According to studies, people have a tendency to see black children as older than they really are, and are more likely to perceive them as threats. This is what one black kid is trying to fight against with his #brownboymovement on Instagram.
A week ago, Blake Bryant from Fort Worth, Texas, posted his first image: him standing between two white cops. “My mom makes sure we talk about the scary parts of whats [sic] going on in the world right now and I told her how afraid it is to just be a boy with brown skin,” he wrote.
Bryant decided the solution to these problems was to get to know cops one at a time.
His friendly, earnest initiative is a great step toward undoing institutional bias. However, it’s heartbreaking to think that a young boy is so afraid to exist in public that he has to proactively introduce himself to cops to prove he’s not a threat.
An officer Bryant met for this project reposted Bryant’s photo on Instagram, commenting, “This is a young man who knows how to address an issue. He isn’t out in the streets with hate and anger.” He also applauded Bryant for using compassion and “reason,” which is obviously admirable. But if Bryant were angry about the way black people are repeatedly targeted by police in America, he’d still be entirely justified.