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Hi, I'm Candis Messam
and I'm a mother of five children.
I have three boys and two girls.
When I saw the video of George Floyd's death
it saddened me.
It made me lose hope in humanity a bit.
My name is Jason Quammie
and I have three kids.
Two girls and one boy.
The past couple of days have been
an emotional roller coaster.
Just trying to make sense of what's happening.
I'm at a loss for words.
I just feel so much weight on my heart.
And it's just painful to see another black life lost
and not think to myself
wow, that could have been me.
My name is Melanie Carrington.
I have one 12-year-old son and his name is Aiden.
I was heartbroken and fearful.
This is not new.
This is just newsworthy.
And it's exhausting.
I'm scared, I'm upset.
[Candis] To see my children crying
for somebody that they didn't even know
and the injustice that's going on.
It breaks my heart.
[Jason] It's hard.
I don't want to take their innocence away
and kind of grow them up too fast.
But at the same time I think they need to be aware
of what's happening in the world.
My son has seen a lot about what happened
and for the first time as a preteen
he's starting to ask me, "What if?"
"What if that's me?"
And I don't have answers for that
except to say that he's always loved.
If anybody would ever call the police on them
that would be my biggest fear.
Them being shot.
Being targeted by police.
[Jason] When I was growing up
whenever I'd be leaving to go out with friends
my dad would always say to me
"If you get pulled over by the police
make sure to keep your hands on the wheel.
Respond, "Yes, officer"
"Thank you, officer."
"OK, officer."
Be super polite."
And I didn't realize then
that it was because my parents wanted me to come home alive.
And now becoming a parent
I feel the same fears for my kids.
Can they just come home alive.
My sphere for my son
has lived through each opportunity
speaking with teachers, principals, parents.
Each need to remind him
about what he needs to say to police.
When, not if, he's stopped.
Because I'm raising black children
I don't let them roam around freely.
If they have to go to school, I drop them to school.
I wait for them after school and bring them back.
The school is only three blocks away.
I'll teach them to be aware of their surroundings.
To be aware of the dangers
that they'll face because of the colour of their skin.
And the real-life consequences that come with it.
When my son started walking home from school by himself
we created a script.
Something that he could commit to memory
to be able to talk to police.
"My name is Aiden."
He tells them his age.
"I am 12-years-old."
He tells them where he goes to school.
He tells them what he is doing.
I just want my kid to grow up to be old.
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Parents face difficult conversations with children after George Floyd's death

17 Folder Collection
Seina published on June 8, 2020
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