By Yasmine Outlaw
As police related shooting deaths and the rate of Black males continue to rise, young Black parents are forced to change their beliefs on parenthood. The generation of young parents are taking back the future for their sons and daughters. With many MPS schools closing their doors for summer, and summer programs for children continued to be defunded, children lose interest in academics. Especially, when parents are at work or struggling to find work, children are more likely to find themselves involved with crime related activities.
If the pattern of failing schools and higher crime rates in the city, young inner city children are more likely to be incarcerated by 25-years-old, and many are not expected to live past that point. Awareness of this issue brings concern to young Milwaukee parents.
First time parent, Tamirra Johnson, is already planning how to guide her 6-month-old son.
“My son is not even walking and talking yet, and I already find myself worrying what would happen to him if he encountered an officer,” Johnson said. “It causes me to think a lot of how I can raise my son to avoid conflict with the cops or whether I should relocate to a different city.”
The number of police related deaths and Black males has altered the perspective of police in Milwaukee’s Black community. Ashely Nealson, mother of two, shared her thoughts.
“As parents, we should be able to tell our children it is safe to go to an officer in case of an emergency. Times are changing, so it’s really hard to say,” Nealson said.
According to a recent study by Georgetown Law’s Center on Poverty and Inequality, black girls are perceived as less innocent than white girls as early as age 5.
Other studies have also shown that Black males age 10 and younger are viewed as twice their age by white adults.
When an excited Black student is mistaken as disruptive by teachers, or when Blacks face harsher crime sentences and the unemployment rate within the Black community continues to rise, these misconceptions trouble Black parents every day.