to, "a look".

        Rest in peace Trayvon, and hopefully your death wont be in vain.

        March 20, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • cliff

        ashley – if by the way he looked, you mean like the suspect that had committed numerous burglaries in the area, then you are absolutely right. He was gunned down because of the way he looked.

        if the suspect of the burglaries in the area had been white, and trayvon had been white, we would have the same news story, but without all of the racism.

        this is a hyper-vigilance issue, not a race issue.

        March 21, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • cliff

        further, i don't think anyone on here arguing the race issue, is making a case for the shooter. We are making a case that this is a hyper-vigilance issue. NOT A RACE ISSUE

        March 21, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  30. stymied

    I cannot imagine your fear, but I do know you are right to fearful for your child. When we took our daughter, her then husband, and our 3 year granddaughter out to eat at upscale restaurant one evening, there was a bit of a waiting line. The waitress gave her and a little black girl about the same age a couple of paper placemats and crayons. They preceded to color next to one another on empty benches. My son-in-law called my granddaughter back to stand in line with him and whispered to her to stay away from that little girl. I begged him in front of everyone not to teach my granddaughter to hate. I told him if she learned to hate on her own would be bad enough, but to teach someone to hate is unexcusable. I doubt if it had any impact on him, but I truly did not know how else to approach the subject. There is way too much hate in the world already, no need to feed the flames.

    March 20, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Matt

    I think the part that is missed is all of us could end up as Trayvon. This is not a white/black issue so much as a police/not police issue. We let the police get away with acts that would send people to the death chamber and then wonder how this happens...

    The officer that executed that man in a BART station a few years ago got 1 year in jail... I mean really... How about the swat team that shot up the veteran whos house they were attempting to raid by mistake (no one was charged in that). The stories are countless yet Americans seem content to ignore it. This killing, like so many before and I am sure after, is the result of a police force that thinks it is above the law. That sees us as a lower form of life.

    If you want to prevent things like this from happening in the future I would not focus on the black/white issue... I would spend my effort focused on breaking down the blue wall of silence.

    March 20, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • klur

      The guy who did the shooting was not a policeman, Just some civilian with a gun on neighborhood watch.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • MJB

        Castle Law & Stand your ground Law – welcome to florida- where we no longer need a reason to shoot you- we can merely "rely" on our oh soooo logical "feelings" and if we feel threatened and you're up close and getting personal we can shoot you. Go pick on a tourist they have no understanding of our floridan wild west.

        March 20, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • KLDGBB

      It was not a police officer who shot and killed Trayvon. Granted the police did not take appropriate action against the person who did shoot him, but if the shooter had waited for police and not followed Trayvon as the 911 dispatcher advised, Trayvon might still be alive.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  32. klur

    Heart breaking. I understand why the mother would tell her child all of these things but I am not sure it is for the best.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • ﺶCHEﺶ

      Punk who the heck are yee to even question her parental fears and thoughts?
      You wear her shoes inclu. the fears that every Black parent in America goes through each time our children ore out on the street and you will understand.

      I told my ONLY son the Lord, God gave me that; should any PUNK cut him down; there wouldn't be any police or FBI investigation(s), grand jury nonsense, court hearing(s), news media coverage(s) etc. etc. etc. for there wouldn't be one. Mark my words; Bloodshed in Baghdad will be like a PICNIC in America. The pains of 9/11 will be nothing should some racist punk takes my son's life. This the only language Racists America understands.

      Not only that, we hear some punks in GOP party, racists sarah palin, Michele backmann, teaparty tinfoils etc. etc. and some jews calling for the assassination of the this Black Pres. by racists coded words: water America plants with Blood.
      Let them be stupid enough to try!

      March 20, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • Renee

        Seriously, like Angela said–Extremist behavior will get nothing accomplished. "Have some tea and relax." For real, dude, you have some major anger issues. Callllllm down buddie. lol

        March 20, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • MJB

        Get over yourself! Every race in the world has a history of abuse against others and against themselves. Get some formal education in your neighbor-"hood" library before you start spewing off your venom. You know what library is right? I mean I'm giving you the benefit of assuming you can read. . .

        March 20, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  33. troma

    I'm white. I know not to walk down certain streets at night. If I do, its highly likely that I'll be confronted, robbed, beaten or all the above. Is that fair. Its racists isn't it. Racism isn't only practiced by white people. Everyone is guilty.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • JUGGERNAUT

      THINK WHATEVER YOU WANT, WE DONT CARE.

      IF THERE IS RACISM WE WILL POINT IT OUT.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • KNUCKLEHEAD

        RASCISM ONLY EXISTS BECAUSE OF PEOPLE LIKE YOUR JUNGLENUT

        March 20, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
      • JUGGERNAUT

        KNUCKLEHEAD

        RACISM EXIST BECAUSE OF RACIST PEOPLE.

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

        EXACTLY MY POINT JUNGLENUT

        March 20, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • JUGGERNAUT

        EXACTLY: KKK, IKA, ARA, NAZI LOW RIDERS, THE ORDER AND ETC...

        SEGREGATION, SLAVERY AND ETC....

        AND MAINLY PEOPLE LIKE YOU, WHO WILL PREFER BLACKS TO JUST KEEP QUIET. WELL, DREAM ON BOZO.

        March 20, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • APA_Esq

      @Troma

      Your statement in itself exemplifies the opinion expressed by the author of this articel. You do not "know" for certain whether anything would happen to you in any given street, Your assumption that the things listed in your post would actually happen to you only serves to prove the racism that is being discussed herein. Further, the fact that you pointed out that you are white does not help your argument in the way that you (perhaps) think it does.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dalena

      I believe the author is implying that racism is prevalent EVERYWHERE. I'm an american and canadian citizen, yet I am not free as I come from a mixed background, being arabo-european. I was raised using a "tool kit" as well.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • APA_Esq

      @Troma

      Your statement in itself exemplifies the opinion expressed by the author of this article. You do not "know" for certain whether anything would happen to you in any given street, Your assumption that the things listed in your post would actually happen to you only serves to prove the racism that is being discussed herein. Further, the fact that you pointed out that you are white does not help your argument in the way that you (perhaps) think it does.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • ﺶCHEﺶ

      Your OWN GUILT is your ONLY FEAR from the evil ills of your forefathers!
      You get that?

      March 20, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • MJB

        It was Your "forefathers" who Enslaved the other "tribes" and sold them into slavery – get off your high horse. . . visit a library- brush up on your own history. . .

        March 20, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pam

      Troma, not that is not being a racist, it's being smart. We all have to do the smart thing to survive and the neighborhood that you described exists in white neighborhoods also not just black neighborhoods. The racism and stereotyping exists when people think that there aren't any dangerous white neighborhoods that you should exercise the same precautions in.

      March 24, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  34. chippy1

    blame the gun happy legislatures that cater to the NRA and the hairy faced, neanderthals that use the possession of a gun as an extention to compensate for their shortened manhood

    March 20, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • troma

      The NRA has nothing to do with this. Please get a life

      March 20, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Manhood

      Your old lady has no problems with the size of my manhood

      March 20, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Moira

      Interesting description of a supporter of the second amendment. Myself, I happen to be an educated female raised in an affluent family far from inner city strife. I am now a middle-class white-collar worker and mother to two children. I am well trained in the use of many firearms as well as safety, and the laws that go with their ownership and use. I hunt. I keep firearms for protection as well. They are very secure from children and intruders. In short, I toe the line. And I support the NRA. I am neither hairy-faced nor a neanderthal nor white trash. Clearly I am not compensating, as I am female, well adjusted, and the least paranoid person you could imagine. There is another word for stereotyping. That word was an unspoken undercurrent in this particular editorial. It is just as easy for me to draw a mental image of someone such as yourself who would generalize in such a way, but I don't. You clearly have no idea what you are talking about, and if you think the legislature is gun-happy, I am confused as to how you could possibly draw this conclusion considering the current administration.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  35. ELR

    If anyone thinks that most police don't treat/protect people of color differently than white people, they need more diverse friends. When my very respectable, very responsible, well educated friends discuss our experiences, I know there is a difference, and it appears to be directly correlated with the color of their skin. This boy was someone's son and had as much potential as any of our children. I am very sad for his parents, and sad to think that no matter how far most of us come, there is still a problem.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  36. dave&rich'smom

    You are reading the mail and diaries of millions of mothers with black son’s, even thought my son’s are graduated from college and moved away to different states. My heart takes a small dive when the phone rings. I thought it was just me, my son’s say I’m paranoid. My prayers are with Trayvon’s mother and father.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      I'm a gen Y white male and I honestly think it's getting better with our generation. Though there are a lot of brainwashed rednecks in the south, and there are freak cases like this one, or the here in Connecticut of a family that was ripped to shreds by two white males that raped and killed the daughters and then proceeded to burn the house down killing the youngest daughter and the wife (thankfully they are on death row but it will never heal such a tragedy, it will remain timeless); there are heart wrenching stories like this one if not worse, but our generation is getting better and better at not giving a damn about the pigment of someone's skin. Your kids are growing up with Gen Y, especially thanks to the internet, we feel for everyone including those a world apart.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  37. mike223

    It really seems like CNN's one and only goal is to racially divide America. I'm white, I have many black friends, and I don't feel a racial divide. Sorry folks, it's 2012... CNN needs to give up on this.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • JUGGERNAUT

      CNN GOAL IS TO PUT TO LIGH THE RACISM THAT IS STILL GOING OB.

      INTERPRET IT HOWEVER YOU WANT.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • JUGGERNAUT

      LMAO

      WHAT A M0R0NIC COMMENT.

      JUST BECAUSE YOU DONT SEE IT, THAT MEAN IT DOES NOT EXIST???? LMAO

      March 20, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • RA2012

      You are really blind if you think this is CNN ....starting trouble then speak to some of your "Black" friends about the reality about their day to day existence...YOU DONT HAVE A CLUE!!!! I am the mother of a 15 year old black boy and it your remarks are really ridiculous!!!

      March 20, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ana

      Your comment, Mike223, is perfect evidence of the privilege you have for being white. And of course, you won't agree with me. Which is yet another example of your privilege.
      Hope you realize the truth about this someday! Sadly, I have a feeling you won't because *you don't have to....* which is a THIRD example of your privilege.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kevin

        No offense, but your post makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. I read it twice.

        March 20, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ana

        Hi Kevin,
        No offense taken. Let me clarify. White privilege is a very real phenomena. The power structure in this country is white. People who are white, myself included, tend to be judged favorably on first glance and are thus less likely to be followed through stores, profiled while driving...etc. This privilege does not exist for those whose skin color is darker. Mike 223 is privileged by his skin color to see no racial divide (and thus to have not experienced racism). If he denies that racism is a defining reality for some, that denial is only possible because *he's white.* If he refuses to understand what white privilege is, and acknowledge that he indeed benefits from it (whether he's aware of it or not) then that is the 3rd example of what white privilege offers to white people. White privilege is largely invisible to white people, and if you're white, Kevin, it would behoove you to understand it too. Hope that's more clear.

        March 20, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • ya no

        kevin/ana: I knew by the time I was 8 years-old that I'd hit life's jackpot. By then I could see that being born white, male and in the United States was a First-Class, front-row seat. That perception has never changed even though I review it very regularly. We have advantages, big advantages, in this country and the world. Have yet to find a reason why these accidents of birth should be seen as a reason to discriminate against any other person on this planet – for any reason. Seems quite a few of us will settle for any reason at all, no matter how nonsensical.

        March 20, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      I'm white, too, but my son is a dark-skinned Latino boy and his best friend is black. If you don't "feel" a racial divide - that is, if you don't experience feelings of racism toward or from people of different races - that's understandable, and that's good. But if you don't see and acknowledge that racial divides exist in this country in a very real way, with very real consequences, I'm sorry, but you're ignorant.

