Sunday, July 14, 2013

Melissa Harris-Perry: No Safe Place For Black Children

Following George Zimmerman's acquittal on murder charges in the death of Trayvon Martin, Melissa Harris-Perry explained the vulnerability that African-American parents feel in terms of their children being profiled and victimized. Watch:

HARRIS-PERRY: Here are your choices as an African-American parent. We live in such a racially segregated country that trying to do the best thing for your kids, you think, ok, we’ll go live in the black neighborhood.We’ll live in a predominately African-American community. One of the things we know is that those communities are often plagued with crime that takes the lives of African-American children. It is the reality that most young black men, 17, 18, who die in this country from gunshot wounds, from violence die at the hands of other African-American men. So here you want to live in this community, but then you think maybe I can’t. So then maybe you move to a community like the one where Trayvon Martin’s father was living. Where you have the gated community. You feel safe to let your kid walk over at seven o’clock to the 7-11, and pick up some candy during the game. The idea that that community too is not safe, because they can be profiled and potentially victimized by violence by those who will see them as not belonging there. I don’t know that I can express, but I want to try that it begins to feel like there is no place that you can be, no choice that you can make, no home that you can buy, no place where you can put your kid in school where it is safe. And I think this is what Newtown families felt when their little beautiful children sitting in their own elementary school were gunned down, and they said whoa, wait a second, what is happening in a country where you can’t be safe in an elementary school? But I think that is a feeling that is so familiar and brought home by this case for so many of us: that there is no safe place to be.

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