Based on what Ive learned from the George Zimmerman verdict so far, tips for my child and yours:
By MELVINA JOHNSON YOUNG
Special to The Star
• Dont walk too fast youll look guilty.
• Dont walk too slow youll look suspicious.
• Dont run youll get chased.
• Dont wear a hoodie youll become a thug. (Try a top hat and tails or a nuns habit instead.)
• Dont be in a community where your parents actually live you dont belong there.
• Dont talk to strangers unless they follow you and make you.
• If a stranger grabs you, stop, drop and roll but not too aggressively. (You dont want to violate his right of self-defense.)
• Try to explain.
• Dont try to explain.
• If you see a gun, dont run. Youll risk a bullet in the back.
• If you see a gun, dont protect yourself. Youll catch a bullet in the heart. (And too many of our countrymen and women will understand the shooters POV.)
• Dont make any mistakes beforehand that millions of kids in this country make every single day. It can be used against you during your trial for your own murder.
On second thought just try not to be black when you go out.
Because neighborhood watch aint just for watching anymore.
Its for shooting to kill.
Melvina Johnson Young, of the Kansas City area, is a former university lecturer specializing in United States history, womens history and African-American history and cultural studies. She was a 2008 Midwest Voices panel writer.