Mar 29 - Black parents live in fear after Trayvon Martin case

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 03-29-2012, 11:15 PM         #1
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lifeundthescope 
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Mar 29 - Black parents live in fear after Trayvon Martin case
 

 

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Her sons were 12 and 8 when Marlyn Tillman realized it was time for her to have the talk.

Enlarge photo

Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com Saunya Jones, Douglasville, who said "but by the grace of God that could have been my son", arrives for a rally for Trayvon Martin at Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta on Wednesday. Jones said her son's name is Travon Whatley.

Buying a water gun was perfectly acceptable for their white friends, but not them. As young African-American men, she told them, even owning a water gun could make them an easy target for police.

“I could no longer keep them in the dark,” Tillman said. “I had to break it to them that the world sees them differently.”

According to a 2010 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, homicide was the leading cause of death for black males age 12-19.

In the weeks since young Trayvon Martin was gunned down in a gated community in Sanford, Fla., those truths have weighed heavily on black parents.

Tillman, a community activist and empty nester, lives in a middle-class, predominately white Snellville neighborhood.

Ruben Brown, 48, lives with his wife and 14-year-old son in Atlanta and, while not the suburbs, it is hardly the ‘hood. But like Tillman, he knows their middle-class status in no way equals safety when it comes to his son.

Although worries about the safety of adolescents are not the province of just black families or parents of boys, Tillman, Brown and other parents say raising black boys is perhaps the most stressful aspects of parenting because they know they’re dealing with a society that is fearful and hostile toward them, simply because of the color of their skin.

“Don’t believe it? Walk a day in my shoes,” Brown said.

At 14, Brown said his son is at that critical age when he’s always worried about his safety because of profiling.

“I don’t want to scare him or have him paint people with a broad brush, but, historically, we black males have been stigmatized as the purveyors of crime and wherever we are, we’re suspect,” Brown said.

Black parents who don’t make that fact clear, he and others said, do it at their and their male children’s own peril.

“Any African-American parent not having that conversation is being irresponsible,” Brown said. “I see this whole thing as an opportunity for us to speak frankly, openly and honestly about race relations.”

Morehouse College a.ssociate professor Bryant Marks agreed, saying parents need to be vigilant in raising their boys, make them aware of how they are perceived in this country and give them the skills they need to survive.

“Have the conversation about the police, tell them what to do when they are on foot or in a car,” he said. “That conversation needs to happen. It acknowledges the bias out there, but let them know that they can succeed in spite of all of that.”

‘Walking while black'

Regardless of a family's class or education, the challenge of bringing young black males safely to adulthood must be tremendous, said Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“On the one hand, should they tell children to run when they are faced with suspicious and possibly dangerous circumstances such as a car following them, or should they stand still for fear that their running will be interpreted as some sort of evidence of guilt,” he said. “It’s a horrible, horrible Catch 22 for any parent or child on the street.”

Parents said the news of Trayvon Martin’s death not only saddened them, but was a reminder of the tightrope they and their children must walk everyday just to be safe.

They said they are burdened by the damaging stereotypes a.ssigned to their children and boys in particularly, that make them easy targets for discrimination in schools, in the job market, and on the street.

Audraine Jackson, of Atlanta, recalled launching a boycott here in 1992 against a Korean grocer who pulled a shotgun on her 18-year-old nephew and a friend fleeing a group of youth chasing them. When the teens asked the grocer to call the police, Jackson said he pulled out a double-barrel shotgun instead.

“He yelled for them to get out, sending them back into danger,” Jackson said.

When Jackson and the teens' parents pushed the issue, the grocer’s attorney said the teens were threatening because they were wearing baseball caps backward.

“We were able to get the owner charged with two counts of criminal a.ssault, but it took a lot of effort,” Jackson said. “I am saddened that 20 years later, we are still struggling with this issue in America."

As far as Cohen is concerned, the moral of the tragedy in Sanford is “walking while black — merely being black — still seems to be a crime in this country.”

Based on news reports, he said, George Zimmerman appears to have concluded that Trayvon Martin was "suspicious" based on nothing more than his race and the fact that Trayvon was walking in Zimmerman's neighborhood.

