His Kids Aren't Allowed To Wear Provocative Clothing. But Not In The Way You're Probably Thinking.

No kid wants their dad to act like the fashion police. But this guy treats it like a mission.

Here's a guy who's living the dream.


But he went to Princeton undergrad.

His name is Lawrence Otis Graham. He and his wife are Ivy-League-educated professionals with strong careers. They're raising three kids with privileges most of the country will never know.


But here's the thing...

They're really worried.

In the Princeton Alumni Weekly, Graham wrote:

"We convinced ourselves that the economic privilege we bestowed on them could buffer these adolescents against what so many black and Latino children face while living in mostly white settings."

When 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was profiled and killed in February 2012, the reality of what it means to be a black boy in the United States began to sink in. Then, after a police officer killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in August 2014, fear and caution became their game plan.

Both cases were complete failures of justice, with the teens' killers walking free. And given just a recent account of police killings of unarmed black men and boys, their concern is understandable.

So they developed a code.

It's a set of rules that dictate how their kids dress and behave in public to avoid being unfairly targeted and potentially harmed (or worse) by cops or anyone else.

Their plan isn't unlike telling a woman not to wear revealing clothing to avoid being raped. It should go without saying that that's absurd. Because it shouldn't matter what a woman is wearing; she just shouldn't be raped, right?

Graham explained their rationale:

"No overzealous police officer or store owner was going to profile our child as a neighborhood shoplifter. With our son's flawless diction and deferential demeanor, no neighbor or playdate parent would ever worry that he was casing their home or yard."

If it sounds extreme, it's probably because it is.

To be clear, they forbid their kids from wearing clothes that other kids wear every single day because they're worried that they'll be shot dead without ever having done anything wrong. Keep that in mind as you scroll down.

Preppy clothes should not be seen as a cure.

Graham's kids are more likely to be seen in a criminal light than white kids. But just as wealth and elite memberships won't shield black kids from racism, making them dress and act a certain way won't magically disarm the unconscious biases that ultimately killed Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, and so many others.

Racism isn't just a matter of perception.

It's an infection that shapes not just how people act, but how systems work. It touches everything from legislation to law enforcement, from education to the job market, and everything in between. Racism is inescapable.

Our only hope is to get as many people as possible to care enough to act.

Mass resistance to injustice is the only way to change the system. Hopefully, Graham will come around to that and use his privilege to support those efforts. Because khakis, polos, and a life of deference just won't cut it.

Watch the interview below:

More


Climate change is happening because the earth is warming at an accelerated rate, a significant portion of that acceleration is due to human activity, and not taking measures to mitigate it will have disastrous consequences for life as we know it.

In other words: Earth is heating up, it's kinda our fault, and if we don't fix it, we're screwed.

This is the consensus of the vast majority of the world's scientists who study such things for a living. Case closed. End of story.

How do we know this to be true? Because pretty much every reputable scientific organization on the planet has examined and endorsed these conclusions. Thousands of climate studies have been done, and multiple peer-reviewed studies have been done on those studies, showing that somewhere between 84 and 97 percent of active climate science experts support these conclusions. In fact, the majority of those studies put the consensus well above 90%.

Keep Reading Show less
Nature

As a child, Dr. Sangeeta Bhatia's parents didn't ask her what she wanted to be when she grew up. Instead, her father would ask, "Are you going to be a doctor? Are you going to be an engineer? Or are you going to be an entrepreneur?"

Little did he know that she would successfully become all three: an award-winning biomedical and mechanical engineer who performs cutting-edge medical research and has started multiple companies.

Bhatia holds an M.D. from Harvard University, an M.S. in mechanical engineering from MIT, and a PhD in biomedical engineering from MIT. Bhatia, a Wilson professor of engineering at MIT, is currently serving as director of the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine, where she's working on nanotechnology targeting enzymes in cancer cells. This would allow cancer screenings to be done with a simple urine test.

Bhatia owes much of her impressive career to her family. Her parents were refugees who met in graduate school in India; in fact, she says her mom was the first woman to earn an MBA in the country. The couple immigrated to the U.S. in the 1960s, started a family, and worked hard to give their two daughters the best opportunities.

"They made enormous sacrifices to pick a town with great public schools and really push us to excel the whole way," Bhatia says. "They really believed in us, but they expected excellence. The story I like to tell about my dad is like, if you brought home a 96 on a math test, the response would be, 'What'd you get wrong?'"

Keep Reading Show less
Packard Foundation
True

I live in a family with various food intolerances. Thankfully, none of them are super serious, but we are familiar with the challenges of finding alternatives to certain foods, constantly checking labels, and asking restaurants about their ingredients.

In our family, if someone accidentally eats something they shouldn't, it's mainly a bit of inconvenient discomfort. For those with truly life-threatening food allergies, the stakes are much higher.

I can't imagine the ongoing stress of deadly allergy, especially for parents trying to keep their little ones safe.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Amy Johnson

The first day of school can be both exciting and scary at the same time — especially if it's your first day ever, as was the case for a nervous four-year-old in Wisconsin. But with a little help from a kind bus driver, he was able to get over his fear.

Axel was "super excited" waiting for the bus in Augusta with his mom, Amy Johnson, until it came time to actually get on.

"He was all smiles when he saw me around the corner and I started to slow down and that's when you could see his face start to change," his bus driver, Isabel "Izzy" Lane, told WEAU.

The scared boy wouldn't get on the bus without help from his mom, so she picked him up and carried him aboard, trying to give him a pep talk.

"He started to cling to me and I told him, 'Buddy, you got this and will have so much fun!'" Johnson told Fox 7.

Keep Reading Show less
Most Shared