The readers’ forum

What’s a black mother to do?

 

I have read many arguments by George Zimmerman’a supporters that frankly make me nervous as a mother of three black sons. How do I prevent what happened to Trayvon Martin from happening to my sons? Apparently, Trayvon was considered a “big, black guy” at 5’11 and 158 pounds. Does anyone supporting this notion know the required body mass index a black man must be so that he is not considered physically threatening?

My sons like to work out and through the genes their father and I have passed to them, they are tall and strong and constantly flexing their muscles in the mirror. Should we cancel their gym membership? How about their clothing? Should I tell them to never wear hoodies? One Christmas, I actually bought each of my sons a hoodie from the Gap. Little did I know I was putting their lives in danger by making them look like thugs or druggies, I was just trying to keep them warm. I’ve crossed that item off any future Christmas list.

I may need to teach them how not to “casually walk” like Trayvon was doing. Does anyone have any footage of Trayvon’s stride so I can compare it to my sons’? Prior to this event I had mistakenly told them not to run so as not to garner any undue suspicion. Silly me!

Most important, must I now tell them that they are to state their name and purpose for their presence when approached by any white “authority” figure? Or tell them that if they are nervous when approached by a stranger, to call 911 and stay on the phone until an actual authority figure, like say, a police officer approaches the scene? I would tell them to run, but they may risk being chased and looking like they are trying to evade “authority.” If I tell them to fight, they may get the better of the person and if that person has a gun, my child would then be deserving of a bullet through the heart.

So what is this black mother supposed to do?

Michelle Carasco, Florida City

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