“Sadly, such a.ssumptions are made about black youth every day,” Cohen said. “And they play out in a million disastrous ways in schools across the country, where black youth receive far more discipline referrals than their white counterparts for similar kinds of minor misbehavior; and in the statistics that show black youths are much more likely to be stopped by police and to be arrested than their white peers for similar offenses.”

Marks, the 39-year-old professor, admits having to still his nerves when he sees a police officer.

“I’ve been classically conditioned to have a negative response to the police,” he said. “I still feel like I’m prey, and when you feel like you’re being hunted, it can develop a deep psychological response to the presence of police that is difficult to reverse and can lead to engaging in behaviors such as running or appearing nervous that make you look guilty of something when you have done nothing wrong.”

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 http://www.ajc.com/lifest .. n-1395240.html

image We are still living in fear, rightfully so though.


Last edited by lifeundthescope; 03-29-2012 at 11:20 PM..

135 comments for "Mar 29 - Black parents live in fear after Trayvon Martin case"

 6 years ago '05        #2
StateProperty88 34 heat pts34
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as the son of a black mother...i believe they all think alike on this issue (for the most part). we are a target as black people and black men, it is what it is.
 03-29-2012, 11:21 PM         #3
lifeundthescope  OP
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 StateProperty88 said:
as the son of a black mother...i believe they all think alike on this issue (for the most part). we are a target as black people and black men, it is what it is.
Exactly, years ago our Parents had to worry about not only themselves, but they're sons and daughters being lynched. Now our parents are worrying about us getting gun downed by White vigilantes and insane cops who are out to get Blacks and other non-whites instead of protecting and serving
 6 years ago '06        #4
davon4204 34 heat pts34
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It's not black people who live in fear. It's the black youth who needs to watch themselves and be careful out here because in the past things like this has caused a domino effect in different places.

Hates crimes start poppin up everywhere and if something like this happens while this case is open and fresh in peoples mind there is going to be a hell of alot of white and black tension.


Last edited by davon4204; 03-30-2012 at 05:55 AM..
 6 years ago '05        #5
Willoughby 1 heat pts
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Anyone that thinks that black men still don't get profiled is just ignorant. I stay in a nice neighborhood and was taking a walk to the gas station to pick up something to drink and a cop hit his lights and stopped me. Asked me what was i doing there, why was I out at 9pm at night, etc.

Other people were still walking their dogs, some loitering, being loud and whatnot and I get singled out. Growing up in NC just verified the game my mom and pops spit game to me telling me to watch out for those bullies with badges. Now I stay in FL about 40 minutes from where Trayvon met his end, and the is tension is high.

I feel like we're on the verge of some serious sh*t regardless of the outcome just in this country, not regarding all the other stuff happening everywhere else.


Last edited by Willoughby; 03-30-2012 at 07:52 AM..
 6 years ago '04        #6
One-O-One 14 heat pts14
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Some of the most major arguments i've had w/ my mother as a kid was about my Safety VS my Individuality.

It was always:

Pull your pants up.
My pants are too baggy.
Button your shirt up.
You can't wear this because its blue/red.
wear your hat straight.
Keep your hands out your pockets.
You can't have dreads.
You can't have braids.
Cut all that facial hair.
You can't wear that clothing brand.
Turn your music down.
Walk with a purpose.
Its too late to be outside.
etc


She wanted out of trouble & grateful I never did get into trouble. But on the flip side I felt like I was making ignorant ppl comfortable with being ignorant about black males, at the expense of me being truly who I want to be. Why should I walk outside everyday and constantly think about how NOT to draw attention to myself b/c I might get followed/shot/arrested/accused? But at the same time the threat is real. So do you submit to white supremacy to make everybody sleep well at night, or do you be who want to be because its YOUR LIFE.
 6 years ago '10        #7
kiddrocay 27 heat pts27
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Its a shame we have to watch our backs like this, we are human too you know, its disheartening


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 6 years ago '11        #8
Tony Franks 6 heat pts
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 One-O-One said:
Some of the most major arguments i've had w/ my mother as a kid was about my Safety VS my Individuality.

