Crossed hands with USA flag

We live in a predominantly white town. My son grew up with white children, went to school with white children, and played with white children. But when he was old enough to go hang out by himself, I sat him down and told him, “Son, here are the facts of life in America. You are black. You are seen as black. You are thought of as black. When you go to the store with your white friends, when something happens, you’ll be blamed because you’re black.”

After that I cried secretly because growing up in Africa, I was not conscious of race. When he started driving, I had another talk with him.

“Son, remember you’re a black man. If the police stop you, be extremely careful. Give them your license and registration. Don’t talk back to them, because it might get you killed. Don’t assert your rights, because it might get you killed.”

I knew that if he survived an unjust and illegal encroachment on his rights, we can take up the matter in the court of law and court of public opinion.

Strangely enough, I don’t remember having such conversations with my daughters.

All lives matter, but not all lives are under risk of death, because of race. So, understand when we say, “Black Lives Matter.” Here is my responsive prayer for you and for your church:
Black lives matter.
Lord, have mercy.

Black lives matter.
Lord, hear our prayer.

Black lives matter.
Lord, heal our land.

Black lives matter.
Lord, unite our nation.

Black lives matter.
Lord, save our nation.

Black lives matter.
Lord, hear our prayer.

Amen.