“My father, not unlike Michael [Steele], taught me that if you end up in a situation with the police or security or whatever, never argue, just capitulate. Because, he said, there’s only three results that could happen from that. One, you go to jail. Two, you go to the hospital. Three, you go to the morgue. And he told me that when I was nine or 10 years old.”
– NBC News executive Val Nicholas (an African American man)
This is something a lot of white people do not understand – and I myself, as a white woman did not truly comprehend this until now – namely that being a black man in the United States automatically puts you in a different category. That black parents need to take their black sons aside and tell them that they cannot get away with the same things a white kid can get away with. That they need to be mindful of the color of their skin when navigating the world around them, no matter where they are. That it doesn’t matter whether they are honor students, or had an after school job to earn spending money or ran track or lived in a middle class neighborhood or are Ivy League students, because those are not the things people see when they see a black individual. All they see is “thug” or someone about to “get away” with something, as George Zimmerman put.