It was always:

Pull your pants up.
My pants are too baggy.
Button your shirt up.
You can't wear this because its blue/red.
wear your hat straight.
Keep your hands out your pockets.
You can't have dreads.
You can't have braids.
Cut all that facial hair.
You can't wear that clothing brand.
Turn your music down.
Walk with a purpose.
Its too late to be outside.
etc


She wanted out of trouble & grateful I never did get into trouble. But on the flip side I felt like I was making ignorant ppl comfortable with being ignorant about black males, at the expense of me being truly who I want to be. Why should I walk outside everyday and constantly think about how NOT to draw attention to myself b/c I might get followed/shot/arrested/accused? But at the same time the threat is real. So do you submit to white supremacy to make everybody sleep well at night, or do you be who want to be because its YOUR LIFE.
I feel u too much on this. Its sad that u have to fear for ur own saftey simply cuz u know other people fear u.
 6 years ago '10        #9
kiddrocay 27 heat pts27
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 PlayaJay said:
I love being black but hate what comes with it. I have to watch my back from all color sides even my own. It's a shame that you can't trust your own peeps on top of others. I get it from the police, get followed in the grocery stores or in most public places. We can't catch a break.
true ish brah

ish is so sad that you cant be in peace publically and then when you going to corner stores and ish you gotta watch ya back because of ya own people

I wouldnt change nothing, I think being black is the greatest experience ever,the hardest one as well
 6 years ago '07        #10
N2C 4 heat pts
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couldn't relate to what most of the BX posters are saying in here, but that sh*t is just horrible... no one should have to live with those thoughts burning in their mind.

there needs to be another mass movement.

At times, it must feel like nothing will change.. but don't be discouraged.. look how far society has come.. it's in stages. you need to take it to the next one for the future.


Last edited by N2C; 03-30-2012 at 10:33 AM..
 6 years ago '04        #11
erickonasis 20 heat pts20
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this situation has brought out the worst in me....I need to let this story go as the more and more i see about it each day the more and more i want Zimmerman , his brother and his father DEAD.

and im really not a person who usually thinks like that
 6 years ago '12        #12
Dee352 170 heat pts170
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well i guess now if some starts a f!ght with you u can pull out a gun and shoot them and call it self defense

this case is bullsh*t zimmerman should be arrested
 6 years ago '07        #13
S0ap 19 heat pts19
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 erickonasis said:
this situation has brought out the worst in me....I need to let this story go as the more and more i see about it each day the more and more i want Zimmerman , his brother and his father DEAD.

and im really not a person who usually thinks like that
why do you want his brother and father dead? they didn't shoot anyone, they're doing what family does - sticking together.
 6 years ago '04        #14
erickonasis 20 heat pts20
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 S0ap said:
why do you want his brother and father dead? they didn't shoot anyone, they're doing what family does - sticking together.
He did wrong and they arent acknowledging it or even showing any remorse towards this boys family.

He should have not been following him with a gun in the first place...He should have called 911 (LIKE HE HAS DONE ALREADY 50 + TIMES IN THE PAST YEAR) and just left it alone.

The kid did absolutely NOTHING to warrant him following him.

all 3 of these fu*ks need to die
 03-30-2012, 12:44 PM         #15
ManWithoutFear!  OP
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 6 years ago '05        #16
dizzle trizzle 7 heat pts
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 One-O-One said:
Some of the most major arguments i've had w/ my mother as a kid was about my Safety VS my Individuality.

