Black lives matter! Black lives matter!
The protests, as a result of the murder of George Floyd, has been really, really painful to watch
Just from the standpoint of,
Im the mother of three Black men and Im the younger sister of three brothers.
You think that a person, humanity would put value on a persons life.
Thats what youve always been taught.Thats what youve always taught your children.
And then to see someone murdered in cold blood is just, its heartbreaking.
It makes you angry.
Its a very focused agenda that
you have to have as a parent of a Black son to make sure that they stay alive.
I think I told my mother this,but one time I was sitting in the parking lot at McDonalds.
We had just graduated and everything.So, me and my friend wanted to celebrate.
You know, we were just all sitting in the parking lot,
eating food and just listening to music, basically.
So then, a police officer shined a light in the car and everything.
Then he came to us like, Do you guys have anything in here?
And so, I just said, I said, No. It wasnt about like two minutes later, six, seven more police cars came and came.
And they had pulled me out the car, pulled the other people out the car.
But later on, I realized that the person who fit my description, so-called, didnt even fit my description.
I mean, he was, he was bald. He was like light skinned.
Thats just my biggest fear, is having somebody come to my doorand say, Are you Devontae Harrisons mom? This is what happened.
What I worry about the most is not their actions, but the actions of other people.
That someone will decide that this is the day
and that is the Black man that Im going to target.
All right, its been a minute.
The conversations that I have with Devontae, just the simple stuff,
just walking in a store.And thats why I teach him a lot about manners and being respectful.
You say, Yes maam, you say, No maam, and that goes for everybody.
Its kind of like defense mechanisms to keep him as this gentle giant
so that hes not seen as somebody thats overbearing or hes a thug
or when you see him, you instantly dont want to grab your purse or dont want to lock your door.
The way that my mother is, shes very protective.She always makes sure I keep my head on straight,
makes sure I get in no trouble and I go through all types of protocol
whether thats driving, me walking, me coming to the police, even my father
because I am his only son.
So, they always make sure I do the right thing.
Theres no difference than what happened in Minneapolis than what happened on plantations in Virginia
and North Carolina and Georgia since the founding of this country.
We have to decide as people that were not going to take it anymore.
They have a right to be who they are,
to learn how they can, to function, to drive, to walk, to run, that is their inalienable right.
And anybody that attacks them because of that is dead wrong.
To think that you may not come out of a run or a walk alive,
but if you come out of it alive,then let that fuel your fire to make you want to make sure that somebody else doesnt die.
And thats the kind of injustice that you raise them to tackle.
I was fortunate to not have experienced it,but I know that its still going on today.
And I know that I want to do my part any way that I can
to end it and advocate for others.
No justice, no peace.
Seeing all of these protests on social media is kind of like overwhelming
because all of it is happening at once.
With the police brutality,Im not seeing no repercussions for the same action that theyre doing
as if somebody of my color would do it.
George Floyd was the final straw.The police department needs to change.
I know there are petitions going around for police reforms
and there are other things that we dont know about that need to change.
But as much as you want to do our part,
the other ethnicities, other communities need to step up as well.I know there are some white people that are advocating for change,
but needs to be all of them, not some of them.
The target needs to come off of the back of the Black men in this country.
I dont care how many laws are passed
until people have a change of heart in a systematic environment
that breeds the kind of contempt that leads to racism,then I dont know how much is going to change, but it starts very, very young.
I tell him every day, Youre Black, but youre just as powerful as any other race.
Theres nothing you cant do.We have successful politicians that are Black.
We have inventors.Your only limitation is you.
I am really proud to be Black.Its a lot that comes with it, of course.
I am proud to be a Black man.Theres no one like us.And we are only individual beings, but we are equal to them as well.
We have the same opportunities, the same goals, the same drive, creativity, everything.
We have a voice just like you do and just like everyone else does.
I believe the change in this country is going to come from this generation,
the generation now thats marching,the generation thats graduating from college,
the millennials and the generation that have the resources.
They have the tenacity, they have the nerve and they dont have fear.
They are very open in ways that the older generations were not so much.
I think it all starts out with the people in power.A president should govern themselves as somebody who,
yes, Im a regular person just like you,
but I still have a bigger responsibility and thats everybody.
So, I shouldnt be spending all my time on social media
when I should just be spending my time, okay, how do I fix certain issues in the world?
Like yes, homeless people. Yes, racism.Yes, creating peace with other countries so that we can have allies in certain situations.
And also, like helping us get out of debt and all.All types of issues that even we dont know but he does.
My boys, theyre frustrated that people dont see the content of their character,
that the first thing they do is judge them by the color of their skin and their own insecurities.
But that goes all the way back to the demonization and the villainization of Black men, period.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.
It all comes down to, we have to be treated equally.You know, thats what our founding fathers, so called, wanted us to believe in
and thats what all the activists want us to believe in too.
I do have white friends, you know.
I guess they traveled around so, nowadays, our conversations are limited, you know.
They feel as though they cant joke around me as much
because they feel as though they are everything going on,
one joke, I might take it the wrong way.From the start, we had a mutual agreement, you know.
I know what type of person they are.
They know what type person I am.So, its like, okay, we both comfortable, you know.
We both can talk and everything.
I know they would never cross that line
because they wasnt grown up to be that way,but they still kind of feel, you know, hesitant a little bit, which is understandable.
They walk around with the world in their hand.At the time when I was their age,
I dont know if I would have been able to handle the influx of information.
So, theyre already smarter than us.We cant be threatened by that.
We have to empower them in order to make sure that when were old,
they are able to create the kind of society that we can live in and thrive in our old age.
We cant fear them and we definitely cannot control them.
We need to empower them to move forward
and change this society because they are ready.
Yeah, older people say we are the future.So, its really going to take all of us.
Yes, they did their part.They set the foundation.Now we got to be on top of that.
We got to actually take that farther than what it is,
because were the next presidents, lawyers, governors, all that.
So, we do have to take that role
and to come together and actually push that along, build that up.
The world is changing.Each passing year, each passing generation, things are different.
When it comes to us and what were living on now, we, its our turn.