I’m A White Mom Teaching My Black Son To Drive. I’m Terrified For His Safety.

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Source: Huffington Post

By Kimberly Witt

“When my son gets his license and I send him off in the family SUV … I will see a nearly 9-year-old. … But will police officers see a dangerous Black man?”

Growing up on a farm in Iowa, I spent hours next to my dad in the front seat of his pickup. When my legs finally grew long enough to reach the pedals, I occasionally slid behind the wheel to drive down the dusty country roads. So aside from the chore of obligatory driver’s ed, getting my driver’s license the day I turned 16 was a breeze.

That afternoon I inserted the key in the ignition of my inherited 1979 Monte Carlo, cranked up The Cranberries, and took off for town. My parents stood at the kitchen window and waved as they have every time I’ve left since, a bit nervous, I’m sure, but also confident that they taught me what I needed to know.

On the day he received his driver’s permit, I asked my son, then 15, if he was ready to get behind the wheel, forgetting that my city-kid son had no experience other than a few laps on a four-wheeler and some time on a go-kart track.

I pulled over a few blocks from home and encouraged him, sweaty palms and all, to drive for a few blocks. Like a newborn calf on wobbly legs, he was jerky and unsteady. Every corner was an adventure, every movement reactive, and several times I had to grab the wheel when it appeared he was getting too close to a parked car. But we made it home ― or at least to our block. (I pulled the car into the driveway.)

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Categories: Racism

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