police brutality, institutional racism

I hope this is seen as respectful, as that's how it's intended. I'm a white guy, but I want to say something about Tyre Nichols.

I have two biracial sons (7 and 5). They are sweet and smart and kind. My kids are the light of my life. I love them so much, and am so grateful to be able to know them.

I feel lucky, though, that my oldest usually passes for white. I say that not because I want him to look more like me, or because I think he should be white or whatever. I say that because I believe it means he'll be less likely to be targeted by police and beaten to death.

But at the end of summer, when he's spent a lot of time outside, he's a nice milk chocolate. He's a beautiful, handsome young man. But that worries me.

My younger son does not pass for white. He looks a lot like my wife. I see him, and I'm reminded of how much I love her. He's such a good kid.

But I'm scared. I worry that ten years from now, one of my boys could be visiting a friend in a mostly white neighborhood, and some cop could think he's in the wrong place. And then I get a call saying that he disobeyed an order from a cop, or some other bs excuse, and that I can't see him as doctors are trying to save his life. I worry that they'll call me the next day to tell me he succumbed to his injuries, and I will never see his smile again.

I hate this. I hate that I worry when he spends too much time in the sun that that could be what gets him killed. I hate that my son's best friend doesn't have the privilege of maybe passing for white because he's 100% black. I hate that my son could come home one day and tell me that he watched his best friend put on a stretcher after the police beat him close to death. I hate that he could have survivor's guilt when his friend doesn't make it.

I offer no suggestions. I don't know how to fix a broken system.

I was talking to my older son the other day about Dr. King. I told him that it was people like MLK who fought for equal rights that made it possible for his mom and I to get married. That without brave people who were willing to stand up to power that he would never have been born.

But how do I teach my kids to hope and fight for a better future when so much of the present is still broken?