      I was raised in a primarily white area. Nearly all my friends were white. I had no true understanding of what racism is until the people I loved were affected by it. I see the way my son - the honor student, the Boy Scout, the baseball team infielder - is eyed today by the people in my white, conservative town. I see the way his best friend - a bilingual honor student who plays the violin in a youth orchestra - is followed when we stop into a convenience store. They have been taunted, individually and as a pair, with hurtful slurs from other children and adults who are far too old not to know better. It's 2012. It's appalling.

      My biggest fear is what will happen to them as they get older. They're not yet old enough to drive, and they're undersized, so they're relatively safe. But my coworker, a white woman who adopted her son, who is black, has already warned me to tell my son exactly what this author has told her child. When he was 16, my coworker's son was arrested on a public basketball court by an infamously racist sheriff's department official for "loitering" or some such trumped-up charge, although he had a basketball in his hands at the time. The charges were dropped, but not before her poor kid had to undergo the humiliation of being arrested, essentially, for being a black male in a public place.

      It's all well and good to try to go through life "colorblind," but the fact is, many people don't. It doesn't do any good to pretend like racism doesn't exist, or to dismiss the acknowledgement of injustices perpetrated because of a person's race as muckraking or playing the race card. Let's acknowledge it and work to change it.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • Anna

        I am the white mother of mixed race children – when you don't see their father with us, it is very hard to tell what their heritage is. But we are aware that the children are treated differently when they are just with me, as opposed to when they are just with their father, or when we are all together. I'm treated differently as well when we are all together.

        March 20, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dalena

      CNN is finally doing the right thing... Was that NOT obvious? What would be wrong is if they hadn't brought up this subject.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      You know, I bet if you ask any of your black friends what the most common thing that racists say, that they'll respond with "I have black friends!"

      I'm not calling you racist, I just want to point out to you that just because you know black people, does not mean you know the first thing about what they go through in life. We all see the world through our own lens, and a lot of things happen that don't go through that lens. That doesn't mean those things don't happen.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • ﺶCHEﺶ

      @ mike223, yeb haven't we heard that before?
      Every RACISTS claims that they have Black friends.
      For The Record: this is what we know as Black folks, a white family could invite a Black man for Thanksgiving dinner; and by dawn he will be hanging from the backyard tree or at the back of a pick-up truck whilst the party still goes on. Like coward(s) when the murderer is caught, your irks always plead the insanity defense.

      FACTS UNDISPUTED: every racist’s murderer ALWAYS cowardly pleads the insanity defense and the racists jury of your irks buys into that. And then sends him back to his evil mama. These INJUSTICES will surely come to an END in America.

      Take it from Black Americans. America is sitting on a deadly tsunami. All it needs is some RACISTS punk setting off a trip wire.

      March 20, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  38. troma

    This whole thing is terrible. A bright and innocent youth is dead and A civil minded individual's life is ruined. No winners in this one. Unfortunately people will want 10 pounds of flesh to repair the irreparable. Community policing will suffer and crime will flourish.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Charlesnspirit

    Only a tiny percentage of blacks kill each other. Think about it, if all blacks killed each other there would not be any blacks left. There are many black doctors, lawyers, policemen, firefighters, social workers, nurses, community activist, teachers, journalist and the list goes on, and they aren't killing other blacks. You should stop generalizing and stereotyping. Do all white boys shoot up their schools,

    March 20, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      Nobody is saying "all whites" or "all blacks"...well, nobody reasonble, anyway.

      We just don't want people to judge others based on the color of their skin. Ms. Oglesby is teaching her son that whites, based on their skin color, pose a greater danger to her son than blacks. I find that to be offensive...and not factually true.

      I also find it offensive that she says her son is "free-ish" thus stating that somehow there is still some form of slavery in this country.

      What happened is an unspeakable tragedy...and likely one caused by Hispanic-Black racism based on the facts we've seen so far. But if you allow outside racism to be an excuse for your own racism (what Ms. Oglesby is saying is OK), then you are not helping but adding to the problem.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • Pappy521

        Kevin
        Her lesson to her son is not that whites are bad. Her lesson to her son (my lesson to my kids) is that "because you are black there may be a time in the future where you might be treated unfairly because of the color of your skin by someone (regarless of their color) who only sees what they think they see. And God forbid, but when you find yourself in that situation, you need to act accordingly so that no possible harm will come to you." That lesson is not a lesson on whites being evil, but instead it is a lesson on how blacks can be perceived as evil. You need only read some of today's comments to see that this is true.

        March 20, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • KLDGBB

        @ Pappy521 – Very well said.

        March 20, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kevin

        Good points – and I understand the distinction...maybe I'm over-reading Ms. Oglesby's assertions. However, she is not so subtle as you put it...she teaches her son to "fear for his life" and that her son is not truly free in America. That doesn't imply, that states, that white people are still enslaving. That's offensive. This article is more than "you may be treated unfairly sometime in the future", this is a "watch out" you have a very good chance of being Trayvon and killed by an overzealous white person...when, in reality, this tragedy is not even close to a common occurrence.

        March 20, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  40. CaptainObvious

    I don't really think anyone who is white (like me) can truly understand or appreciate what it means to be black. Nonetheless, I applaud the author of this article. Very eye opening.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Jesse

    When a 6 yr old girl says a boy has cooties or is "dirty".... or a stranger "dangerous" it may have nothing to do with race at all. But lets work to have our future generation blame everything on race, because then we can all have an 'excuse'. An excuse to hate, to judge, to explain one's failures.

    Or

    We can call a man who thought he was BIG because he was the night watchman and had a gun the stupid JERK and CRIMINAL he really is. And instead of seeing a racist in a little 6 year old girl, look at a big sister trying to keep her little sister away from a cootie filled stranger.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Fearfighter1

    Wow, you read some of these negative race related comments and all you can do is shake your head! For those who are fortunate to have the wisdom to understand content of character in people over the hue of a persons skin color have a great perspective in life regarding people. I should hope the writer gets this message as well because that is what really matters. It's not what's outside that mystifies its having no insight into the inner workings of a person mental status. If your a good judge of character you find out pretty quickly but if you only judge a person based on looks you can never develop the tools necessary to see a persons character...content of character counts more and always will! My condolence to the families impacted by this awful outcome based on fear. False. Evidence.Appearing.Real

    March 20, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  43. cathyinca

    What happened to Travon is outrageous and should anger every American. But to compare his incident to what happened to the mightily ignorant and arrogant Professor Yates is ludicrous, and takes away from the true issue. The only racism that Skip Gates was a victim of was his own.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • martialeagle

      Skip Gates got arrested for breaking into his own home by a white man with a big badge and gun and very tiny organs. Trayvon was killed by a man with similar attributes. Hispanic is neither a racial nor a national origin designation. Hispanic -Spanish-like Anglo-English- denotes a linguistic and cultural designation. And Hispanics like Anglos can be of any race or mixture of races. Zimmerman is white. And his claim to be Hispanic is suspect with his surname.There is no such thing as Hispanic/Latino out side of America.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Freethinker

      How was Skip Gates racist? He was arrested in his own home for being suspected of burglarizing said home AFTER the police KNEW that he was not only the homeowner but a world renowned Harvard professor!! That doesn't seem odd to you? The actual racism of the police arresting him should bother you more than Skip Gates pointing out the racism.

      March 22, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  44. ahlong19

    Well, I understand every word, sentence, and paragraph that that is written in this article. The mother is not stating that all Caucasians or any other race of people will kill an African American child. What she is saying that people in authority ie policemen have been known for racial profiling. And also there are some racist white people like Zimmerman that kill innocent Black children for no reason. Zimmerman did not have any reason to shoot Travon Martin. She is forewarning her child to always obey the law. If the child is stopped by the police or state trooper obey them and do not talk back unless you are asked a question. I know that some of you do not understand why black mothers and fathers talk to their males children in this manner but when some of us think about what happen to Emmitt Till back in 1955, and to the man in MS just last year and the groom in NY in 2010. We have to talk to our black male children. We are not being racists we are trying to protect our male childrens from being murdered or sent to jail for crimes that they did not commit. As for the ones on here talking about black on black crimes. There are crimes committed in all races on each other. This doesn't make any of it right but it does happen in all races. Drugs, murder, stealing, cheating and all other immoral things happen to all races of people. We are all imperfect people and that is why God gave His only Son for our Sins. We don't live in a perfect world but we should all try to live to make it better instead of tearing each other down. My heart goes out to any family that has lost a child through careless, racist tactics. We are our brothers' keepers.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Tortfeasor

    Nope. You named your son Drew. Not Treyvon, D'Sean, Tyrone or Keshawn. Therefore he will live a normal, happy life and have a great career and fully assimilate into American culture and not be gunned down like Treyvon or spend his life in jail like Tyrone. The name tells alot, particularly about the parents.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • JUGGERNAUT

      OOOHHHH.........SO WE HAVE TO NAME OUR KIDS, THINGS THAT YOU APPROVE???

      OOH...SORRY MR. WHITE MAN, I AM SO STUPID. HOW COULD WE ANGER YOU.

      M0R0N.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tortfeasor

        Yeah you should, name your son Tony and he'll be my friend, name him Keshawn and I'll burn a cross on your lawn.

        March 20, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • ALEinVA

      That is a most ignorant statement. George Zimmerman didn't know Trayvon's name, it didn't matter, he was a black man in Zimmerman's neighborhood and therefore up to no good. I may not personally agree with the ethnic names that permiate our community but a "anglo" name doesn't make you a pillar of the community, just look at Ted, Jeffery, John Wayne, nor does having a "ethnic" name make you a criminal. SMDH.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pappy521

      The comment tells alot, particularly about the person writing it. So our President's name, according to you, should have had him leading a drug gang in Chicago?!!!

      March 20, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • JUGGERNAUT

      LMAO...BIG MAN BEHIND THE COMPUTER.

      I DARE YOU TO GO BURN A CROSS IN FRONT A BLACK GUYS HOUSE.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • D

      dude, that's freakin racist and bigoted. seriously?

      March 20, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave&rich'smom

      I don't think George Zimmerman asked Trayvon his name. ???

      March 20, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • remy730

      Wow, just wow. Sickening......

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

      Like Newton or Willard or Rush or Lyndon or Millard or Zachary or Abraham or Ulysses or Chester or Rutherford or Herbert.....or Barack.....?

      March 20, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dhilal

      Clearly, the computer screen has been blurring your judgment. YOU ARE RAAAAAACIST. Might as well somebody tell you now.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • KLDGBB

      Seriously? The shooter did not know the victim's name. What a horrible person you must be, Tortfeasor.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  46. JUGGERNAUT

    RACISM IS ALIVE AND WELL IN THE USA, WE NEED TO START A NEW REVOLUTION.

    YOU CAN EASILY READ THE MANY COMMENTS ON THIS BLOG AND SEE THAT.

    ANYTIME YOU POINT OUT RACISM, SOME OF THE RACIST WILL RESORT TO SAYING (WELL BLACKS COMMIT MORE CRIME, WELL BLACKS SING RAPS AND ETC....) DONT BE FOOL BY THESE RACIST.

    WE NEED TO FIGHT MORE NOW THAN EVEN DURING THE CIVIL RIGHT ERA.

    TIME TO WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 20, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • jim

      I can't help but notice that you didn't deny that blacks commit more crimes. I am a white male, and I have neither the time nor inclination to try to "be sensitive to the problems" of the man trying to rob me. I avoid young black men because I know of their propensity for violence. It's the easiest way for me to avoid problems.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • JUGGERNAUT

        DUDE...WHITES COMMIT 69.2% OF CRIMES IN THE USA. THE ECONOMY COLLAPSE THANKS TO WHITE BANKER AND WALL STREET GUYS.

