"It wasn't a lie, it was ineptitude with insufficient cover." Don Draper
When in doubt keep this list handy for what you can't say The 'A' word The 'B' word The 'C' word The 'D' word The 'E' word The 'F' word The 'G' word The 'H' word The 'I' word The 'J' word The 'K' word The 'L' word The 'M' word The 'N' word The 'O' word The 'P' word The 'Q' word The 'R' word The 'S' word The 'T' word The 'U' word The 'V' word The 'W' word The 'X' word The 'Y' word The 'Z' word
I think "T" is short for "The 'N' word". And don't get me started on "w"!
While there's been much media attention and public lament about "The Talk" parents of color feel they need to give to their children to keep them safe and prepare them for unfair treatment by people with white skin, there's little said about the Talk parents of children with white skin need to have in order to keep them safe and prepare them for unfair treatment. That Talk requires such a parent to commit the sin of saying aloud and identify the word the term "N-Word" stands in for, and explain why it's not good or appropriate to ever use (to the point of never saying or writing it anywhere-except when giving the Talk!) while also explaining why they might also hear other children and persons whose skin is differently colored from theirs freely use that same word themselves or bandy it about for fun and that is (or isn't?) ok for those others to do. It's a curious conversation to have, to say the least. Our version also included mention of other inappropriate names linked to appearance (like whitey or cracker) that they might hear other children use to refer to them, along with the freedom children using those names have to do so and how to respond to that form of address. And when our children learned to drive, the Talk was extended to identify which areas of the city weren't safe for them to goof around in, or drive around in after dark.I am so done with rules for thee and not for me based solely on the visual of skin color when it's human behavior and character that needs to be recognized and addressed or supported and encouraged.
The Talk to young black males needs to be don't buck up when dealing w/ a cop. You'll lose that one. I know black cops. They get the bullshit as much, and many times more, than white cops. You see, there's no men in the house of these feral youth and they let out their resentment when they come into contact w/ male authority. I dealt w/ it as a baseball coach of kids from the hood, and as a juvenile probation officer.
As a safe, suburban 1960's-raised kid the "talk" was "any contact with police you say yes sir and no sir and comply with their orders."This was before questionably legal searches were de rigeur for the cops and any way they could hang something on you was to their professional betterment.If I were a parent now I think I'd amend "yes sir and no sir" part with "start your phone video recorder, never consent to a search and ask if you are being detained or are free to go."
Some, I taught my kids the "No sir, yes sir" as well. I also taught them to never consent to a search but to respectfully decline. You have to prepare them for the intimidation if they don't consent, otherwise most end up submitting. I never trust a cop unless I personally know and trust them.
There are two kinds of Talks that need to be given. One has to do with how to respond directly to police and authority figures, and the other has to do with what healthy respect for others within the larger community looks like and involves. Our explanation of certain words that weren't acceptable to use centered around our behavioral expectations with regard to what was wise and best for them and the overall good. We didn't forbid the use of any one word, while being clear about the kind of language we didn't want to hear them use, or hear of them using with others while they were in our care.
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