Buy this product here: Not Sorry For Having Morals And Values Shirt, hoodie, tank top
Home page: Beutee Store
Not Sorry For Having Morals And Values Shirt, hoodie, tank top
This piece was co-published with The Trace, New York Times Opinion, Flint Beat and The Oaklandside.
I recently had a tall privacy fence installed around my house in Chicago. My 14-year-old son has autism. Maybe the barrier will prevent him from wandering away from home and being chased down and shot by police, as Ricardo Hayes was, I thought. Maybe it will protect him from being struck by a stray bullet as Hadiya Pendleton was.
I’m far from the only Black mother here who is worried that a gun could end her child’s life. Chicago, along with several big cities across the country, has seen a rise in gun violence — perpetrated by both civilians and police officers — since January of last year. In one especially alarming spree last summer, Chicago police officers shot five people in just two months. And shootings and murders in the city were up more than 50 percent overall in 2020 compared with 2019; 875 people died from gun violence — a record high. A majority of the city’s victims (78 percent) were Black.
Throughout the United States., Black Americans are most affected by gun violence — whether the shooter is a civilian or a police officer. Black people are two times more likely to die in a firearm incident and three times as likely to be killed in a police encounter than white Americans. When moms like me worry about our children, we have to ask ourselves, “What should I fear most?”
When George Floyd was murdered last summer, the Wall of Moms, a group of mostly white suburban mothers, received significant media attention for the statement they made in Portland, Ore., when they protested his murder. I couldn’t help thinking of the relatively little recognition of the work of Black mothers, who have long organized against police violence as well as the violence happening in our communities.
In Chicago, groups like Mothers Against Senseless Killings have led the fight against violence in their neighborhoods, addressing their communities’ needs by doing everything from patrolling corners to cooking meals. On a national level, Mothers of the Movement — a group of Black women whose children have been killed by guns, including at the hands of police officers — works to raise awareness and push for legislative changes on a national level.