        AVOID WHOEVER YOU WANT, IT DOES NOT AFFECT ME AND I DONT CARE 🙂

        March 20, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
      • JUGGERNAUT

        PLEASE KEEP AVOIDING US, WE PREFER NOT TO INTERACT WITH RACIST M0R0N ANYWAY.

        March 20, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • JUGGERNAUT

        AND KEEP AVOIDING US, WE PREFER NOT TO INTERACT WITH RACIST M0R0N ANYWAY.

        March 20, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shannon

      Juggernaut, can you clarify for me? I understand you to be a black man, and by your statements you do not consider yourself to be racist on any level? That it is only the white man against the black man. I just want to understand and be clear. I myself am in a partnership with a black gentleman and don't consider him to be racist, but the first time he came to my house out in the country, when we were first dating, he made a crack about expecting to see a burning cross on the neighbors lawn. I was really saddened by that statement, but also found it humorous because the lawn he pointed to happened to belong to a black family, no KKK living at that house. Is he racist? I don't think so. Am I racist, I don't think so.

      March 20, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  47. jim

    It is an undeniable truth that young blacks are far more likely to commit violent crimes than young whites. IF THAT WERE NOT TRUE , TRAYVON WOULD BE ALIVE.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • MaryAnn in VA

      So, all black males are ALWAYS guily and trying to plot the downfall of society right? Truly pathetic.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • jim

        Are you truly stupid enough to draw that from my comment?

        March 20, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pappy521

      It is an undeniable truth that young blacks are far more likely to be arrested and convicted when they commit violent crimes than young whites who commit similar crimes. IF THAT WERE NOT TRUE , TRAYVON WOULD BE ALIVE.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • jim

        Gosh and golly gee, I want to be a real liberal like you when I get old and dumb.

        March 20, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
      • Pappy521

        Jim,
        Don't pretend to know anything about me. You have your "facts" and I have mine. Statements about anything beyond that made in ignorance.

        March 20, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • ﺶCHEﺶ

      RACISTS!
      Yea, right his given birth name; Trayvon is NOW his SIN for his unjustified death.

      FACTS UNDISPUTED: white folks are mass murderers by BIRTH thru. the Blood of the Devil Lucifer.

      Does these son's of Satan Lucifer (all white); Adolf Hitler, Jeffrey Dahmar, Charles Manson etc. etc. ring a bell in your toothless RACISTS trailer park eyes? A RACISTS is always blind to the TRUTH.

      March 20, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Pappy521

    My children are 19, 17, 15, 12, 9, 8, and 14 months (5 girls, 2 boys-last 2). I have always hoped that they would be spared the ugliness of racism. Even when I tell the it exists, like many non-blacks they believe that the world has changed and we should just ignore our differences, that is, until they actually experience racism first hand.
    I am in the medical field. I have found that when patients are told by their physicians in advance that they may expeirence a side effect or adverse event, that if and when they experience it, they are better prepared and more willing to push through with their therapy. It is when they are bind-sided that they want to stop taking their medication.
    Talking to my children about racism makes going through life a little easier. When they experience it, it hurts but they're not blind-sided by it. The early lessons from their mother and I (which include "loving thy neighbor as thyself") prepare the for the unexpected, nothing more, nothing less...

    March 20, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  49. kwmen

    As a criminal defense attorney who proudly defends indigent as well as privately retained individuals AND a mother of a 14 year old son, I absolutely agree with, admire and support this wonderful mother. I have never, once, in 20 years represented a white youth who had been "detained" by the police at any point in their life and asked to provide identification and their purpose for being in a particular place. Yet, ALL of my inner city African American clients were used to this common and recurring "exercise" of racism. My son's best friend is a wonderful, bright and loving black youth, who next to Thomas' white skin and blonde hair is a huge contrast. I don't think they see each other in color. We certainly don't. Thank you for this incredible article. I will share with many.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • OSUBuckeye4

      I've been detained by police for being a white man in a black neighborhood.

      I was walking home from a house party in college and took a wrong turn, ended up in a very black neighborhood in Columbus. Cop rolled up, asked me for ID and asked why I was in the neighborhood. I told him I was going home. He looked at my ID and said, "home is in the other direction". I told him, "I must have took a wrong turn, my buddy had driven me to the party but left early so I had to walk it home and had to have gotten turned around" (which was the truth).

      Cop told me to get in the car, ran me for any outstanding warrents, I ended up clean and he drove me home. He told me that I shouldn't go back to the neighborhood again and if I did, he'd pull me over again.

      You know what I did? I stayed out of that neighborhood.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  50. ya no

    I thank God and/or the fates for being born a white male in the US. Talk about hitting the genetic/geographic lotto. And I've always said, since I was old enough to notice, that if I was born a minority, or a female, I would have had a very short life. I just wouldn't put up with the stupidity. I've had reason lately to reconsider this conclusion – if you consider the intelligence of the average racist/genderist, they wouldn't be that successful at anything they might do, including racial or gender crimes.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • jonathan

      Hell anything you can "thank god" for has an opposing side I "hate god" for doing.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Bobby

    Blacks kill blacks on a constant, ongoing basis. Look at all major inner cities. Look at Chicago and Philly. Look at Newark. Even though more blacks kill blacks that we lose in wars we are involved in, the only time anyone gets excited about it is when another race kills a black. Then the whole US is racist. No murder of anyone is acceptable. Why is it not approached that way?

    March 20, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charlesnspirit

      Only a tiny percentage of blacks kill each other. Think about it, if all blacks killed each other there would not be any blacks left. There are many black doctors, lawyers, policemen, firefighters, social workers, nurses, community activist, teachers, journalist and the list goes on, and they aren't killing other blacks. You should stop generalizing and stereotyping. Do all white boys shoot up their schools,

      March 20, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Francesca

      What happened to Trayvon is awful and in no way am I trying to justify what that neighborhood watchmen did (he deserves to be brought to justice) but this article irritates me so much. Everytime a black person is killed by a white person it all of a sudden becomes about race and how black people are always the victims. Plenty of white people are killed by black people everyday but you don't see a white person making it about race and how just because the vicitm was white it happened. The fact of the matter is this whole world is full of backwards, ignorant, bad people and there is unfortunately going to be no end to that. Murder is sad and wrong no matter who is the offender and who is the vicitm. I'm not blind, I know that racism exists in this country and all over the world. Do I think it's wrong, yes I very much do. Teaching your kid that a white person can't be trusted is racist, plain and simple. So before you start pointing fingers take a look in the mirror and see who's looking back at you. What happened to Trayvon can happen to anyone of any color, ethnicity, religion, nationality etc. I think the most important thing to do is to make sure your loved ones are aware of all the dangers of this world and that they are not invincible. Finally, before everyone starts crying about race let's not forget that a 17 year old boy, regardless of color, has been stripped of his life. That's the real issue here. He will never get to enjoy all the beautiful things that this life has to offer. To his parents I'm terribly sorry and heartbroken for you and yours. I hope you can find peace in this time of sorrow.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • comm0nsense

      You are incredibly uninformed. Lack of police protection (just as in this case) is the reason why there is more black-on-black crime. The history (if you call it history considering it happened in my father's generation) of (white) police departments ignored black-on-black crimes and the judicial system didn't have time for them either.

      If your grandparents had been lynched, your father imprisoned, your helpless brothers forced to live on the street, then perhaps you will understand what your generation would be like.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  52. cluarain

    I don't mean to be callous...but welcome to the world of women. I have been teaching my daughter how to be free-ish since she was just a baby. Don't walk alone, don't wear anything too short, too low cut, too tight, don't ride your bike too far, don't be too sassy, don't go out after dark, don't park too far away...

    Women are raped and killed on the street, and all over the world only because they are women – EVERY DAY. We have been preparing our daughters for it since time immemorial.

    I am not belittling this tragedy...but saying that it should be a wake up call for us to look at how our society allows this to happen to all kinds of people everyday – not just to black men.

    Zimmerman showed clear signs of mental instability. Where was the community mental health center that he should have been referred to for residential treatment? No room in the budget for that.

    Running around with a locked and loaded weapon while playing policeman? No law against that, he had done it many many times.

    George Zimmerman deserves to be punished...but the community, our gun happy society, and his family, all took part in this injustice.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • jonathan

      Why I see the virtue and effectiveness in teaching your daughter of these "potential" threats. I also view that mindset as sad in a way. It allows this idea to fester that it is actually likely for a woman to be raped or preyed upon. When in fact most woman go their entire lives without ever being raped. Why instill that fear of walking home alone at night? Sure it raises the odds I suppose of something bad happening being a woman alone at night. If you consider a .005% (just an example) increase significant. These fears are the driving force behind insecurity and paranoia in the sense that you can't go around fearing things just because there is a slight, slight chance something may occur. If humans lived with that mindset we would have never gotten out of the jungle.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Imusa

      Your comment is right on the mark. Every group has experienced something racist or biased yet somehow with African Americans it's special or different. All people experience life through one lens or another.

      In this case, here's a boy who will never go home, and parents who will never see their child again....heartbreaking. Regardless of the racism involved, I'd heard that Zimmerman had in the past made over 40 calls to the police for various incidents. It is clear that man had NO business owning a gun. Why is it that, like driving a car, people have to show that they are not capable of being awarded the privilege? This is not only a racial issue, but a gun issue.

      As for the police not arresting him, as much as the parents want to have the police jump the gun, the police have procedures and I'm sure that arresting the man without dotting the 'i's would only result in legal issues down the line.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Juan Pablo

    Wow. So many mixed feelings about this piece, Christy. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and fears. I hope you can also share with Drew the many stories of courageous and ordinary people of all races who stand up against racism and discrimination -as evidenced, for instance, by the outrage that Trayvon's story has generated in people of all backgrounds-. My heart aches a little when I hear the very genuine concerns you raise, but I certainly hope that you keep in mind all the just and fair, and those willing to stand up for equality. I am certain Drew can grow up to become one of them, but he'll also need to be shown that there are those who firmly believe in such ideals and will stand by his side regardless of the color of his skin.

    There is another side to the "airport story", Christy, that may have been lost to the outrageous comments of the little 6 year old. Remember the two and a half year old girl who trotted and sat by Drew's side? She didn't see the color of his skin, she just saw another boy, and she wanted to play with him. Please remember to point that out to Drew. There is much work to be done -no doubt- but I am not willing to give up on the goodness that's inside of all of us.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Faith

      That is exactly it Juan Pablo. Your thoughts so summed up mine that I got chills. I too have mixed feelings. I too am raising a black boy and am scared. But when I see him with his friends of all races, I have hope.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Alyssa

    Christy, great article.
    In many ways, it reminds me of the challenges of raising a daughter of any color. You need to teach her how to take care of herself, because there are bad men out there, but that doesn't mean that you hate men, or that she will. I think a lot of people missed the point – it's not about teaching your son to be racist or fear white people, but to teach him that he should act in a certain way to stay safe, because not all people are good people.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Joan

    America is a horribly racist peace with a white majority that elected a black president.. Oh wait uhhh..

    March 20, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • elected a black president = everyone isn't racist.

      Please, the majority may not be racist, but that doesn't excuse the actions of a few. Just because we have a black president, does that mean the KKK ceases to exist, because their membership spiked after the election of obama. You can't simply write off racism, and I'm not saying they every white person is racist, however it would be ignorant to facts to claim that by electing a black man, this country erased all racism duly.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Whatever Joan. The racism is just as bad between Hispanics, Whites, Blacks and between themselves. Too much hate. And this was between a Black and Hispanic.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • MysteriaKiito

      Just because having a black president doesn't excuse racism doesn't mean it's okay to label all white Americans as racist. I think thats the point Joan was trying to get across. And many people are neglecting the fact that Zimmerman wasn't even white, he's Hispanic. Everyone is just as guilty of racial profiling based on how he looks. No one is learning anything from this horrible situation.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
      • Evelyn

        I'm sorry but you are wrong. Zimmerman isn't being racially profiled. Most people can look at him and tell he's probably not white. Him being labeled as white was due to misinformation being put out by the media.

