Parents are used to having important talks with their kids. But for parents of kids of color, one of the hardest conversations is when their children must learn they will be treated differently simply because of the color of their skin.
Digital media company Jubilee Project released a video titled “Dear Child” in which black parents and young people share what they would tell black kids about police brutality. As the parents warn children to do what police officers say, to stay calm and to not give any rebuttals, one woman notes that these warnings ― though necessary ― keep kids of color from enjoying their childhoods like other children.
“I need you to always be prepared and always be on your guard,” she said. “It takes away from you being a little kid I know, but I’m trying to protect you right now.”
As the parents continue to stress how important it is to follow police officers’ instructions, one woman acknowledges the heartbreaking reality that this does not guarantee their safety.
“Sad to say, sometimes that might not even work, I’m just going to be honest,” she said. “It might not work at all.”
The people in the video also wanted to let black children know that though they may be treated differently, they are just as important as other kids.
“You have inherent worth in this society,” one woman said.
In other words, their lives matter.