Yet another conversation with my black son

In light of the deaths of two African American males, at the hands of white police officers, I find myself having yet another conversation with my son who is now 16 and driving.  It is not that I think my son was not listening to me the other hundred times we have had “The Talk”,  but as a black father I have a fear that I have not told him everything that could save his life. So here we go again, ” Son if you are pulled over by a white police officer put both hands on the  top of the steering wheel.  Do not reach for your wallet, do not reach for your seatbelt, and whatever you do please do not reach for the glove box.  Answer every question the officer asked you, and always finish your answer with ‘Yes sir!’  Do not show any emotion particularly frustration, exasperation and especially not anger,  your life may depend on it! If the officer asks to see your drivers’s license tell him exactly where it is and ask him if it is ok for you to get it.  And son, here is the new part, if he says you can get your liscense say to him, ‘Ok officer, and I do not have a gun on me’  Son, I know that you are a good kid and you do not have a desire to hurt anyone, but because you are black , and male, some people may see you as a threat. And unfortunately some police officers may see you as a threat.  Do you understand this son?  Tell me that you understand this!  tell me that you understand this!  I am sorry that I have to make you think about these things but it could save your life.”  This is how yet another conversation with my black son will go. I am afraid for my son, and also for myself;  This is my reality.  Pray for me and my black son.

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