        March 20, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • dr bip

      Obama is bi-racial and did not run on a pro-black ticket. If he had, there would have been no way he would have been elected. Why can't you hear this mother and learn from her? Or is it you just don't want to?

      March 20, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Actually the reactions to President Obama show a sizable chunk of the population is racist. The Birthers? Do you think if Obama was white and had the same heritage (born in Hawaii) that would have every come up? What about all the Tea Baggers calling for life for things he's never actually done. "He raised taxes!" Taxes are the same or lower. "He's taking away our guns!" Gun laws are looser than they've been in decades. "He's secretly a Muslim" Guess you didn't want to be overtly racist and say "he's black" but only partially racist (and being a Muslim makes you evil?). I have yet to see a legitimate complaint about of Obama from the Tea Baggers that wasn't code for "You know he's not one of *us*, right?". Even the GOP candidates still like the given thinly coded messages to court the racist vote with statements like "I have no personal knowledge if his birth certificate is legitimate. People have a right to ask and be concerned." Trump, Santorum, Gingrich, etc. may as well say "You and I know what we're talking about but I can't say it aloud because of the liberal-controlled mainstream media- but secretly I'm on your side to get him thrown to the back of the bus."

      March 20, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • JUGGERNAUT

      MysteriaKiito

      HE SPECIFICALLY SAID THAT, IT DOES NOT MEAN ALL WHITES ARE RACIST.

      STOP MAKING THINGS UP.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Kms new orleans

    Sadly, I feel and have felt the fears that the author expresses. As an African American mom living in the south, I have developed a certain sensitivity and awareness when it comes to the "difficulties, do's and don'ts" involved with simply raising a young black male. Thing is, I have made a conscious effort to NOT share these fears with my 16 year old son. I have decided to allow him to navigate the world without any Pre-conceived notions of race and prejudice: he will develop those notions on his own. He has been exposed to people of various cultures and socio-economic backgrounds and is determining for himself where he should be cautious and where he should be fearless; where he should and should not align himself; whom he should trust or love; when he should walk or run.. I believe all we can and should do as parents is draw practical pictures to illustrate how we believe a "decent" human being's journey might look...then let our children fill in their own colors.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      That's very encouraging to read. Good luck to you and your family!

      The only way to break down pre-conceived notions of other races, is...to not have pre-conceived notions of other races. Pretty simple.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kms new orleans

        Thanks Kevin. Unfortunately I am guilty of frequently seeing things in black and white...my son never has. I refuse to taint that.

        March 20, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  57. elb1999

    As a black man who has raised a son now in his early 20's and currently helping to raise a 12 year old step son, I find Ms. Oglesby piece disheartening. As black people we've come to far to continue to define how we live our lives through fear of what might happen. I've never once told my son nor my step son not to do something or act someway or speak some way because they are black. Rather, I tell them not to do certain things, becasue it's the wrong thing to do, or the wrong way to live. While Ms. Oglesby believes she is protecting her son, she might well be setting him up for some difficult times. Especially if he internalizes the lesson that his blackness is something to be feared. Instead of making his blackness someone elses problem, she may be making it his problem. A problem where every rebuff in his life becomes because he is black. To be sure there will be time in his life when bad/unfortunate things happen to him precisely and only because he is black, but those times will be the exception not the rule. As tragic as Trayvon's story and all of the othe example that Ms. Oglesby used are, they are the exception, not the rule. We cannot afford to have our children living their lives based on the exception. They have to much to offer the world to live that way.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • MysteriaKiito

      I agree. I know she's got a lot of fears about the world but she shouldn't pass them on to him. Plus it sounds as though she's ashamed of being black and ashamed she's passed it on to her son. If this were my son I'd much rather he be proud of who he was and not have to cower in the shadows for fear of who he is.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  58. liz

    "There's not a white man in this room that would change places with me And I'm rich!" – Chris Rock

    March 20, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  59. al

    I see that she is divorced. Does this boy have a dad living in his house?

    March 20, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jrogers

      who cares?

      March 20, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • al

        I guess I do. It just seems to me that she might be "copping a tude" like some folks do when their marriage goes in the crapper. Maybe she is down on men in general, next tier down, white males.

        March 20, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Jrogers

    Wow, very thought provocating. I am the mother of a 15 year old boy myself. Although he is white; I too have watched him grow with fear in my heart. fear of how he's percieved, fear of bullies, fear of him being sent off to war...before your article I had not seen it through the eyes of a black mother though. Having to tell you son not to run? That's one of the most natural things for a boy to do! It would never have occurred to me, but then again my son is white.

    I've been following Trayvon's story since it broke because I see the similarities rather than the differences between he and my son. Immediatley, I thought of the Mom and how she must be out of her mind with grief; I've thought of what my own reaction would be if it were my son; and I've wondered how we can be living in a world that can view a boy of 17 with a bag of skittle as an evil threat? Oh yes, I know...he was wearing a hoodie.
    Hoping for a better future for all of us

    March 20, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • connor

      this is pathetic. if I saw a man reaching for what appeared to be a gun I would lay him out too. this kid wasnt shot just because,he was doing something that made another man feel like he had to kill him. yet he is portrayed as some little innocent saint who was just walking down the road and eating some skittles then got shot. I dont think so, he deserved what he got.

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

        Interesting perspective, Connor. So despite the fact that the young, unarmed man was chased down the street by this vigilante, and thereafter shot to death, you still think he deserved to die? Despite the fact that the vigilante should not have been armed (according to their neighborhood rules) and the 911 operator asked him not to give chase, the young man still deserved to die? Where do you live, Connor? Have to make a mental note to to visit your neighborhood.

        March 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tina

        Wow, I am at a loss for words. I put my hand in my pocket many times when I'm out and about. Maybe my hand is cold, maybe I'm reaching for my cell phone or a tissue, or some Skittles. I'm glad you're not around when I put my hand in my pocket.

        March 20, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • cecilia

        if you have to say things like he got what he deserved – why don't you just go away with your racist talk and leave the decent people alone – and no, I am not Black I am a white grandmother from the South who has been working for years to help end you kind of talk and racism – only to find with the election of a fine Black President, racism has returned or at least come out of the closet again with a vengeance – so go away

        March 20, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ty

        Did I miss a part of the story? When did he reach for "something" ? Was this child not being pursued by someone who decided that he "looked" dangerous enough to kill ? What would you do if you were walking alone at night, with only a bag a skittles to protect you and realize that you're being followed by someone that is obviously out to harm you ? Would approach them in hopes of reasoning with them, run, scream for help ? He's being treated like he's innocent because he was. What would you want your son/ younger brother to do in that situation ?

        March 20, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • Rae

        And I bet you think those innocent afghan women and children were Taliban. You are a sick individual.

        March 20, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Ryan

    I'm a Hispanic young guy but I easily pass for Caucasian. My mom, who grew up in Mexico, has a fear of black people. When we see a black person she warns us. When we moved near black neighbors she told us to be careful. It saddened me. She later met our neighbor and got along with him fine. I thought it was over and then a black family moved near us and she told us to "keep an eye out".

    Point is, as much as I would like to (and initially was going to) call this mother paranoid and overprotective, I can't help but agree with her preparing her son. It's not just white people. It's other minorities. I don't know if the same applies away from where I live (this area is about 95% Hispanic) but we live in a world that is filled with ignorance. We should prepare ourselves and children accordingly.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • MysteriaKiito

      Thank you for pointing that out! I grew up in a mostly white community but moved to FL where it's almost entirely Hispanic when I moved out of my mom's house. I dated not one but two Hispanics(One Cuban, one Peruvian) and both were the most racist people I have ever met and their families were no better. I let them walk all over me because of low self esteem issues, but years later I'm disgusted I didn't stand up for myself. I wish my mother had done more to prepare me for it. Not to run and hide but to stick up for myself. But as harsh as my exes and their families were to me for being white and not knowing Spanish, they were way worse to anyone who was black.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • ECMoney

      It's the truth what you say and I am half Hispanic and half Black...it's a crazy life

      March 20, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pam

      Ryan, very interesting but the writer of this article isn't preparing her son in the same way that you were prepared by your mother to face the black race. The difference is, this woman is not fearful of white people nor is she teaching her son to be fearful of white people. Your mother as you stated was fearful of black people without ever having crossed their paths which is a greater issue.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  62. blam

    Well at least you have testosterone-poisoned boy instead of a estrogen-crazed girl.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Pappy521

    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.
    Experiencing racism is a rare event but that doesn't make experiencing it 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 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Saddened

    So many of you are missing the point or just choosing not to see it. The author isn't teaching her son to be racist...nor do I believe is she. She's trying to best equip her son for the many things that can befall him because he is a black youth and can be perceived, by a minority of scared individuals, as a threat because of how he looks. She isn't asking him to treat ANYONE less than but to be aware he may be treated as such. She's human and the last time I looked so are all of us. She's fallible but so am I. God blessed her with this one child to protect and rear as he has blessed many of you. May you all tread as carefully with one another...

    March 20, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pam

      Saddened, I think many choose not to see the point that she's making due to their preconceived notions of black people.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Rita

    The author is correct. She is teaching her child survival skills. I too fear for my son. Trayvon's tragedy struck a nerve for all mothers. It very well could have been my son.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      But see there's the problem: if I taught my children to act differently around blacks because blacks are more violent to whites - do you think blacks would be cool with that? Hmm. Plus, Ms. Oglesby's stance is not based in fact. Her children are not in more danger from whites, they're more in danger from blacks. Sorry, I truly wish it were more balanced myself so people could get past this race thing. But apparently, people like Ms. Oglesby can't.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • Charlesnspirit

        When blacks are around rednecks blacks are in more danger from rednecks. Check out the news for hate crimes by rednecks.

        March 20, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • Buck

        Kevin blacks are not more violent towards whites. 80% of all crimes against white people are committed by white people. When black people get out of the hood, and try and live somewhere decent, the fact of the matter is these things can happen. My own children asked me why did we always live around white people, which is not true, we always lived in diverse areas, because that is the best way to live. If you have never been stopped by the police for driving while black, or ever been stopped and searched by police and the only reason they give you is you look like a suspect (which is BS, they are saying we all look alike), you know nothing about it. Black people don't get drug behind trucks in Texas until their heads pop of by Asians, Indians or Latins, it is white people that do that to us. You will never understand what we go through, and why Mrs. Oglesby does the things she does. She is not teaching her son to be racist, she is teaching him how to survive.

        March 20, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • Shawn

        Correct. But apples to apples, there were 3 times as many whites killed by blacks as there were blacks killed by whites in the USA in 2005 (the most recent stats available from the DOJ). Sorry to burst your bubble.

        March 20, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • Shawn

        Oh, and I'm pretty ambivalent about whether I'd rather be dragged to death, or killed with a bullet to the back of my head. Dead is dead.

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

        I personally don't feel "bombarded" by anti-white pieces, ever, and certainly this piece isn't anti-white. But it's always of interest to me that some people feel this way (like Kevin & Shawn). Comments like these say a lot about these people's prejudices and perceptions.

        If you think there's an "anti-white" agenda out there you are seriously mistaken, IMO. No statistics bear this out. Shawn cited that the amount of Black crime is greater than White crime. I don't doubt that, but that's a small part of the story. I'm sure that crime has a lot more to do with poverty and ignorance and earning potential than it has to do with race.

        That being said, Black Men Can Feel Targeted by Society. I am a white woman and know many lovely white women who are AFRAID to be on the subway when the subway is full of people of color. People tell me these things because I'm a white woman. But while comments like these make me sad, I am reminded that some people are just very fearful of "the other" and to some white people, who have many friends of color (as mind do!!, and these people do!) anonymous black men are sometimes scary to them. When one of my women friends revealed her fear to me the other day I said, "just pretend these guys are (and I named some of her black male friends). To which she replied: but they're not dressed (as well as) like (these friends).

