For me, I just can't put into words how deep this cuts ... how much it hurts ... because somewhere deep down inside - I DO NOT WANT TO BELIEVE people are just this heartless ... this prejudice ... this FEARFUL of boys that look like my son.
How do I prepare my son for this world where at any given moment he could be taken from me? How do I tell him that while we are luckier to be in THIS time, and not the times of my parents and Grandparents ... that we still aren't safe?
I don't preach the evils of prejudice - because too many times I've seen prejudice from my own race. I tell my son that we as a people can be just as hateful, just as intolerant ... as ignorant ... and I feel like I am not arming him with confidence - but with fear.
Many horrible things have happened to me in my life - and I was never physically or emotionally hurt by anyone other than people of my own race....and I feel like it's par for the course, that I can handle THAT.
What I can't handle is the unknown .. that on a rainy day one evening when my son is cold and wet, and he raises the hood of his jacket on his way home ... that in someone's eyes he turns from a kid on the street to a menace to society. It's THAT which makes my blood run cold, because there is no way to prepare for your life to end ... to say goodbye to your child...your only child.
I am not naive, I don't believe we are a post-racial society where there is no prejudice. I think as long as we can SEE differences - there will always be those that judge. That's the reality I teach my son, and I pray that he makes it...that not one other parent - regardless of their race - will lose their child to ignorance.
Today, I just feel we've lost our humanity.