Sonntag, August 24, 2014

USA: Was schwarze Eltern ihren Söhnen über die Polizei erzählen

A Tumblr quote floated over to me about around the time of Trayvon Martin's murder, from a Jonathan Lethem book that I've never read (The Fortress of Solitude). At this point, I don't really need to read it, because it's already asked me the most important question I've heard in a long time: "At what age is a black boy when he learns he's scary?"

This question retains its relevance now more than ever. Some have called Michael Brown's killing and the newly newsworthy manifestation of systemic racism and state-sanctioned brutality against black men a reproductive issue, arguing that it prevents women and men from their right "to parent the children we have in safe and healthy environments:" It makes people afraid to have black babies, because they won't stand a chance. As a black woman, nothing will stop me from bearing and raising my future child, but nothing will stop me from raising them in fear.

Such is the burden of black parenting. Being a black parent, especially of a black boy, comes with the added onus of having to protect your child from a country that is out to get him—a country that kills someone that looks like him every 28 hours, a country that will likely imprison him by his mid-thirties if he doesn't get his high school diploma, a country that is more than twice as likely to suspend him from school than a white classmate.

This fear has fueled a generational need for a portentous, culturally compulsory lecture that warns young black men about the inherent strikes against them, about the society that is built to bring them down. It is a harbinger of the inevitable, a wishful attempt at exceptionalism, passed down like an heirloom.

Hier geht es weiter. Ihr kennt meine Ansicht dazu: Bei schwarzen Jungen und jungen Männern potenziert sich ein Problem, das viele junge Männer unabhängig von ihrer Hautfarbe erfahren. Jeder schwarze junge Mann gilt für viele als potentieller Totschläger, jeder junge Mann unabhängig von seiner Hautfarbe als potentieller Vergewaltiger.

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