        So to the SHAWNs out there - who are by and large thoughtful people - it is not very thoughtful to dismissed real prejudices people face on a daily basis.

        This author produced a very poignant, REAL piece.

        March 20, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • The truth is...

      Kevin, are you really saying that you wouldn't tell your white son how to act when he entered a predominately black, gang filled neighborhood? She is giving her son advice on how to keep alive and out of trouble when in a situation where the majority of people in a position to harm him might perceive him as a threat. She's not telling him to be afraid of whites or to act differently around them. She's giving him advice on how to not be seen by racists that can't see past their own bigoted minds that a black kid in a hoodie is no worse than a white kid in a hoodie.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  66. MysteriaKiito

    Zimmerman was Hispanic, not white. So why is this article written as if all whites are at fault for racism? Fact of the matter is, every race is racist. I am white and have been treated poorly by blacks and Hispanics because of being white. But I've seen Hispanics do the same to blacks and Asians turn around and hate on Hispanics and so on. The world is a dangerous place, racism is just one of the many things to be worried about but it isn't the number one thing to worry about because not EVERYONE is racist. You act as though every person you see on the street is racist and you're wrong. Maybe one or two people you see every hour or two is racist, but most people aren't. I'm not saying Zimmerman didn't judge based on race though, I'm pretty sure he did. But I'm also sure that he got a little too high and mighty about his neighborhood watchman status and thought he could take the law into his own hands.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joan

      CNN reported for days that the shooter was white even though he is Hispanic. They have misled a great many people with this and have never issued a correction.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
      • MysteriaKiito

        I've seen at least one article stating it several times on cnn today. I think people are just blind and don't want to believe that racism is something that other races besides whites can have.

        March 20, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • JMD459

        The police report has Zimmerman down as "white," which was where CNN got that information.

        March 20, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charlesnspirit

      Good point

      March 20, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • YAAA

      Hispanic is not a real race, it is only used as a race in US. Hispanics can be anyone, Spanish, Italians or people from the south

      March 20, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  67. gclaheh11

    This author's tone makes me sad. I believe that racisim exists, but I don't think that it is an everyday occurrence like she makes it seem. Think about it. If things were that bad here wouldn't there be a bunch of Blacks leaving the US for other countries? When I worked with a bunch of Black co-workers who lived in crime ridden areas who refused to move even though they could afford to live in other areas because of this percieved racisim. They are more likely to be attacked in their own neighborhoods than hasseled by the police in a white neighborhood.

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

      II am a black man and her story is so true; m parents taught me the same lessons 40 years ago. If things have change in all these years, why would a black mother teach the same story my parents taught me as a child over 40 years ago? This is how we teach our young black men to survive.
      Think about the dog whistles the candidates for President use; Sara Palin calling the president everything but a child of GOD.
      Thank you for telling the black man’s story.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bagheera

      I am a black man. Every day I get reactions from white people that range from fear to disgust to anger. At my church, half the white women treat me like I'm a rapist out to get them. If I step on an elevator and there is only one white woman on it, you can guess what the reaction is: fear, keys between the knuckles, hand in the purse (presumably on pepper spray).

      This is not unique. You can ask ANY black man and get the same stories over and over again. I've only scratched the surface. I could go on and on about things that white people don't ever experience. I like white people. I like people of every ethnic background. However, all too often, people don't like me because of my color.

      Not paranoid, just over it.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • Shawn

        Dude – you must be putting off some bizarre vibes, or are hypersensitive to trivial reactions.

        March 20, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  68. KMF

    KMF

    I really enjoyed this piece Christy. I think all parents can recall vivid fears of their child's safety. I know those fears can be intensified when your son is black. It's such a shame. Although the shameful incidences that you relayed were far and in-between, when they happen they are so memorable!

    As a white woman I am appalled by the thuggish comments to this post. I think CNN should monitor posts for stories like these, stories that attract disgusting racists. I am going to go through now and flag some of these idiotic comments for abuse.

    In the meantime Christy, thank you so much for posting your story and for sharing your experiences with us. It's important to be reminded that we still live in a racist society, unfortunately, and to practice kindness to all of our young people. Children thrive on kindness. Adults need to remember this.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Dee

    Why is it that if one black person expresses an opinion, suddenly non-blacks get defensive? Is anybody capable of figuring out this lady is trying to find a way to succeed in raising her son in a violent world. All the nonsense you spout just confirms that her way may be necessary. Racism touches us all and not just minorities. Start a "positive" dialogue if you think this mother is wrong for being paranoid. Mass media has tainted the views of all citizens. There is blame to be shared by all...

    March 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • @youignantdotcom

      I dont think it is wrong for a parent to be paranoid over their children, I think every parent is, but her paranoia is based on one news story when it should be directed toward her own race murdering each other in the streets over a few bucks, drugs or a pair of shoes. It happens all of the time and is rarely in the national spotlight, and should be.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • @youignantdotcom

        not that is story has no merit....it absolutely does and should be in the spotlight. I just wish there was more light shed on the murders blacks commit on their own race. its astronomical

        March 20, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Race Card

      What a simple question you raise. This author doesn't raise a benign point. She's not writing an article on how delicious collard greens are. She insinuates that all of white America is a racist machine meant to keep the black Americans down. That's rather offensive.

      She also propagates the idea that all white people are racist, thereby modifying her son's beliefs from a young age. That molds how he will interact as an adult (i.e. avoid white people and believe they are dangerous) thereby continuing this culture of ignorance.

      Look at the FBI database on violent crimes; white Americans are not out to get black Americans. Get over it.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • Stefan

        "She insinuates that all of white America is a racist machine meant to keep the black Americans down. That's rather offensive."

        As a white person... I didn't get that insinuation at all. You're inserting your own story into the article. By the way, I'm sure it was just a coincidence you chose collard greens? No stereotyping there right?

        March 20, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • Marian

        To Race Card, and the others who just don't get it : This is an articulate article written about the very real experience of raising a black child in our society. It is thoughful and honest, and if you don't understand it or don't believe the experience to be real, then you should Tthank God for your good fortune. I have been with black male friends in our group and we are absolutely looked at differently when we enter a store, walk around a park or even stop and ask for directions or help – and we are adults & parents, not teenagers. I am going to email this to my own computer to share with my children...because the burden thier black friends and neighbors live with should be understood and appreciated by all.

        March 20, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • ya no

        The insinuation is yours, and you'll never come to that realization. The agenda is everything – reason, truth or respect have nothing to do with it.

        March 20, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • ya no

        Interesting choice of screen names. There is a reason for any choice we make – what was yours?

        March 20, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • Pam

        Race Card, you are way off base. Do you see who her son is hugging in the picture? This was a picture that she submitted. If she was teaching him that all whites are prejudice, don't you think she would have chosen a different picture?

        March 24, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin D.

      We don't like people teaching that their children that they should treat me differently because of the color of my skin (white). That's what Ms. Oglesby is doing. She is saying that her black son could be killed by whites. It's offensive. So, yeah, we get defensive. Unless, you think it's OK to stereotype.

      The only "nonsense" being spouted are FBI statistics regarding and requests to not be labled as racists.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • Race Card

        Great point Kevin, why bother with any form of facts? Let's just make baseless assertions all day. Great point.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  70. TiredODaCrap

    Let's stir up a little more unwarranted fear, shall we??? How many whites are beaten/killed just for walking in "the hood"? Let's not pretend that it has to do with being black or white. It has to do with the person doing the hateful activity. As I have said on other posts, this old fool will get what is coming to him! No reason for that young person to die...

    March 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • white people don't go the the hood

      How many white people are beaten in the hood, last time i checked white people don't live in the hood, they don't go to the hood. Your statement only justifies this OPINION piece, you are willing to label everyone for the crimes of a few. Just think if black america were to do this to white america, how many white men rape children, clearly a larger and much more drastic number then black men, yet that crime statistic has yet to develop into a stereotype for white men.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • Stabler

        White people don’t rape children more than Blacks, it’s your racism that makes you say this. Black men rape just as many children, but they are only 14% of Population. If you look are it proportionately, the numbers are different. It used to be believed that Whites had more serial killers too? Another myth started in the black community. If you want facts and not racist propaganda, do some research, go to the Dept of Justice website, take off the racist blinders. Blacks perpetrate both of these crimes at a lot higher levels of their percentage population than anyone else. Nice try, though..

        March 20, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • Pam

        White people don't live in the hood and don't go to the hood??? Are you sure about that?

        March 25, 2012 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
  71. Erik S

    It's so sad and frightening to see the old guard of "White America" in such a panic. Demographics are changing in this country and instead of embracing it they use their fear to attack the inevitable. Anyone who does not look like them are labeled a thug, Muslim, criminal, etc. I notice though that this is something that comes mostly from the baby boomer generation. The newer generation for the most part is just not interested in that kind of hate/fear.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shawn

      I'm not sure I agree, but I do see a endlessly repeated theme – that whites are racist.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shawn

      Oh, wait, the very definition of racism is 'a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior'. Clearly blacks are superior to whites since all whites are hateful racists.

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

        I have yet to meet someone who has said that racism is exclusive to Whites. However, whites (at least in this country) tend to MANIFEST their racism more than other groups, both in recent history and in decades past.

        March 20, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • Shawn

        I disagree. I think we simply label things differently. If a white hurts a black it is labelled racism, if a black hurts a white it is labelled a crime. This makes it appear that whites are predominantly racist.

        March 20, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • ya no

      shawn: You really ought to have that looked into. You ever hear the one about 'the forest and the trees'? Your posts are incessant denials of white racism. You claim that there is a conspiracy that insists that all whites are racist. None of these these things have existed in my world. What has happened in yours?

      March 20, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  72. pri20

    I understand the burden that the african-american race has to bear. I also understand the author's protectiveness of her child. But I'm not sure what message she is sending to her son. Is she essentially telling him each day, every day, that he's different and not equal? By repeating the story of the little white girl, is she essentially never letting him forget that he was treated differently/badly by a white person? Does this mean she's telling him that he can never expect to be treated well by a white person? The last paragraph about her son walking into the sunset with his white friend is a weak attempt to disguise the fact that she's essentially treating him to never let his race out of the equation...

    March 20, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • VinnyB

      I am a Muslim living in America and I can relate to a lot of the same struggles that any black man has to go through. The main difrence between me and this lady is that I do not go around EXPECTING to be picked on because of my religion. She is making it really really clear that she wants her son to know and expect to be harrased constantly by "them" being white people. All this is doing is building inside your son a sense of mistrust and dislike towards people of other races, he is going to believe the whole world is out to get him and that he cant trust anyone. U should rethink your strategey.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • TFullerman

      insightful comment

      March 20, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Fritz Hohenheim

    Well the author is certainly right in teaching her child to be careful. Theres a great deal of racism in America for sure, but not all is pure ignorance.
    From my limited experience one big problem is the "culture" that many kids, not just black ones, get from the MTV style music world, all that "gangsta" and "pimp" style stuff. Many are no gangster but they want to dress and behave like their idols they see on TV, in my eyes not just because it's cool but also because if you look and behave like a ganster, those establishment white people will fear and respect you. What they forget is that if people fear you, they sometimes shoot you.

