During a recent segment of Melissa Harris-Perry’s show, Perry became very emotional discussing the subject of race surrounding the George Zimmerman verdict and how difficult it is being a black man in America.
When the subject came up of how parents of black children can explain why a man who killed an unarmed 17-year-old black boy was found not guilty, Harris-Perry said that during her pregnancy she hoped for a girl because she feared the adversity her son would face growing up black in America
“I will never forget the relief I felt — I’m a sexual assault survivor — and yet the relief I felt at my 20-week ultrasound when they told me it was a girl,” she said. “And last night I thought, I live in a country that makes me wish my sons away, makes me wish that they don’t exist because it’s not safe.”
Unlike Perry, I wished for a son, even though I knew in 1999, not much would change as he got older. I’ve raised my son to speak up for the underdog, to be a thoughtful and kind person, but I’ve also taught him to realize that there are things/people in this world that will simply see you as a “thug”. They won’t care about your socioeconomic background, what level of education you receive, or that you’re simply just trying to live like everyone else.
Up until the Zimmerman verdict, I feared that my son saw life through rose colored lenses. He always questioned some of the things I’ve told him about life and being a black teen. After the Zimmerman verdict was announced, my son sent me a text message that simply stated, “I understand now”. The sad thing is that unfortunately this won’t be the last time he’ll ever see justice not being served.