In 2014 America, I should not be afraid of being the mother of an African American man; I should feel free to be very proud.  But the sad, angry, upsetting, and disappointing truth is I and, I imagine, many other mothers, are afraid for our sons and grandsons because we are afraid of law enforcement and how they’ll be treated.

Are our rights as African Americans here today and gone tomorrow?  Even though we have amazing organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the Brennan Center for Justice that stand up for the African American people when our rights have been violated, the government has failed to uphold our rights.  Lately, it seems like the government isn’t here to help and protect us.

As I sit here and write this, I am saddened and angered that such injustice has blanketed this world. 

As I sit here and write this, I am saddened and angered that such injustice has blanketed this world.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Emmitt Till, and Medgar Evers, to name a few, suffered and died to make this injustice stop.  Yet, here we are. There are people saying, “Oh it’s not racism.” But, what is it when the police use reason to confront a belligerent Caucasian man waving a rifle around, threatening people, and scaring them to death, while a twelve-year-old African American child with an air gun gets shot dead?
Racism, double standards – is there truly a difference? A Caucasian man waves a gun around children and all the police do is try to talk him into putting his weapon down. When that does not work, the man is shot with a bean bag gun by the police. At the same time, our unarmed African American boys and men are being shot with real guns and real bullets and killed.  I read a Facebook post by a young man saying, “The police is behind me, what should I do?”

I am outraged, disappointed, saddened, and afraid of a society where African American men feel that they have no rights – where our government does not stand up for them when they are wronged.  The government will not fight for them.

Something needs to be done to protect the rights of our African American males – something needs to be done about the double standards that they face.  They are equal, they have rights, and they deserve to have their government treat them fairly.

I leave my poem to be read:

Hey Eric (Garner), I am so very sorry that you died. 
Your rights were certainly violated a mile wide high. 
If only the officer would have let you out of his choke hold the first time, and not had you screaming and crying, “Officer I can’t breathe I have asthma,”
eleven times.
Only if his fellow officers would have come to your need they also knew
that you couldn’t breathe.
I am so very sorry Eric (Garner) that you died
No one stopped them even after hearing your cries! 
I am so very sorry Eric (Garner) that you died,
Where were your rights, where were your rights,
Eric (Garner) I am so very sorry you died!

This blog reflects the individual opinion and personal experience of one of our valued staff members.