What Eric Holder told his son about Trayvon

What Eric Holder told his son about Trayvon

One of the extraordinary results of the Trayvon Martin trial verdict is that a number of prominent African-Americans have shared the complex conversations they’ve felt compelled to have with their kids about justice, race, and staying safe in a world where some strangers see the people they still think of as their babies as threats. Has the United States ever had a conversation this open about what everyone is calling “the talk”?

Now Attorney General Eric Holder has weighed in, telling America about the conversation he had with his own teenage son after the teenage Martin was shot. Holder spoke Tuesday before the NAACP annual convention in Orlando, Fla. From his remarks as prepared for delivery:

Independent of the legal determination that will be made, I believe this tragedy provides yet another opportunity for our nation to speak honestly — and openly — about the complicated and emotionally-charged issues that this case has raised.

Years ago, some of these same issues drove my father to sit down with me to have a conversation — which is no doubt familiar to many of you — about how as a young black man I should interact with the police, what to say, and how to conduct myself if I was ever stopped or confronted in a way I thought was unwarranted. I’m sure my father felt certain — at the time — that my parents’ generation would be the last that had to worry about such things for their children.

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