Reflections on Race: The Talk
Panelists came together Wednesday night to talk about a conversation that can be tough to have for many parents.
On a News 12 special report, "Reflections on Race: The Talk," Wayne Thompson of Amityville explained how circumstances forced him to talk to his then-young son about how a Black man should conduct himself in the presence of police.
"As I looked over, my son and my daughter were terrified because the officer on the passenger side had his gun out where my son was sitting, and I looked at them and I could just see the terror in their face," says Thompson.
Thompson says his son was just 14 years old at that time. Ultimately, the officer told him they were looking for someone else in the case and left. Outraged, Thompson collected himself and had "the talk" with Anthony.
Freeport's Ama Yawson says the difficulty in approaching the conversation with her young sons prompted her to write a book on the topic.
"When the George Floyd incident first happened, it took me a week to process it myself before I could even gather the presence of mind to talk about it with my children," says Yawson.
ADDITIONAL COVERAGE: Reflections on Race
Sitting next to her son Ramsey, Suffolk Deputy Police Commissioner Risco Mention-Lewis says the conversation can be uncomfortable, but important.
"Ramsey is growing up knowing he's Ramsey Lewis. He doesn't know that in the world, he may be seen as a Black man, with all of the negative stereotypes associated with that," she says. "So I wanted him to know that no matter how others treated him, no matter what experiences others may put upon him, that he knows who he is, how he was raised, and the expectations his family has."
Ramsey says thanks to that tough talk, it's a lesson learned, and not one that is forgotten.
The panelists also talked about how it is unfair to stereotype any group of people -- police or otherwise.
Watch the entire special report HERE: