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By Starr Lewis ’18
“The talk” is not associated with the type of conversation parents have with their children about sex or relationships. “The talk” has become different in today’s time and this time it is focused more on the conversations parents have with their children about how they should act if they were to ever have altercations with the police..
On a recent episode of Grey’s Anatomy, executively produced and written by Shonda Rhimes, a young 12 year old Black male was shot by the police for falsely being accused of robbing a house that was actually his own. The young male was locked out of his home and lost his key, he so happened to have had the talk with his parents too as his parents told him if he’d ever got locked the house to first go to the neighbors. As the young boy did exactly as his parents always told him to do, the police weren’t so promising and found this young boy a threat.
If anyone knows the shows and writing pieces Shonda Rhimes produces, they know that she does everything with intent and with a subliminal message towards the social issues that go on today.
Leading actor Miranda Bailey in Grey’s Anatomy has a 13 year old boy and after the experience with the police officers accusing a young boy that comes through the hospital with a gunshot wound. The young boy is accused of being a thief and a threat by the police,this made Bailey and her husband which is a paramedic want to have “The talk” with her son.
This conversation varies for everyone, the same talk that a young Black boy has will be totally different for a young Black girl and moreover a White young girl. Studies have shown that Black males aged 15-34 are nine times more likely to be racially disparate by the police than any other race.
This talk about knowing what to do and what not to do when you get approached by the police is different for everyone. It has been more relevant than ever before to have the talk with teens and young adults about knowing their rights but also to know how to not oppose a threat to the authorities no matter how guilty you look.
In these times that we all live in today, we have seen our fair share of racial disparities with legal authorities. Police brutality has marked an all time high not just in numbers but in the perception of Blacks more specifically Black males and police officers themselves.
Now researches can say that these police shootings has a connection to systemic racism and racial disparities. There are combined results to the police killings, the unfortunate circumstances of black and white segregation, inequality in education and in jobs, and economic status according to NewsWeek. Those circumstances put Black people in the forefront of police brutality and that is why the conversation is ever so different.
The most common stories of these events that take a major toll on Black men and women are of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Mike Brown, and many more. The reason that the conversation is different is because in numbers Black males are 21 more times to be shot by their white counterparts than any other race.
However, it is not just Blacks who are appearing in these statistics on police killings,minorities in general are more likely to be involved in police shootings. According to Vox the “number of unarmed victims of police killings are more likely to be minorities” being that the amount of minorities that are killed by police double that of their white counterparts in terms of unarmed victims.
Not only do the conversations vary because of race but also gender. Let’s be apparent here and just say that women are way less of a threat no matter their race to police than men are. Putting this into perspective, consider a 18 year old Black or Latino girl being pulled over by the police, the police are suspecting that she has drugs, they politely ask her to get out of the vehicle without any problems. However, imagine that in this same scenario this was a young 18 year old Black or Latino boy, would he have pulled out his gun? Probably so, only because he’s a boy and poses more of a threat than the scenario with the girl.
It’s unfortunate to think that because the color of someone’s skin that increases their chances of being a static in police shootings. If this is not a conversation that you have not had with your parents, it’s a conversation to have with your friends or even yourself and consider these 10 rules produced by PBS.
- Be polite and be respectful when stopped by the police.
- If you feel that your rights have been violated you and your parents have the right to file a complaint.
- Do not get into an argument with the police under any circumstances.
- Know and remember that anything you say can be held against you so say as little and only answer when asked.
- Keep your hands in sight so their is no accusation of being a threat.
- Avoid physical contact, no sudden movements.
- Do not run, even if you are afraid.
- Even if you believe you are innocent, don’t resist arrest.
- Don’t speak about the incident until a public attorney or lawyer is present.
- Stay calm and remain in control and cognizant of your surroundings.