It was always:

Pull your pants up.
My pants are too baggy.
Button your shirt up.
You can't wear this because its blue/red.
wear your hat straight.
Keep your hands out your pockets.
You can't have dreads.
You can't have braids.
Cut all that facial hair.
You can't wear that clothing brand.
Turn your music down.
Walk with a purpose.
Its too late to be outside.
etc


She wanted out of trouble & grateful I never did get into trouble. But on the flip side I felt like I was making ignorant ppl comfortable with being ignorant about black males, at the expense of me being truly who I want to be. Why should I walk outside everyday and constantly think about how NOT to draw attention to myself b/c I might get followed/shot/arrested/accused? But at the same time the threat is real. So do you submit to white supremacy to make everybody sleep well at night, or do you be who want to be because its YOUR LIFE.
damn i had to post this on my facebook i agree 100% its like we sub-conciously are in fear and are trying to cover our appearance to survive
 6 years ago '05        #17
Willoughby 1 heat pts
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$924 | Props total: 0 0
 One-O-One said:
Some of the most major arguments i've had w/ my mother as a kid was about my Safety VS my Individuality.

It was always:

Pull your pants up.
My pants are too baggy.
Button your shirt up.
You can't wear this because its blue/red.
wear your hat straight.
Keep your hands out your pockets.
You can't have dreads.
You can't have braids.
Cut all that facial hair.
You can't wear that clothing brand.
Turn your music down.
Walk with a purpose.
Its too late to be outside.
etc


She wanted out of trouble & grateful I never did get into trouble. But on the flip side I felt like I was making ignorant ppl comfortable with being ignorant about black males, at the expense of me being truly who I want to be. Why should I walk outside everyday and constantly think about how NOT to draw attention to myself b/c I might get followed/shot/arrested/accused? But at the same time the threat is real. So do you submit to white supremacy to make everybody sleep well at night, or do you be who want to be because its YOUR LIFE.
Very eloquent. Props.
 6 years ago '04        #18
The S-Word 
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 PlayaJay said:
And they say blacks have the highest rate of Hypertension (high Blood pressure) of any other race no matter what shape you are in. I now see why. We stressed the hell out with everything LOL Life is a full time job fo a n*gga.
...Co-sign to the fullest, along with the article and all the other great, telling replies in this thread.

I've been saying for years that being a black man is the hardest job in America, and nothing makes me madder than non-blacks trying to downplay the vindictive bullsh!t we have to go through on a daily basis in this country. It's also sad, yet necessary, that incidents like this (Trayvon Martin) cause both whites and blacks to show their true colors, but that's what happens when a country that was founded on racism still refuses to fully account for it...
 6 years ago '08        #19
RokkyRok 50 heat pts50
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 The S-Word said:
...Co-sign to the fullest, along with the article and all the other great, telling replies in this thread.

I've been saying for years that being a black man is the hardest job in America, and nothing makes me madder than non-blacks trying to downplay the vindictive bullsh!t we have to go through on a daily basis in this country. It's also sad, yet necessary, that incidents like this (Trayvon Martin) cause both whites and blacks to show their true colors, but that's what happens when a country that was founded on racism still refuses to fully account for it...
Real talk.
 6 years ago '08        #20
Ron O'Neal 4 heat pts
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 One-O-One said:
Some of the most major arguments i've had w/ my mother as a kid was about my Safety VS my Individuality.

It was always:

Pull your pants up.
My pants are too baggy.
Button your shirt up.
You can't wear this because its blue/red.
wear your hat straight.
Keep your hands out your pockets.
You can't have dreads.
You can't have braids.
Cut all that facial hair.
You can't wear that clothing brand.
Turn your music down.
Walk with a purpose.
Its too late to be outside.
etc


She wanted out of trouble & grateful I never did get into trouble. But on the flip side I felt like I was making ignorant ppl comfortable with being ignorant about black males, at the expense of me being truly who I want to be. Why should I walk outside everyday and constantly think about how NOT to draw attention to myself b/c I might get followed/shot/arrested/accused? But at the same time the threat is real. So do you submit to white supremacy to make everybody sleep well at night, or do you be who want to be because its YOUR LIFE.
Excellent post.

And to be honest ive came to the conclusion that i will never give in to white supremacy. i felt this way for years now. I grew up in the suburbs filled with mostly white people and i realized a long time ago that a lot, not all, but a lot of white folk will look at you the sameway whether your in a hoodie or a suit.

But i know what its like to have to f!ght with that thought in your mind on whether or not you should not only dress but act a certain way so to not get singled out. It truely is sad.
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