In response to the wave of violence against African Americans, the poet Clint Smith wrote a letter to the son he might one day live in. The poet ponders the lessons he has learned and shares his hopes for his son in the future posted on ideas.ted.com. , Because it touches much of our reality.
I would like to tell you how difficult it is to tell someone that he is beautiful and at risk. You deserve life, but because of his life he is despised.
I do not mean to scare you. My father (grandfather) taught me to follow specific rules before I understand their purposes. Tell me that these rules do not apply to everyone, so they may not apply to all my friends. But regardless of all this, they are rules I should follow. Many black children are killed for reasons their peers do not care about. Listening to music, for example, wearing a sweater and putting a head scarf on the head, or even playing a game in the middle of a garden. My father taught these things. Know that there is no room for error. He realized that this was not fair, but he loved me in love to prevent him from teaching me these things, with the intention of protecting me.
I have cut this story before you, but it is worthy of narration again. On many Saturdays and in the mornings, you and my friend roam our bicycle between the neighborhood together. The air would have carved a simple happiness on our innocent faces. The smell of breakfasts creeps through the windows of the houses on the sides of the roads. Everything was real to bring our attention to the endless options we had before our wheelchairs. Which meant that we were still children! Our team consisted of diverse elements, children from different races, to the extent that Disney Channel was proud of this diverse team. We dreamed of building huts among tree branches with secret words of entry, and fighting dragons with perilous fighting as the birds of the burning dragonmen pushed. We dreamed of achieving the goal of winning a game in a central stadium where thousands of people chanted our names. Our ambition was to reach the boundaries of the galaxy where we were born, we were simply small planets seeking their possessions.
That evening, we went to a stadium where we always played American football, simulating professionals with muscular muscles fluttering during the Sunday matches we watch on television. This time the stadium was closed, the entrance to the fence was locked with a lock of broken sticks. One of the comrades, his hair was long, hanging in front of his eyes, threw the ball at me, and quickly climbed the fence. I watched him put one man on top as he climbs smoothly without paying any attention to the fact, without realizing that we are not supposed to sneak into this place. I could hear the police whistling from far away. It was a few conversations away from us. It was yellowing away in another direction. I could not verify it, but I knew I should not ignore it. In the meantime my friend slapped the other side of the fence and took the rest of us to jump over the fence as he did. I kept holding the ball in my hand. I saw it from behind the fence of the fence between us. That was the moment when I realized how different I and I were, before I had the words that enabled me to explain my evasion and him. How could he break a law without paying attention to it, while doing so could cost me a lot of money?
I hope to teach you most of what my father taught me, but I would like to live in a world quite different from the one I inherited and my parents. I do not envy my father for his mission, which is a task entrusted to me one day. I tell you these things because I am sure of your strength and your resilience. Yes, their fear will become a fortress that protects you, will turn it into a bastion of love for others, against unjustified brutality.
I want you to understand that it is but the things that the world tells you, but the things that keep you away from you. These neglected things, other than direct insults, will be the most damaging. Your textbooks, for example, will probably not tell you that Thomas Jefferson thought blacks were inferior to whites in spirit and body, not telling you how to keep President Roosevelt’s deal on a hole for black families to ventilate, while the deal lifted the rest of the middle class to middle-income families . It will not tell you how the federal government prevented black families from owning houses in cities throughout the country. These books will not tell you how police stations are motivated to see you as a problem, something that should be eliminated.
They will not tell you these things, and that is why they will expect you to believe that the reality of our contemporary societies is only the result of our own mistakes, that we simply have not done the required effort, that all we need to do to change these challenges is a slight modification of our behavior, And our attention to our clothes.
And despite all this, do not think for a moment that you can not change anything from what is. Our world is based on social assumptions, which can be rebuilt. This world was once built, and it can be rebuilt. Use every thing you get to re-visualize this world. I am not wrong, I am not a deficit, I am not something that should be uprooted from its roots or something has been replaced. You are not a social illness.
You came from a breed who built this country. I came across my ancestors. One of whom was buried through tobacco fields throughout his adolescence along the Mississippi River. And others who took up arms in defense of this country, and as soon as the war ended, they spit on it. I came across my grandmothers who devoted their lives to the education of our small communities, where the quality of education was under the whims of the state. I came across my father, who protected me from violence and made me a full person. You embody the desire of all of them, a desire that does not know despair, and wants to overcome all this.
I hope you inherit a world where you can love who you want. I wish you read, write, laugh, sing, dance, adopt, cry, and do all the things that other children do.
I hope you never stand at the other end of the fence and learn that it’s high