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The 1st Amendment Defines Us 2nd Amendment Defends Us Since 1791 Shirt, hoodie, tank top
Cora Miller, Atlanta
Miller is the mother of a 4-year-old son. She is a co-founder of Young King Hair Care.
My husband was born and raised in Atlanta, in College Park, and so, even in his world, his mother did her best to kind of shield him and protect him from the kind of path that he could have easily gone down as a young boy. And he definitely has had interactions with authorities that haven’t always been the best experience. So, based on his experience and even some that I’ve witnessed with him and that happened to us, it definitely has shaped my view and just how protective I am of my son.
There are several different occasions, but the one that still kind of shakes me to my core happened in Minnesota. One night, we were all trying to go into a bar, and my husband wanted to know the wait time. For some reason or another, the security guard and police officer were all just dismissive of him, giving him a “get in your place” type of attitude. My husband asked him not to be disrespectful because he didn’t do anything wrong. The security guy just shoved him, and then the police officer comes up and starts holding up his Taser to my husband. And I’m looking around — me, my friends — of course, everyone’s like, get out your cameras. Why did it escalate that quickly for no reason? I’m asking the officer, “Why do you have a Taser out right now?” He was telling my husband to get on the ground. My husband’s like, “What did I do?” Because he wouldn’t get on the ground, the officer tased him.
I just reflect on the experiences that we go through all the time. It’s never all captured, but it happens all the time.
Why are our Black men, our Black boys, treated this way, as if their lives just don’t matter? It definitely has shaped my view and just how protective I am of my 4-year-old son. Like, he’s cute now. Everybody always says how cute he is. But when does that change?
WyKisha Thomas-McKinney, Houston
Thomas-McKinney is the mother of a 15-year-old daughter and a 20-year-old son. She is the board chair of the Southeast Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the loss division chair of the American Association of Suicidology.
In high school, I lost a friend to gun violence. He was a senior in h