I can’t imagine the horror and heaviness of heart you have endured in the past week and a half since the tragic, senseless death of your son. I want you to know that regardless of what ANYONE says or ANYTHING your son did in the past, he did NOT deserve to be gunned down and left on the hot, dark pavement for hours.
I’m sure that when you held your bouncing baby boy in your arms for the first time, this scenario was the furthest thing from your mind. I’m sure that all you held in your heart for your brown eyed, brown skinned boy were hopes and dreams and love. Hopes that have been dashed, dreams that have died and love that couldn’t save him from the realities of the world we live in.
I’m sorry- deeply, truly sorry- for the picture that others are trying to paint of your child. It matters not if he did or didn’t steal cigars or anything else. It matters not if he hung out with the wrong crowd. It matters not if he was jaywalking. It matters not if he had or didn’t have a juvenile record. The indisputable fact is that your boy was unarmed in broad daylight and was shot six times anyway. Teenagers make mistakes, no matter the color of their skin. There is no spin or excuse or justification that will ever make what happened okay. And, I’m deeply, truly sorry that it will still be attempted in order to deflect blame and accountability away from those involved.
I am not naïve to the fact that if this had been one of my white teenage sons, the outcome would have been different. As the mama of a black daughter, I am well acquainted with the fact that the encounters she has had with the police, for minor traffic offenses, have varied drastically from near identical incidents that my white sons have faced. Racism may be more subtle than it was 50 years ago but it runs just as deep in this country.
You, sweet mama, deserve justice for your son. You deserve closure. You deserve transparency. You deserve sympathy and respect. You deserve peace. You deserve answers. You deserve for your son to be walking, talking, breathing- you deserve for your son to be alive.
Please know that the character assassinations of the few do not reflect the hearts of the many. Please know that my heart bleeds for you and your family. Please know that your son matters and that his death will not be in vain. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers and if I could hug you and apologize to you on behalf of my race, I wholeheartedly would.
May justice and truth prevail.
Sincerely, A fellow mama who cares