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WWYD – Metro’s Most Wanted

I believe I’ve previously shared that we are the only black people on our block. Usually. Every once in a while the rental house across the street is occupied by a black family, as is currently the case.

Last night LG and I were returning home from Bible Study and as we turned the corner and pulled into our garage, LG tells me that our neighbor looks suspicious. I ask her who she’s talking about.

LG:  The man that’s always standing outside. He hangs out too much.

NG:  Well honey, that’s where he lives and if he wants to be outside, he certainly can be.  Why do you think he looks suspicious?

LG:  Well, he looks like one of the Metro’s Most Wanted.

NG:  Huh?

LG:  You know on the news when they show the criminals? He looks like one of them.

NG:  Um, how does he look like one of them?

LG:  Well, he’s black, he wears a cap, and he’s always outside. He looks like he’d run up to the car, make us get out, hit us on the head and take all our stuff.

NG:  So…do you think he’d look suspicious if he was white, wore a cap and was always outside?

LG:  No ma’am.

Well damn. What am I supposed to do to counteract that? I told her, of course, that she can’t/shouldn’t think that all black men in hats who hang around outside are criminals. That a number of men she knows and loves are hat wearing, outside going black men – her father, her grandfathers, her uncles, cousins, friends’ fathers, etc., etc. – and they’re not criminals.

So if you were faced with this situation, what would you do? Have you dealt with anything similar? What else do you think I should tell her? I don’t want to beat her over the head with this, but I surely cannot have her walking around with this notion in her head! Sometimes I can’t help but feel that by moving to a county where whites are the overwhelming majority we have done our girl a disservice.




5 thoughts on “WWYD – Metro’s Most Wanted

  1. This is a real issue. One of the things I will suggest is dont let her watch the news. Not only does it scare them unecessarily but if the barrage of criminals faces are all black, then that is the only reasonable conclusion she could draw in her young mind. Black=criminals.

    I know you keep her around black positivity like your family and your church so thats always a good thing.

    And just explain that there are good PEOPLE and bad PEOPLE. And it has nothing to do with the color of their skin. I’m glad you are addressing this with her. These types of lessons are the ones we have to teach our kids bc its so easy for them to see things the wrong way.

    • excellent! I totally agree with not letting her watch the news. Hell I don’t even watch the news because there is never anything good about it.

      • That’s the weird thing – I watch the news very rarely! I’m surprised I’ve had it on enough for her to pick up on the common characteristics of the Metro’s Most Wanted. But I guess while I’m thinking I hardly watch it, she’s absorbing the “little” that I do watch. Will definitely do better on that front.

        Thanks for the feedback y’all. Oh these parenting joys!!!

  2. i like for my son to watch the news, maybe to add to his street smarts…?? he still doesn’t pay it much attention. i’m saddened that LG concluded that from the bit of news she watches. can i make a confession? the older i get the more these stereotypes are coming true and it hurts. i don’t judge ppl on by this, but i try to be more cognizant of what’s going on around me. i’m from the roughest part of my town and my surroundings never phased me except that it didn’t look as pretty as other parts. i had a decent balance. however, the older i get and raising a son… things get scarier and i have to make choices for his well being =((

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