2018 advice america black boys children parenting relationships

Whose Perception?

January 2018

“There is no truth. There is only perception.”  – Gustave Flaubert

I’m sitting here thinking about perception or rather yet the verb of perception (perceive) and trying to understand how police are trained to view threats. Is there some secret to this? How can some officers discern what is real from what is fiction before shooting to kill?

It’s something that bothers me. I’m trying to gain clarity and understanding about this. I have a black son. I don’t like having different rules for him that some of my other friends that aren’t raising black sons don’t have. Are we perceived threats by the color of our skin? By our tone? By our clothes?

As Munch is getting ready to enter the double digits in a couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around the fact that my son will begin to drive in six short years. That he’ll want to go out and have fun with friends, get a job or get back and forth to practice. On his own. In a car.

However, before that happens, I have to teach him things that could save his life if ever pulled over…

  1. Let me do a visual check before you drive. I’m checking for all working lights so that can’t be an excuse for you getting pulled over.
  2. No more than 2 other friends in the car. Keep your head straight and both hands on the wheel.
  3. Stay calm and clearly answer the questions that are asked. Don’t let someone rile you up. Be respectful.
  4. Call my cell phone before stopping and record the entire conversation on my voicemail if I don’t answer. Speak loud and clear.

  5. Keep your license and registration card in your wallet and your wallet in the cup holder. Don’t reach for anything.


I guess I’m perceiving that the officer that stops my son will see him as human. A young man. A man worthy to make it home to mama.



This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “P” is for Perception. My posts will be written as a journal style for the challenge and will be on the theme: Mothering While Black. I hope you enjoyed it.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.


  1. Great post Tikeetha. As you know, we both have the same situation. I have two boys though… one of them is about to turn 11. So… everything you said reverberates with me on a very personal level.

    Si, is very intelligent, calm and even keeled. However, once they become teens and get into high school, things change. So, the lessons we teach them about awareness are key.

    Everything you said is on point. I will teach my son though my actions. He sees how I handle getting pulled over because it’s happened twice while he was in the car. Both times we drove off without a problem. I keep my registration above me in the vanity mirror is (it has an extra flap for papers),.. well my car does. That way I don’t have to reach into a glove box or on the side of my door. I ALWAYS tell the police officer what I’m about to do before I do it, “I’m going into my console to get my wallet.” He says…OK, I proceed.

    Point being, the perception of black men being a threat goes so far back. Especially darker skinned black men. Obviously these issues effect all black men, but the darker we are, the more of a threat we are perceived to be. The more “urban” we dress, the bigger the threat. That style of dress is associated hooligans, and thugs according to police. A kid in a nicely pressed, button-down shirt, slacks and a blazer is simply judged different. To be fair, as adults… it’s the same way. People treat me different when I walk into one of their establishments with a suit on vs sweats, sneakers and a tee.

    Police are trained to “react.” But also be aware of their surroundings. The problem is, they stereotype and profile along with that. It’s a scary world we live in… especially for black males, and as parents all we can do is make sure we arm them properly with the “what to do” in any situation.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s really sad to see that this is what things have come too. People have no value for human life anymore and racism hasn’t ended. If you ask me it’s getting worse. Everything is getting worse! We need to continue to pray over the lives of our children everyone they walk out the door.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hmmm. It’s a shame that you feel you have to teach your black son these “rules” in the 21st century. I understand, but it’s shameful to live in a country where this is seen as necessary for survival.

    Liked by 1 person

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