Why Did He Run? On Mike Brown & Parenting Brown Boys

By on Aug 11, 2014 in Parenting | 5 comments

Share On GoogleShare On FacebookShare On Twitter

“Why did he run?”

That’s the question that gets thrown back at me when I tweet about my frustration around Michel Brown’s murder by the Ferguson police. Yes, murder. That young man was slain—hands up, no gun in sight, barely human. His body lay in the street for four hours while police armed themselves for war with a community who’d just lost one of their sons.

It’s not fair.


I am tired of hearing about Black boys being murdered. I am tired of driving by makeshift memorials on street corners or Facebook pages or Twitter feeds. I am tired of being angry and wrung out. I am tired of hearing of the stories of boys who could be my son in a dozen years, cut down way before their time. I am tired of feeling like no matter what happens, no matter how messed up this is, it will happen again, and again, and again because our boys are not seen as human. They are thugs, violent, feared.

I am numb, and I ache all at once. 

It’s hard to parent from a place of rage. Hard to encourage my son to be all he can be while being terrified that when he gets older he’ll be seen as a threat, a target, a stereotype. My son—all arms and elbows and long legs—is brilliant. But brilliance cannot save him from a cop’s gun, a racist’s fury, or some equally brilliant, but misguided young man who wasn’t hugged enough.

I don’t know what to tell my son about Mike Brown or Trayvon Martin or John Crawford or Oscar Grant or Jordan Davis or Eric Garner or Amadou Diallo or Sean Bell or Latasha Harlins or Aiyana Jones.

I do not want him to carry their burdens or my suspicion of the police, and this world, but what choice do I have, especially when I want nothing more than to keep him safe?

I do not know how to keep him safe, so I hug him tighter, tickle him harder, and try to make every single day count.


Related Post


  1. Val

    August 11, 2014

    Post a Reply

    I know exactly how you feel. We just hug on them and love on them harder. Pray for protection over all of our sons.

  2. Kayla

    September 11, 2014

    Post a Reply

    I really like your last comment about not knowing what to tell your son. While obviously the situations like the Mike Brown one are about way more than me and my own little world, when it comes down to how this impacts me personally, that is exactly it. I don’t know what tell my kids if they happen to catch it on the news. Part of the problem with the Mike Brown story (and any story that involves the justice system) is that the wheels of justice turn slowly, so sharing just the facts are hard because no one knows what they are for certain. (We obviously can have a perception of what we think happened but that is not the same as having some type of organized investigation.) But facts aside, perceptions matter a lot and it’s hard as a mom to know what to say to your brown kids about why so many brown grown ups are upset with the police especially since my kids are growing up in a fairly insulated world.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *