An Open Letter to My Unborn Black Son
In a guest column at Urban Cusp, Ajani Husbands has sobering but realistic advice inspired by the shooting death of Trayvon Martin that includes the warning, "You will needlessly suffer in this world for no other reason than you were brought into it by a Black mother and father."
When confronted by an armed individual, assume that this person is the police. As such, begin by placing your hands behind your head, fingers interlaced. This will assure that in the eventuality that you are shot and executed, there will be minimum opportunity for analysts and pundits to later ponder if you were the aggressor. Keeping your fingers behind your head is key as it prevents your fingerprints from ending up on your assailant or his weapon. If at all possible, turn your back on the person (whom we will assume always to be the police). In this manner, you will be shot in the back, another telltale sign that you were the victim.
You will not survive your encounter, so it is important to remember to show investigators, the courts, and critics alike that you were in fact the victim. This will be difficult as the assumption is ever-present that somehow, in some way, you did something wrong. That perhaps there was something different you could have, should have done. Perhaps you should have worn something different or walked in a less suspicious manner. I assure you, my son, this is not the case. Regardless of your actions, you were not meant to survive. All you can hope for is an easier postmortem investigation. This will be of some comfort to your mother and I as we cope through your loss, and so I ask you to follow these directions carefully.
Be clear and concise in your cries for help. This will not in any way add to the chance that you will survive the encounter. Instead, it serves to ensure that bystanders and anyone recording just the audio of the encounter will have a clearer depiction of what is happening. Phrases such as "help me!" are not enough. You must be clear. "Please do not shoot me! I am just a kid!" will alert others to the fact that it is you that is about to be shot, rather than your assailant. "I do NOT have a weapon! Please don't shoot me!" further emphasizes that you are unarmed (for after your death, no one is ever certain).
Read Ajani Husbands' entire column at Urban Cusp.