Nick Cannon has disclosed how hurtful it is to talk about the police with his kids as a deep fear of law enforcement agents has been ingrained in them.
The American rapper’s kids (nine-year-old twins Monroe and Moroccan Scott from ex-wife Mariah Carey, and three-year-old Golden from model Brittany Bell) may only be children now but the fear they have for the police is something that bothers him.
While chatting with Access Hollywood, Cannon broached a subject he says many black people have with their children, one he refers to as the “stay alive talk.”
I say this in all sincerity. I even got some pushback for this, which I don’t care what people think about me or what they say about me, but I made a statement that my children fear the police. And it’s a real statement.
I try to teach fearlessness. I try to teach that you have a power within you that you need to fear nothing. But when they see the energy of law enforcement, it’s, ‘Uh, oh, here comes the police!’ Or that mindset of, ‘Sit up straight! Don’t talk! Keep your hands where they can see them!’ These are things that I’m talking to a three-year-old about or a nine-year-old about and they bring those questions to me.
There was an idea where one wanted to be a police officer, ‘Aw man, I want to help and protect and serve people! It has definitely changed where they perpetuate fear, man. It’s something that, it’s hurtful to have those conversations with your children but you want to protect them at the end of the day
…I’ve never called the police in my life because our family was afraid to call the police. And that was from a child growing up going, ‘Uh oh, the police showed up!’ It wasn’t about safety. Someone was in trouble. Someone’s gonna go to jail because the police were called. When we see the police in our neighborhood, it’s never been a good experience.”
The hip hop star and actor has a degree in Criminology and believes that it is time for the reconstruction of the workings of law enforcement and that the police should work in communities in which they reside.
I’m an abolitionist. We gotta get rid of law enforcement all together and start over. Get rid of the word ‘policing.’ How about we call them peace officers? How about we put together some psychological evaluations of the people that we put in charge of protecting and serving us? It needs to be much more than just a high school degree and an urge to have a badge and a gun.
Let’s empower these individuals who want to be in law enforcement with the right surroundings, with clarity, with spiritual advisers, with people who they can rely on daily that can hold them accountable when they are in these streets protecting and serving.”
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