When Gabrielle Union appeared on “The View” in October, she shared an eye-opening message about how she and husband Dwyane Wade raise their Black sons and now, she’s returned to the program to explain why it’s resonated.
“I’m looking at Snapchat and I see our boys are doing the dunk challenge,” she explained on the program of a craze where people drive by in cars and dunk on hoops outside people’s homes. “And literally my arm goes numb. I’m panicked and the second they got home I was like ‘They can kill you and get away with it because now you’re trespassing.'”
Union explained young Black boys cannot get away with doing the same thing as their white counterparts. And the message hit home for many, as it got nearly 12 million hits on Facebook.
“I think for a lot of us it’s acknowledgment, like, ‘I’m not going crazy, I’m having these conversations with my children,'” she explains Tuesday, May 8 of why her comments connected with viewers. “And I think for a lot of people who may be a little ignorant to what it’s like to move through this world in brown bodies and raising brown children, I think it was eye-opening for a lot of people.”
Union added that she used to advise her sons to go into a Starbucks if they needed a safe place to go, but in light of the two separate incidents that have occurred at the coffee chain in Nashville and Southern California, the actress wonders, “Where am I safe?”
“I’m raising privileged kids, so they see the interactions that their peers have with authority figures, with police, with just your average neighbors,” she says. “They think they can do the same thing … They see their peers challenging teachers and being called assertive. Not aggressive and problem children and being streamlined into other classes. … So how do you explain for no other reason than your skin has been demonized, criminalized, marginalized just on the basis of the amount of melanin that you’re born with?”
For those watching at home, the message also rang clear to them.
“She is so on point about trying to explain to children why they can’t do what their friends do and how differently it’s viewed based on what they look like,” one person said.
“I pray with my children every morning for their safety SMH… I feel I have PTSD…,” someone said.
“Thank you for the Starbucks issue. I go through this [with] my teens. I give them ‘the speech’ all the time,” another viewer shared. “If we go to the mall & my sons want to go look in other stores while I look in different stores they get the speech of don’t linger, don’t wander, don’t put your hands in your pockets until you are in front of the register ready to pay for your items. Stay away from tight areas in the store at the back of the store so people won’t think you’re trying to steal something.”
Gabrielle Union tells The View why she says raising young black men in America today is "absolutely terrifying": "Your very blackness, from birth, has been demonized and weaponized and is considered inherently threatening and less than." http://abcn.ws/2zgFGjY
Posted by The View on Tuesday, October 17, 2017