Lawrence Otis Graham is a successful attorney, who’s also a Harvard graduate, as is his wife. Graham also has 3 young children, 1 daughter and 2 sons.
Graham has taken extraordinary measures to protect his children from racial profiling. He says that his fear reached a climax with the Trayvon Martin case.
Since that case, he decided to make sure his sons dressed and behaved as non-threatening as possible to avoid racial profiling. His sons are not allowed to wear fashionable clothes, and they must be very careful how they act around businesses, but especially the police.
Some may believe this just seems like good fatherly advice. To a certain extent, it is. But, this goes way beyond teaching good manners: it’s assimilation.
Graham believes that his sons are safer assimilating into white culture, or rather, the idea of how blacks should be in the eyes of white culture. The sad reality is that, to a degree, this tactic might work, because it caters to the white supremacy. Black Americans have had a long history of bowing to white supremacy.
Some suggest that the Dr. Martin Luther King catered to white supremacy with his non-violent struggle against segregation. They say that the civil rights movement succeeded because whites saw those blacks as non-threatening, and felt more comfortable allowing “equal” rights.
Now, some readers may think that I’m suggesting that he allow his children to go to the other extreme and behave like criminals or “thugs.” That’s not at all what I’m saying.
If you are a white parent, think about how it would feel if you had to prepare your children to live in America the same way this man does?
If you can’t imagine telling your kids that they can’t just be themselves and wear clothes that allow them to express themselves, then think about what it says that so many believe black kids have to conform to a different standard?
Here’s the video: