The Implications of the Murder of Oscar Grant

California is abuzz, awaiting the verdict in the trial of the man accused of murdering Oscar Grant.

Everyone is waiting to see just what a jury, with not one black member, will make of the shooting of an unarmed black man in the back by a white police officer.

I wasn’t going to write anything about the trial of accused murderer, Johannes Mehserle. 

I was just going to wait and see what happened and let the implications sink in for me as a black woman raising a black male child.

But then I thought to myself, I need to write about this.   I have a son who for all intents and purposes will be viewed as a black man by the society we live in.

And because he is viewed as such, his very life depends on my thinking, reading, writing and talking about these two men’s lives.

I hope he never finds himself in a situation where he would be interacting with police officers in any sort of negative way….but the reality of this nation is that often times our men are sought out for confrontation.

So, I have no choice but to teach my son the ins and outs of living under a regime that looks with suspicion and down right anger towards men of color.

So we will begin to go over at a very early age, his survival strategy.

Remember who you are at all times

Don’t be too loud or disrespectful

Don’t make any quick or unexpected moves

Keep your hands visible at all times

 Don’t expect them to treat you like a citizen

 Don’t let your emotions get the best of you

 Keep your thoughts and comments to your self

 Remember who you are at all times

His very life depends upon my ability to instill in him the importance of this strategy.

And yet with the murder of Oscar Grant (and all the other men around this country who have died under similar circumstances)….

I know that it still may not be enough to save his life.


2 thoughts on “The Implications of the Murder of Oscar Grant

  1. Poor baby. I have three adult Black sons ages 29, 20 & 18. They’ve never seen the inside of a jail cell. I feel that doing all you can as a mother, your son will not be exposed to jailbird men because that’s a problem in and of itself. So to say remember who you near/at the end of the list…please promote that to #1 and give it meaning.

    Having said that, Oscar Grant was murdered much like two Black men in my city and it sparked civil unrest: Timothy Thomas and Roger Owensby. (Police made Owensby throw up his lungs onto his shirt, they produced the shirt during trial for the world to see).

    There are so many others: Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell. I won’t continue.

    I can’t reach my friend today who grew up with Oscar’s father in the ‘jects in CA. This has very serious ramifications.

    • Yes, I definitely agree that who you choose to associate with can also lead you into unwanted situaions. I always tell my son to be a leader and not a follower. And to remember that everyone is not friendship material. I truly hope you reach your friend and all is well with them. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, its appreciated.

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