    I'm not saying this guy here looked or behaved like a gangster, what I'm saying is that a great deal of the young people have a strong desire to be perceived that way and this projects on the rest. IN my eyes, dressing, behaving and speaking like the rest of us is the first step to a better life. I know, I know, I'm probably getting these "racist" commercials, but I just want to give the point of view of a middle age white male on this. I'm not defending Zimmerman's action which, in my eyes at least qualify for a deliberate homicide, if not murder, and I am strongly in favor of bringing forth charges. People like him abuse otherwise good laws like the self defense law in Florida and other states. I don't want to see those laws, which give us the right to protect ourselves come under pressure because of a few bad apples.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Angela

    There is a difference in blatent racism and profiling. A black male can be successful, well dressed, well-behaved, intelligent, and on and on, but he will still be profiled in this society. It's going to take a long time to get society to SEE and ACT without profiling. Until then, a parent has to prepare her child as best she can. Kudos to this mom. As a white mother of a black son, raised in a military community, some of the points she raises didn't occur to me–BUT the moment I saw this story I thought the very same thing–"Oh my God. That could have been my Bryan." –and it scared me to the core.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ashley

      You provide an interesting perspective being a white mother to a non-white son. I think between you and the author, the entire issue of the mother-son relationship comes to the center, especially where a black son is concerned. It's not as if black women do not experience their share of profiling and stereotyping, but as a member of that group, I've never dealt with the threats and fears that many of my black, male peers have. I think woman of any background who are tasked with raising young black men face an incredible challenge. There are so many layers of perspective that cannot be passed down, but are vital nonetheless.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Lena

    Although my kid isn't black, this could happen to anyone. The GOP/NRA has pushed and pushed to let anyone own a gun and feel perfectly justified to act as his or her own self-deputized puesdo-police officer. Well, they aren't. They are a public health hazard.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      That is just an ignorant statement about the GOP/NRA. Just more fear mongering anti-gun rhetoric. Its ridiculous and you really should think before you say something. And if you did, you need to research your facts first before you spew something as silly as that.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Michael

    Is it me or are there people who just refuse to believe that often time and in different situations the outcomes are different due to the color of your skin. I see nothing wrong with a mother preparing her child for the possibility of being confronted by a police officer and the safest way for him to react. I am a african american male who as a teen was profiled and stereo typed. Although i never faced a situation to the extent that it became life threatening, I did endure hostile actions from police officers of different races. I have been walking home, photographed and detained for no other reason than being black by police officers. I can't say that I would have faced deadly force, but I did not take the chance and my words, movement and actions kept anything else from arising from the situation. These are things that I would like to believe happened to kids from different races at the time, but I know it never did. I thank my parents for teaching and preaching to me how the way you react in a situation could be the difference between life or death, jail or freedom. Let's not judge this mother for her fears, but open our eyes to the reality.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Race Card

      That mentality may have been true 50 years ago. You can watch Mississippi Burning and see why.

      But how often – nowadays – do you see racially motivated law enforcement officers murdering civilians? I'm sure police officers would not take kindly to your baseless argument.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • No Such Thing As The Race Card

        I saw it happen in 2004 when my cousin was walking down a street in Houston, Texas and was shot in the back and killed by a police officer that thought he fit the description of a wanted criminal. What bothered me the most is the "police" officer said we all look alike from behind. My cousin was 15, light skinned, and 5'10" the criminal was 6'4" dark skined and over 40. I guess all black peope look alike.

        Only people who don't have to live within the color line think there is a "Race Card". Grow up there are still people in this country that judge other based on the color of their skin, and there are still people who will die because of it. We are only four at best five generations from slavery, one maybe two generations from the Civil Rights movement. HOW MUCH CHNAGE IS THERE IN THAT SHORT A TIME! Very little, don't beleive me as Trayvon, oh wait you can't he's dead because he fit the description, you know the one black while trying to just live his short life.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • Paula

        You are right, maybe 50 years ago it was worse. But this type of incident shouldn't happen at all, especially 50 years later. Isn't this the land of the free? Or is this the land of the free for just a few?

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

        Here in Portland, Oregon alone there have been several police involved shootings of unarmed black men in the past 2-3 years. And let's also remember that just because these incidents don't occur frequently it does NOT mean that the THREAT of violence does not persist day in and day out. As this mother's has so poignantly shared, it is the fear of what MIGHT happen that pervades her life and will pervade her son's life. IF you are confronted as a black man, the odds of fair treatment are not in your favor both in the immediate incident and in the legal process.

        Thank you for sharing your story Ms. Ogelsby. Having lived in Atlanta, I know your assessment, worry and concern are right on the money for that community.

        March 20, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  77. lisa

    I can understand where this mom is coming from. My son is disabled. He has been called horrible names from various races. However, he has recieved a lot of love also. I used to hold on so tight trying to protect him. My son told me to stop and let him be who he is trying to be. I don' t say that I don' t protect him but I let him learn about life through his eyes,without my bias. We have the best talks. Ignorance will always be rampant. I just want my son to be comfortable in his own skin without being the tall,disabled kid.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  78. cnn fan

    my grandson is mixed. The thought of him walking for some candy is now frightening. There's along way to go. And don't tell me we still don't have problems. On both sides of my grandson's tree there are those whom could be deem biased. So sad, so sad. And scary

    March 20, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Mothra Twins

    This is a thoughtful, well-written and heartbreaking essay. Many of you ignorant, racist commenters are proving EXACTLY why responsible African American moms must teach their kids that the deck is stacked against them.

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

      Absolutely agree. Beautifully written

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

      Yes, emotionally charged, but, misplaced. Her fear should be focused on the fact that he is 10 times more likely to be killed by a black than a white. Her focus should be that he doesn't follow the all-too-common path that young black males have been following for decades. Implanting racist fears in her children doesn't solve the problem, it simply creates another generation of racists and masks the true problem.

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

        Both scenarios are very scary to parents, Shawn. Attention needs to be paid in both cases. This woman does us all a great service. Thank you Christy.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • Shawn

        You may want to re-read the article. She references 'White' in her article 5 times, each one relative to a 'racial' act, or a possible 'racial' act. The basis of this article is a racial slur of whites – and how her son needs to be ever vigilant against them.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • Black Dad

        Please shawn share more of your insightful wisdom on reverse racism? It appears your data comes from??? Please educate us to your source of knowledge on the subject matter.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Race Card

      Referencing the FBI's crime database, white people are much more likely to be murdered by black people than the reverse. In your opinion, Mothra Twins, should I as a white person teach my white children (actually half white) that they should fear black males? That they should consciously avoid them out of fear for their lives?

      No, that's racist and uneducated, just as much so as the underlying racist sentiment of this piece. That mentality propagates the underlying problem, which is fear and hatred without any logic or reason.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shawn

      I posted the numbers from 2005 from the DOJ. 900 Black on White homicides, 300 White on Black homicides (rounded). Ignoring the fact that there are 10 times more whites than blacks in the USA, this is huge – but seems to be ignored by everyone!

      March 20, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Black Dad

      @mothra twins! Agreed! Black fathers who are actively involved with raising their kids KNOW what is at stake here! Most people do not know the coaching that goes on behind closed doors about race relations from white to black families but it is that coaching that creates the zimmermans and trayvons of America. Racism exist in all people but is magnified 10x in America.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Erin

    Wow, thank you for labeling me and my children as hating racists since we are not black. Unlike you, I continue to teach my children to always look past skin color no matter what-even demonstrating this to them by lending my iPhone to a young black male in a downtown area who proceeded to take off with it-the whole thing witnessed by my kids. MY kids are not allowed to think less of all black people because of that one incident. Get over the victim mentality-you're hurting yourself and your son more than helping.

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

      Thank you Erin. I'm a white man married to a black woman, and have black daughters. These 'feel good' articles are poorly disguised racial propaganda against whites. Every one quietly paints whites as hateful racists, and blacks as innocent victims.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • KMF

        Yeah, right. There's such a huge anti-white agenda that the country still sees huge gaps in income, student achievement, housing, etc., etc., etc...

        I know life is difficult for all of us - and more difficult for some of us - as the statistics amply attest.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sarah Martina

        She didn't paint whites as racist. She simply acknowledge the fact that racism still exists. It doesn't matter who the offender is. If it doesn't apply to you, then you should find absolutely no offense in this.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
      • Shawn

        Based on your comments, you're not racist. Nor am I. But doesn't it bother you to be continuously bombarded with 'white racist' articles and opinions? Granted, there will always be racists (on both sides of all fences), but the numbers are trivial today – reducing it (in my opinion) to personal prejudice and bias – not racism.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • KMF

        I personally don't feel "bombarded" by anti-white pieces, ever, and certainly this piece isn't anti-white. But it's always of interest to me that some people feel this way (like Shawn). Comments like these say a lot about these people's prejudices and perceptions.

        If you think there's an "anti-white" agenda out there you are seriously mistaken, IMO. No statistics bear this out. You cited that the amount of Black crime is greater than White crime. I don't doubt that, but that's a small part of the story. I'm sure that crime has a lot more to do with poverty and ignorance and earning potential than it has to do with race.

        That being said, Black Men Can Feel Targeted by Society. I am a white woman and know many lovely white women who are AFRAID to be on the subway when the subway is full of people of color. People tell me these things because I'm a white woman. But while comments like these make me sad, I am reminded that some people are just very fearful of "the other" and to some white people, who have many friends of color (as mind do!!, and these people do!) anonymous black men are sometimes scary to them. When one of my women friends revealed her fear to me the other day I said, "just pretend these guys are (and I named some of her black male friends). To which she replied: but they're not dressed (as well as) like (these friends).

        So to the SHAWNs out there - who are by and large thoughtful people - it is not very thoughtful to dismissed real prejudices people face on a daily basis.

        This author produced a very poignant, REAL piece.

        March 20, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • jimm

      Kind of missing the point.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • SRH

      I really dont understand how some become offended. I completely understand where she is coming from and maybe I understand clearer because I am black. Its not about being paranoid. She is teaching her son right and enlightening him on and issue that shouldnt still or should have never existed in our society but unfortunately it does. I dont think she was labeling all whites as racist. She is clearly pointing out what some black males go through in this world from different people. Its good that she is teaching her son how to react in certain situations and how to dress and carry himself. I love her proverb of dress like a prospect and not a suspect. So many of our black men need to be told that. So kudos Kristy for this article. For those who comment about someone being paranoid or living like a victim, you may want to wake up to reality. I myself still encounter racism in this day and age. Its here we are not victims because we are still living and pushing forward. I hear so many talk about welfare queens and how we are absentee parents well when you have parents who are teaching their child the facts of life and trying to steer them right there is still nothing good to bet said just negative. Racism is still here in this world. we are not exaggerating or dreaming this up. IT'S REAL!

      March 20, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • Shawn

        Supposing it is (though my wife hasn't experienced any in many many years), do you think that you might somehow be creating it through your own actions? Do you greet a white woman the same way you greet a black woman? I watch my wife at the gym, and every single black woman smiles and chats with her – but they are way more reserved with the white woman. Don't you think that this 'colder shoulder' would affect the way they respond to you too? Why is it only their fault?

        March 20, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blue3072

      Hello Erin. I understand where you are coming from and you make some valid points. I am an African American male, age 29 and I can remember my parents giving me similar lessons on what to expect as a black man. I think you might have misunderstood what the author was trying to convey in this article. For every person who is tolerant and treats everyone fair regardless of race (such as yourself), there is another person who still has a racist mentality. As a member of minority race, I have to always be prepared for the worst that could happen. That doesn't mean I walk around playing the victim or think non-minorities are the reasons for any misfortune I might have. However, I cannot be blind to the fact that some people have NOT changed and there is a potential threat. Secondly, the things I grew up seeing my white friends get away with were not the things I could get away with. Even if it was something as simple as running on someone's lawn as discussed in the article. As a black man, I automatically stand out from the group simply because of my skin color. It's sad but its the reality we live in. I feel bad that you did not receive the true intent of this article, but understand how it can be misunderstood. This is nothing more than a mother's concerns for her young black child. Take it from a young successful, educated black man who heard the same things from his mother growing up. These lessons are needed and have kept me on the good path

      March 20, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Roger

    You're pretty paranoid and stupid.

