These times have been tough for everyone all over the world, not just in America. There’s a special type of danger for Black people in America that many celebrities have used the tone of the country to share their own stories of being afraid and Kerry Washington is the latest one. Having a hit show or influence doesn’t save you from the police in this country, still.
Recently remarried actress Niecy Nash spoke up earlier this year when things got hairy for her adult son right outside of their home – a sentiment that Kerry Washington is speaking up about in a new interview. Nash shared how it felt even more heightened with the current state of the world.
“My son got stopped leaving my house last Sunday. And they pulled a taser on him for a rolling stop. And then proceeded to question him and ask him, ‘You have on a T-Mobile shirt. Do you work there? Because if you do, how did you afford this car? Because this is a 2020.’ Nash shared that this assumption of guilt is what Black people go through all the time, then and still, now.
“They don’t know if he was a manager. They don’t know if he was an owner. They don’t know if he had a rich mama. But what they probably felt like was. ‘How did this young Black boy get a car that I don’t even have?’ And we fitting to make you suffer for it.”
Singer and star of Real Housewives of Atlanta Kandi Burruss had a story this year that sounded similar to one that many Black parents have shared with their children – and how even at 4-years-old, these conversations are had and ingrained into their young minds for their own safety. It’s confusing and shows how much Black children don’t actually get to “enjoy” their childhoods.
“My son Ace, who’s four, he was a policeman on career day. And so, my husband was trying to explain to him, you know, what was going on and why everybody was so upset and what was happening with the police,” Burruss recalled. “Ace was confused. He was like, ‘So, the police are the bad guys?'”
At that moment, Burruss became visibly emotional and teared up.
“Now isn’t that crazy to have to explain that to a four-year-old?” Burruss added. “For you to be Black and have to worry about the police being the bad guys.”
Washington, in a recent interview with journalist Jemele Hill, also shared that even with her fame and “Hollywood elite” status, she’s also afraid to play outside with her children in the environment that the country seems to be stuck in currently.
“No matter what I do, no matter how many Emmy nominations, I am still scared at times to scooter in neighborhoods with my kids where I feel like somebody could call the cops,” Washington said starkly. “Because that cop may never have seen Scandal. I still have that very real fear.”
See the clip from the Jemele Hill Is Unbothered podcast below.