Gabrielle Union realizes that she and Dywane Wade are raising privileged black boys, but she still has the same fears many black parents have.
Zaire, Xavier and Zion are now pre-teens and teenagers, and Union and Wade try to explain to them what’s happening to black men everywhere in hopes that they’re not “ignorant” to their social status.
“Even if society didn’t give us hashtags every day to prompt us, I was raised talking about it all the time. So I try to make sure our boys are not as ignorant as I was,” she said. “We are raising privileged black boys, which creates an interesting situation. Me and D, we weren’t raised with that kind of privilege, so we’re kind of learning through their eyes.”
Union recalled one incident in particular when the boys walked to a neighbor’s basketball court at night, and she and Wade went after them.
“I said, ‘No,’ because I don’t trust our neighbors to not see our teenage boys, our tall teenage boys as children and not as threats to ‘put down,’ like an animal,” she said before adding that she and Wade later tracked them down in a car.
“We told them to stop where they were. If they were under a street light, please just stay there. And as we’re in route to them there are cop cars coming from [their direction],” she said. “And it wasn’t even the cops that I was necessarily afraid of. Our neighbors have personal security, too, and in a stand your ground state, an open carry state, they’ll shoot you first and get off later.”
“How do you arm our black boys with all the knowledge and all the pride and all the power that we can, but then ask them to be subservient when it comes illegal search and seizure? I still struggle with it.”
Check out her interview below: