Haggard Law Firm Attorney Todd Michaels was recently a guest on WEAA-FM 88.9 in Baltimore. Michaels was brought on the “Voice of the Community” to discuss his op-ed My Son’s Skin which was published in the Miami Herald. In the article Michaels discusses his concern as the father of a black child of what his child will face as he ages. The article was written following the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland in November 2014.
To listen to Michaels interview click here. The interview begins at 29:07.
Here is the original article published in the Miami Herald in December 2015.
My Son’s Skin
Op-ed by Todd Michaels
I’ve spent 38 years as a white boy and man in America. Actually, a Jewish man, but I’m not usually identified as a Jew, live in a place full of Jews, and I have never faced a minute of anti-Semitism. I can tell you that being a white man in America is good. It’s great. It’s all that it’s cracked up to be. The opportunity is limitless. The fear is minimal.
I’ve never spent one day as a Black boy or man.
I’ve spent 5 years and 4 months as the father of a Black boy. An amazing boy. A smart, funny, talented, cute, sweet boy who has significant opportunity and privilege and doesn’t know any bounds on what he can achieve. A boy that I’ve been able to protect thus far from the realities that a child like Tamir Rice has had to face. But I know I can’t protect him forever, and I know that at some point, and maybe at many points, he will face a different experience as a boy or man in America.
And I’ve spent a lot of those five years worrying. I never think about race. It’s never a conscious thought that the world sees me as white and my son as Black, or mixed, or whatever. I’m just his dad, and he’s just my son. But I think about it when things like Tamir Rice happen. And it makes me worry.
It makes me worry because I know that as Ashton grows, when he walks down the street, people won’t say, “There goes Todd Michaels’s son.” A lot of people will just see a Black guy walking down the street, with all that goes along with that. It’s only been five years and four months, and I’m exhausted of worrying. I can’t imagine the anger I would feel if I had to face that reality everyday.
So yes, all lives matter, but we don’t have to say that, because no one has ever questioned that white lives matter. But Black lives matter too. They matter equally. And until this country gets that in word and deed, America can never be what it claims to be.