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

      No, she's just realistic. You obviously didn't read thing she said.

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

      I really enjoyed this piece Christy. I think all parents can recall vivid fears of their child's safety. I know those fears can be intensified when your son is black. It's such a shame. Although the shameful incidences that you relayed were far and in-between, when they happen they are so memorable!

      As a white woman I am appalled by the thuggish comments to this post. I think CNN should monitor posts for stories like these, stories that attract disgusting racists. I am going to go through now and flag some of these idiotic comments for abuse.

      In the meantime Christy, thank you so much for posting your story and for sharing your experiences with us. It's important to be reminded that we still live in a racist society, unfortunately, and to practice kindness to all of our young people. Children thrive on kindness. Adults need to remember this.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • "ME"

      I don't understand why you keep reminding everybody that your son is black? That is what is wrong with the world. Too much pointing out the 'black' and the 'white' – we are all people – some good, some bad. That's just how it is.
      I feel horrible for that little boy in Florida that had that happen to him and I don't know why it happened? Was it because he is black? I don't know if it was that or that the guy who did that was just plain ignorant?! I just don't understand all the hate in this world...very sad

      March 20, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sarah Martina

        If she doesn't remind him gently, then he will be definitely be reminded by someone else in a much less gentle fashion. I.e. the 6yr old girl in the airport.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • SRH

        we may be better off if everyone thought like you but they dont and this is why we have to teach our kids like Kristy is teaching her son. If my parents raised me to think my color was never a factor or issue with other people I would have been in such shock when I entered the real world. but unfortunately i encountered racism at a young age (I'm 34) showing up to school to see the N word spray painted on walls and go back to the mother land on mirrors in the bathroom. but we are critizied for speaking out on it. I guess you have to go through it to understand where some of us are coming from.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  82. Steve

    where' the father of this future thug?
    Can't keep your man huh Christine?
    typical for your race

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

      Will you please stop talking you ignorant fool?

      March 20, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rach

      This is a disgusting post from you, Steve. People like you are the reason why tragedies like this happen. It made me sick to read your reply.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeffrey Marsh

      This is probably a screen name for Rush Limbaugh. Sounds just like him.

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

      To Steve,

      What a sorry excuse for a human being!!! Full of hate and contempt, a rattlesnake in disguise?

      March 20, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • msimms7501

      Well, I suspect your post was written more to get social attention than to express your true sentiment. I forgive you.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • ya no

      Where's you father, Attica? Stupid question? Look in the mirror.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vikki

      That's all you retained from this entire passage? I feel sorry for you...

      March 21, 2012 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
  83. mypitts2

    Sure, she's gone a little overboard. But as a black man, I can definitely say a black parent does their child a disservice if they raise them to think that that they will always be treated equally by society and by the law, to include the police and the court system. You have to use your head. The demonization of black men in popular media has had real consequences.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Huh

      As a young white male, I unfortunately must agree. I do not think I have ever felt threatened in a public space or like people were staring at me distrustfully. I have, however, heard the kinds of comments from neighbors who believe that anyone of a different skin color is shifty and dangerous. It is incredibly vile.

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

        Great Article! But it doesn't cover the half of it. I grew up hardly even knowing I was different. However, as time went by I came to experience more and more bias because of my color. Now, I have a good criminal defense attorney on speed dial just in case. I have never done anything to need one and never will. But being black in America is enough. The dangers are real, and it's best to be prepared for it.

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

      Black men have made their beds and now don't want to lay in them.

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

        Says the man still living in the 1950s. Crawl back under the rock which you came from, and let the rest of us live in peace. The reason we still have race issues is because of ignorant toothless inbreds like you.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • @youignantdotcom

        @huh.....

        Stop blaming white people. Blacks need to stop blaming other races and look at themselves. The reason we have racial issues is because people of every race do and say #ignant things. STOP mu...rd....er...ing each other and maybe the blacks will garner the respect they deserve. Why do you think there is a stereotype? Look at Chicago, they k..........ill eachother daily.

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

        Oh shut up you proselytizing idiot. You know nothing, and will always know nothing. Your name is incredibly appropriate.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maginist

      So at what generation or time in the future will we stop this race thing? You think it is a diservice to not tell your child of another color that they will be treated differently? How about we all stop teaching this for generations to come and teach our children that we ARE ALL equal? The big secret is..... WE ARE ALL EQUAL and we do have bad people in the world!! If we teach our children that he/she is equal?... How long will it take before everyone realizes that? By teaching our children that they will be treated differently, does this not instill in them from an early age to not even try to act equal? How about the fact that we tell our children that they will be distrusted or hated because of thier skin color they will grow up with hatred in their heart? Does anyone think about this stuff or is it easier to hate?

      March 20, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • Pappy521

        My children are 19, 17, 15, 12, 9, 8, and 14 months. I have always hoped that they would be spared the ugliness of racism. Even when I tell the it exists, like you they have all believed that the world has changed and we should just ignore our differences, that is, until they actually experience racism first hand.
        I am in the medical field. I have found that when patients are told by their physicians in advance that they may expeirence a side effect or adverse event, that if and when they experience it, they are better prepared and more willing to push through with their therapy. It is when they are bind-sided that they want to stop taking their medication.
        Talking to my children about racism makes going through life a little easier. When they experience it, it hurts but they're not blind-sided by it. The early lessons from their mother and I (which include "loving thy neighbor as thyself") prepare the for the unexpected, nothing more, nothing less...

        March 20, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Steve

    we just brush over the young teen lowlife thugs that perform "knock out" games on white citizens!
    sorry bud, you lost! just as other people of other races have
    let's move on

    March 20, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Huh

      You are a monster. Please, please sterilize yourself.

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

      if someone were to knock you out, they'd be doing the world a favor

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

      Please, please, please – gargle with glass.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • ya no

      Not clear who is is you think is 'losing', but from the responses to your post, it looks like you'd be better off with leprosy.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • ya no

      just me: If someone knocked him out, he'd never notice the difference.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  85. Jim

    Some of you are missing the big picture here, it's that the thug, the monster, the murdered, was let go entirely, and the police department tried to cover it up lieing to the family. We all know people die every day, especially in poor neighborhoods black or white, Hispanic, Polish, you name it. There are heinous crimes committed throughout but the murdered here hasn't even been arrested! The police didn't interview his girlfriend who was on the phone with him, they lied to his family about the mans history, this is ridiculous!

    March 20, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  86. Fae

    To the white men who think this article is extreme and wrongheaded – I don't have anything to say to you. You don't get it.

    To the white women who feel the same way – don't you see that what this mom is telling her son is just the same as your mother told you and you're probably telling your daughter?

    "Look when you hear someone behind you on the sidewalk."
    "Always tell a friend where you are going and when you'll be back when you're meeting a date. Make sure he knows you did so."
    "Park under a streetlight."
    "Hold your keys between your fingers like spikes on brass knuckles."
    "Don't listen to music when you're jogging, stay alert."
    "Never leave your drink alone."

    Have you ever been made fun of buy a guy who doesn't get the basic fact that you, as a woman, need to be more careful then he does? This is the same thing.

    It's crazy that a black boy shouldn't be able to run down a street. It's crazy that a woman can walk to her car at night. Not acknowledging those realities is DENIAL. We should be working to make sure that EVERYONE is safe.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • FFFF

      Who said a black boy can't run down the street? You take one womans opinion as gospel. Of course...it fits your race fueled anti-white agenda.

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

      None of those things a women tells her daughter you listed contain racist feelings towards white.....

      What she is telling her son is the same as a white mother telling her daughter

      "Hold onto your purse when a black man passes you on the street"

      Do you think this is comment ok....probably not because it is racist, just like what Christy is teaching her son.

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

      This is a very sad tragic story but the hate unfortunatley exists in all races. White people straying into a black neighborhood face the same dangers and probably more so.

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

        For five years I lived in the South Side of Chicago. I shopped in a Jewel grocery store where I was the only white person in the entire building. I bought fried chicken at a Popeye's where I was the only white person in a two-block radius. I never once felt threatened. I also lived for a year in Berwyn, a near-west Chicago suburb. I daresay that any black man in Berwyn after dark would rightfully be afraid for his life, because even though I live in Texas now, I never saw so many rabid racists as I did in Berwyn. I was far safer as a white person in an all black area of Chicago than a black person would have been in an all white area.

        A friend of mine moved to Beverly, a white, near-south Chicago suburb. The realtor told him that there were no blacks in the neighborhood, and there never would be. When my friend asked how the realtor knew that, the realtor told him that Beverly had a volunteer fire department. In case you don't get the subtleties, the realtor was saying that if a black family moved in, their house would burn down and no one would rush to put the fire out. That's the racist world that still exists today, which is why Trayvon is dead.

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

        yeah
        ask any of the african americans what would happen to a white teenager roaming in a totally black neighborhood in any of our cities! but oh no! they want it their way and no other way!

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

      The black people that keep using the internet that we are paying for them to use just cannot grasp a statute...You cannot explain the sequence of anything to these people...They are in a LYNCHING mentality and I feel very bad for the nice white children still having schools mixed for no reason..They still don't learn even if you bring them to your schools..All they do is bring down the school they are bused to. with few exception.very few...Trayvon hit this man first..and got a surprise

      March 20, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • writermom6

        What? That's the most racist dribble I've heard since the 1960s.

        March 20, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  87. caitlin mack

    George Zimmerman should be fired ASAP!!!!!!!!!!! Shooting a kid for being black and wanting a bag of skittles?!??! I pray for Trayvon's family. George Zimmerman's a racist, self-hating pig.

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

      Oh you just want to hate and pull the race card.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
      • just me

        zimmerman pulled the race card.

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

        "zimmerman pulled the race card."________________________________________ No you people are pulling it. That's why you're not that popular you know?

        March 20, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  88. MennoKnight

    Move to Canada and you will not have nearly as much of a problem.
    A Dual Citizen In Canada

    March 20, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  89. just me

    my 15 year old son knows the dangers of being born black, it's hard to get him out of his room most days, but if anyone so much as touch a hair on his innocent little head, i wont wait for the corrupt, racist police, or FBI, I will get justice myself!

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

      Then you'll be writing romance novels in the joint. You need to think smarter, not harder. Didn't your mom teach you anything?

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

        I'd hapily write love novels in the joint if some racist killed my son, and i killed the racist back, i'd be a hero to my son. I am thinking, maybe you should think about the corrupt system we live under before talking that sheepish nonsense.

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

      grow up
      and you are a parent?
      good Lord!

      March 20, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  90. SFML

    MOM, keep up the good work!!!!!!!

    March 20, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Smilin'

    I love it how sanctimonious this African America mother is about teachng her son "life lessons." She's teaching him to be every bit as racist as the young white girl that she vilifies, and CNN is "race-baiting" with this article.

    How about CNN and this lady retell / explain the gang of African American THUGS who beat the @#$@#$ out of a white dishwasher (put him in the hospital) in St. Louis as part of a "Knockout Game", and when they / they're crowd intimidated a young, African American female witness into NOT appearing as a witness, the mothers of these thugs (fathers were nowhere to be found during the preliminary court hearing), jumped for joy, celebrating the good fortune of their thugs/sons!!!

    Why don't we read about THAT on CNN, or have public discourse. Oh yeah, it's black on white crime.

    What a great lesson to teach your children – first you are so incompetent and pitiful in the rearing of your child/thug, and then you CELEBRATE that they intimidated someone of your own race – so your son, who committed a felony, will not have to be accountable for his actions.

    What happened to Trayvon was WRONG, and for those PAYING ATTENTION, has NOTHING to do with White on Black crime / racism, since the perpetrator was Latino, but that doesn't make for a good article, now does it? Further, no one bothers to explain that there were previous burglaries in the neighborhood, attributable to a gang of African American youths.

