On a summer drive in 2016, my son and I (K.T.A.) happily chatted about his planned activities for the day while he attended camp. As we listened to the news on the car radio, we were silenced and horrified to hear about the second killing of a young African American man in as many days. We both started crying, and I asked my son, “How do you feel?” He responded somberly, “I am sad Mama… and afraid. I do not feel safe. This [country] does not feel like it is my home.” That exchange is now a prominent, recurrent experience embedded in our minds and hearts. We are dealing with police shootings resulting in publicly witnessed deaths of mostly African American men and women, deaths of Dallas police officers serving and protecting their communities, and “not guilty” verdicts for the 2015 police shooting of a young African American woman in Los Angeles and the 2015 death of Freddie Gray while in Baltimore police custody. We are also witnessing a rise in racial discord and violence after the November 2016 political elections.
Ashing KT, Lewis ML, Walker VP. Thoughts and Response to Authority-Perpetrated, Discriminatory, and Race-Based Violence. JAMA Pediatr. 2017;171(6):511–512. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.0137
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