It’s not hyperbole when people of color claim that one of their daily concerns is if they’ll encounter police and, more importantly, if they’ll walk away unscathed. This police paranoia doesn’t even disappear once people of color reach the peak of celebrity status, like Serena Williams, the greatest tennis player and, arguably, athlete, of this entire generation.
Williams published an introspective Facebook post on Tuesday about her latest near encounter with police and the feelings that she was left with. Read the post in full below.
Today I asked my 18 year old nephew (to be clear he’s black) to drive me to my meetings so I can work on my phone #safteyfirst. In the distance I saw cop on the side of the road. I quickly checked to see if he was obliging by the speed limit. Than I remembered that horrible video of the woman in the car when a cop shot her boyfriend. All of this went through my mind in a matter of seconds. I even regretted not driving myself. I would never forgive myself if something happened to my nephew. He’s so innocent. So were all “the others”
I am a total believer that not “everyone” is bad It is just the ones that are ignorant, afraid, uneducated, and insensitive that is affecting millions and millions of lives.
Why did I have to think about this in 2016? Have we not gone through enough, opened so many doors, impacted billions of lives? But I realized we must stride on- for it’s not how far we have come but how much further still we have to go.
I than wondered than have I spoken up? I had to take a look at me. What about my nephews? What if I have a son and what about my daughters?
As Dr. Martin Luther King said ” There comes a time when silence is betrayal”.
It wouldn’t be surprising for someone of Williams’ stature to act as if they’d somehow evolved past the racism that’s a part of American policing. But she comendably took a stance to voice her opinion about an issue that is a par to her everyday life.
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