    Does this justify the crime? NOT AT ALL, but people should get a clue and realize MUCH of this hatred is all about class warfare, and you can bet your life that the Al Sharpton's / Jesse Jackson's of the world will be down at Trayvon's funeral, but were AMAZINGLY absent during the trial of these African American boys during the St. Louis hearing.

    Hmmmmmmm, funny how that didn't fit their profile of bigotry and race-baiting venom!

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

      You are kind of a racist pig, just sayin'.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • Steve

        and so what if he is
        there isn't any law against liking or socializing with who you choose!
        so blow off

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

      It's not clearly defined as "white on black" crime, when in fact, this particular attack on Trayvon was perpetrated by an overzealous, misinformed, and clearly racist Latino. It's ridiculous to me to know that people think "racism" is only instilled in white or black people, not Latinos, Asians, etc. That's trash and veiled behind the guise of black vs. white.

      For you to call the author out on how she raises her son and say that she's teaching her son to be racist, no. She's teaching him to be weary of how minorities are perceived as thugs, criminals, social miscreants because that's something that's been exacerbated since races began to mix hundreds of years ago. I don't think it's remotely irresponsible that she teaches her son that unfortunate truth – although SOME of us see everyone as an equal, SOME still don't and are willing to ruthlessly execute an unarmed minority.

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

      No one looks at me with their eyes for the first time, and sees whether I'm middle class, upper middle class, or in poverty. They see the color of my skin in america, and that's just the reality that us people of color live in. And to try to spin this tragedy any other way does nothing but perpetuate incidents like this to occur, because it promotes denial at the least. Yes people, there are STILL people out there that don't want to have anything to do with me, SOLELY based on my skin color as an africn-american!

      Sounds stupid? Well guess how we feel knowing that before anyone even finds out my level of intelligence, education, or economic background, that no matter what, my whole persona and worth as a humn being is based on my skin pigmentation. That's how stupid it is, and that's what is still going on today in america.

      Yes white people get discrimnated against. Yes things happen to other races of people. No one has ever said that it doesn't. But for a person to point to those examples in response to this murderous incident is a coy way of saying that you're complaining over nothing when there have been SOME white people that have been discriminated against as well.

      But incidents like this will continue in the US as long as people keep saying things like you're playing the race card, and other nonsense when you try to point out discrimnation and blatant racism. I do absolutely understand what this mother is saying, all of us black people understand what she's saying. No of us need an explanation, we could've finished this whole article for her halfway through if necessary, because many of us have lived what she's talking about at some point in our lives. That may no be your reality, but it most certainly is ours.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • angela

      And how is that when her son's best friend is white. Try again.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • LK

      Smilin I totally agree with your statement: "I love it how sanctimonious this African America mother is about teachng her son "life lessons." She's teaching him to be every bit as racist as the young white girl that she vilifies." I was so disgusted by this article. How would her son's "white friend" feel knowing what she is "teaching" her son. What kind of mother would not allow her son to run when he is a child? Is she not teaching her son the same thing that happened in the airport? "Son you can't trust a white cop, you can't trust running and playing with your white friends", that is just as bad as that little white girl who pulled her sister away, so many years ago. Do I think black men are profiled? Yes, as are muslims, as are white poor men, as are hispanic men.....so forth. What this mother is doing is profiling all white people. I am so upset with CNN for allowing such a hateful article towards white people. I am tired of being labeled a racist just because I am white. I have many of black friends and so do my children. This is mother is why hate is still playing such a big part in our society. I feel so badly for her son.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • ya no

        Read the article. She isn't teaching her son to be a racist, she's teaching her son to avoid people like you no matter what their skin color might be – they're a threat to his life.

        March 20, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  92. FFFF

    If the victim had been white this would have never made news..anyone remember This stroy probabaly not because of the liberal media. Had this been the opposite we would still be hearing about it.

    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]

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

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

      Both Victims White All Criminals invloved Black...

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

      No if Travyvon was white and George was black, he would have been arrested on the spot and wouldn't have made it to the jail before they found his body. This is a race issue, Trayvon was deemed suspect because he was what? He had his hood on in the Rain, walking quickly because he saw a stranger following him, he tussled with a stranger who was following him and grabbed him.Remind you we tell our kid to keep in mind of stranger danger.. The same stranger that was told by 911 to not follow and to wait for the police, and he replies as he is following this kid , yes kid, he was tired of these a**holes getting away with things. the same man that has issue with police his self. This "stand your ground law" is WRONG point blank, and a child killer is getting off!!

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

      Yeah... you are disproving your own point their, genius.

      Those crimes you mentioned – the people were arrested, tried, and their case is working its way through the legal system. I knew about it because it was covered in the 'liberal' media, rather extensively. And the victims were not selected based on their race, they were selected because they were an easy mark for a bunch of career criminals. Race was part, but not nearly all, of the story.

      The difference in this case isn't just the races – it is that the boy wasn't killed by some random thug, he was killed by someone who was operating in a semi-official capacity. And the shooter is claiming self defense. AND (as of the time I write this) he has not been arrested or charged with anything yet.

      Thugs killing innocent people is a story. A thug claiming he's 'protecting the community' killing an innocent boy and GETTING AWAY WITH IT is absolutely a BIG story.

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

        Actually no it wasn't covered quite extensively. In fact you may research this point yourself. CNN admiited Wolf Blizter that it just doesnt make for a big news story. this man has not gotten off. But I guess its ok to systematially torture, rape, dismember and kill. ANd if you had read about this stroy that was so widely covered thne you'd know the victims were sought out because of Race. But thats ok keep in fightin the good fight...

        March 20, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • PhillySW

      Your comment shows why america is still in the state of denial that it's in when it comes to race relations.

      What could any person of color, say or do to better represent ourselves in society when there are STILL millions of people like yourself that make excuses for murder?

      What does the incident of another person being killed have anything to do with THIS particular incident of murder? No one has ever stated that other people being murdered is justified in anyway. So by your logic, you believe that because some caucasian people were murdered by blacks that it justifies black people being murdered by non-blacks? Is that justice in your eyes for some reason?

      If not, then why even utter those words out of your mouth in the first place? A young boy was killed simply because of the color of his skin. He won't have the chance to live a long and productive life. That's all that needs to be understood. And any other comment deviant of that is simply placating to the shooter's reasoning as to why this kid shouldn't have been living around him.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  93. Marcus

    As a white man who is a father to a mixed-race 4 year-old boy, I understand your sentiment and disagree with the things you teach your son. As many people in the commnets have stated, I think you should not teach your son to be weary of anyone because of their skin color. I try to teach my son to love everyone equally and to never judge anyone based on their color- only on their actions. Trust me, with an inquisitive 4 year-old whose parents have very different skin colors and cultures, the issue comes up on a very frequent basis. Please do not manifest fear and hatred in your son- no matter the intent. I promise you- most people don't care what color he is as long as he is well behaved.

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

      I don't think that would have helped your son if he were stalked by a man with a gun who was intent on shooting him. It would only get him into more trouble. Better to be smart, cautious and one step ahead of racist killers with guns. They are unpreditable lot as we have seen, and they can be highly dangerous. That's a sad fact Marcus. By the way, I'm white.

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

        Really Sara?? Not all people are racist... In fact most people aren't racist.. I agree with marcus, most don't care what color your skin is as long as you are well behaved... Is this a common thing for Black parent to do? teach their kids to be racist? To the author, it is too bad your child got insulted by a SIX yr old, but that isn't a reason to teach him to be racist. Since when does two wrongs equal a right? If you are going to teach your son to be disrespectful to white peopel because they are white, expect white people not to like your son, not because he is black, but because he is a dlck.. We will never move passed race in this country with parents like you and the author.... EVER

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

        i would venture to say that "racist killers with guns" would be very predictable.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • Angela

        There is a difference in blatent racism and profiling. A black male can be successful, well dressed, well-behaved, intelligent, and on and on, but he will still be profiled in this society. It's going to take a long time to get society to SEE and ACT without profiling. Until then, a parent has to prepare her child as best she can. Kudos to this mom. As a white mother of a black son, raised in a military community, some of the points she raises didn't occur to me–BUT the moment I saw this story I thought the very same thing–"Oh my God. That could have been my Bryan." –and it scared me to the core.

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

        "I don't think that would have helped your son if he were stalked by a man with a gun who was intent on shooting him."

        And this happens how often? And teaching him to be weary of white people would have helped him how? Careful, your hyperbole is showing.

        March 20, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • PhillySW

        @John – "Really Sara?? Not all people are racist... "

        Who ever said they were. She didn't say that John. Maybe you yourself aren't racist. But just because YOU aren't racist doesn't mean or imply that NO ONE is racist!!!!! That's the whole point of what she's saying. What is still so hard about that to understand.

        You don't need every poisonous snake in a pit to bite you. Just one. Just because the others don't bite you doesn't mean that you don't have to be cautious about your situation. the reality is that there's still danger there.

        You know, I love the diveristy of all different ethnicities around the globe. But not everyone feels the same way. Most white people I've met don't think that way. But that doesn't mean that all caucasian people think that way. That's the entire point of what she's saying. If we were living on the continent of africa, then the opposit would be applied, where WASP's re the minority.

        But in america, that's not the case.

        March 20, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      Was Trayvon not being well-behaved? He was walking through a neighborhood on his way back from a convenience store. Apparently being well-behaved just isn't enough sometimes.

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

      very well said
      your son will be fine and successful with good advice such as that

      March 20, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • PhillySW

      There's a big difference between fear and hatred, and what's called REALITY... You can try to reationalize things all you want to about the way you see your son. And that's completely fine because that's your son, and I'm sure you as a father love your son with your life. That will always be your own precious flesh and blood.

      But there are PLENTY of people that still see your son as not being WHITE. That may be unbelievable for you to accept, but some people are very comfortable with seeing your son that way. And they would have no problem with labeling your son with everything that is negative, deplorable, and derogatory, simply because of the color of his skin.

      The problem is not with your son being weary of people with a different skin color. The problem is OTHER PEOPLE being weary of your son having skin color different than there's. That's why the young man in Florida was murdered.

      America doesn't want to really talk about this reality, because the majority of america is made up of white people, and they don't have to continually see and experience what people of color do. It's not calling you raacist, it's point out a fact of life for us as people of color.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • William

        What I'm hearing from a lot of the people posting here is that black Americans feel that racism among whites, both as a historical phenomenon and an ongoing reality, still has a very strong negative impact on their lives.

        I will neither argue nor pretend to be able to personally relate to anyone on that point, but it doesn't change the fact that it is VERY rare (thankfully!) for a white American to kill a black American out of racial animus, as Geroge Zimmerman appears to have done in this case.

        March 20, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • William

        What a bunch of BS! I love how white people are the only racists amoung society. I have heard so much racism from black people but they seem to get the nod that it is ok. Is it fair that I am being blamed for slavery after all these years?? NOPE! I had nothing to do with it. Is it really a coincidence that all the police shows on TV like COPS, First 48, Jail, etc are full with minorities who are shooting and killing people for a couple of bucks? Is it a coincidence that hip hop nights in clubs have the most problems with fights and shootings? Get some reality.

        March 20, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jason

        Please, lets keep in mind that Zimmerman was not white. This was still a profiling, whether it be racial or simply because of the clothes Trayvon was wearing. Either way it is sad and from the 911 tapes to the numerous amount of calls Zimmerman made, he should not have probably had a gun. He sounds like a person who was waiting on some trouble daily. However, I am deeply saddened by these events. R.I.P Mr. Trayvon Martin your life was ended to soon and for no meaning.

        March 20, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • Freethinker

        @Jason Zimmerman is a white Hispanic who has to tell people he is white for them to know it. When you fill out a census or anything else it asks your race and your ethnicity. Hispanics can be black, white, or mixed.

        March 22, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
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