Black children are reminded countless times by their parents that they have to be better than their white peers, in order to compete. There is little room left for Black boys and girls to make mistakes. Black parents know the harsh reality their children will face. They know that despite how well-mannered their children are, simply because they are Black boys and girls, these children will be feared.
It doesn’t have to be the matter of being at the wrong place at the wrong time, Black boys and girls are stripped of their youth and sometimes their lives, in their own communities and homes, when faced with police. What we may see as an innocent child, police will deem as a threat.
The video of a McKinney police officer pinning a helpless 15-year-old Black girl to the ground, after complaints of Black children attending a pool party were called in by unwelcoming neighbors, is another of example of how Black children aren’t allowed to be children. As the girl was brutally pinned down, Black boys came to her defense, which unjustly caused the police officer to pull out his AR15 pistol.
If surrounding police officers didn’t stop him, the situation easily could have turned fatal. You read correctly, this situation started because Black boys and girls were attending a pool party, alongside their white peers.
We have witnessed too many events were Black children have been told that they can not exist without being seen as a threat. Black children can not walk in their own neighborhood, play on their own playgrounds, shop in convenient stores, even sleep in their own homes, without police officers stripping them of basic humanity. This constant discriminatory treatment often leads to Black boys and girls to not see the value in their own lives, slipping into a complex of inferiority or nihilism.
From birth, Black children are often institutionalized into a system that works against and fears them. Laws are made to target those who are low-income and/or minority, so one slip-up can cause a Black child their future. Whereas their White peers can use their age and lack of wisdom as an excuse, when they make the very same mistakes, and when they are faced with the same policing.
As we all witnessed a grown man handle a young girl with so much aggression and unnecessary force, we’re all wondering what can we do to protect the Black youth. When will Black boys and girls feel that it is okay to experience life without having fear of those sworn to protect and serve them? Black children should not have to exist in a society where they constantly feel victimized. With so much stacked against the well being of Black youth, innocence shouldn’t be a luxury. Black children should be allowed to children.