Powerful Video Shows the Difference Between the Way Black and White Parents Talk to Their Kids About Cops

For some families, a conversation about how to survive an encounter with police is necessary.
Dec 14, 2014·
Kristina Bravo is Assistant Editor at TakePart.

For many African American parents, having “the talk” with their children concerns a more unnerving topic than the birds and the bees. This new PSA by New York–based The Brotherhood/Sister Sol highlights that conversation: how to get through a police encounter.

The clip shows parents dispensing advice to their young sons, including never moving suddenly and making sure hands remain visible.

“Always be extra respectful, even if they’re not,” says one dad. “Your job is to get home safe.”

Then the scene changes. Another father, who’s white, tells his son on his way out: “Hey, if you ever feel like you’re in trouble, just reach out for the police. They’re there to help.”

According to Khary Lazarre-White, The Brotherhood/Sister Sol cofounder, the PSA addresses a historical and modern reality.

Civil rights have made strides over recent decades, but many black families continue to feel anxiety over interactions with law enforcement. Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, and Michael Brown are hardly special cases, after all. A study by ProPublica found that blacks age 15 to 19 are 21 times more likely than their white counterparts to be shot dead by police.

“It is a video that can help parents have the talk,” Lazarre-White said in a statement. “It is a light shined on an issue all of Americans need to confront.”