As a white, 72-year-old grandmother with a mixed-race, 17-year-old grandson, the Sept. 30 Parents Talk Back column “ ‘I hope I said enough to save his life’ ” caught my interest.
Recently, while driving him home from soccer practice, I was stopped for speeding. Trying to set a good example I decided to select my words carefully, keep my excuse to myself and speak in a respectful manner. The officer politely asked for my license and went to his patrol car to check out me and my car. When he returned, I was shocked to hear that he was giving me a warning to control my speed in the future.
On our way again, I explained that I was very lucky but that, had it been him, he definitely would have gotten a ticket. He quickly said, “I know.” And here is where I might not have told him enough to save his life. Without mentioning race, I said the police always come down hard on young male drivers because that’s the group causing the most accidents.
I hope he learned how to deal with the police that evening, but after reading what black mothers say to their sons I’m not so sure it was enough.