Birthday thoughts about the deaths of black men and women at the hands of police
Eric Olsen

I don’t know your reason/motive for writing this post. It appears to come from a real and genuine place. Thank you.

I grew up in the heart of Kingston, Jamaica (aka concrete jungle). I think I’m a pretty tough enough guy, at least I want to believe that’s true. However, every time I read/hear about another young black life taken by police I fail holding back sobbing like a child.

We have to confront and change the narrative of race relations in America. We live in 2016, not 1836. It was wrong then and it’s even more wrong now when you account for the progress we have made as humans.

If you were tuned in to the Olympics in Rio, blacks, whites, and every shade of this great nation showed up and made this country proud. Yet it’s just one shade that dwells in the darkest fears. If you took away all the gold medals and glittery gears from Simone Biles, she would still be followed around in a store suspected of shoplifting. Nothing changes.

My black children shouldn’t grow up thinking that white people are evil racist. I make it my duty not to teach them such garbage. In the same way, my neighbors’ white children shouldn’t grow up thinking black men are thugs. That’s ridiculous.

And yes, these heinous acts against black kids certainly don’t make it easy to have meaningful discussions with our kids. They see everything. They are more connected than ever before.

The change we seek begins at home, not in the House or on the Floor of Washington DC. Keep politics out of it. Let’s raise our kids to be color blind and accepting of each other’s differences. Love trumps hate.

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