Let’s Breathe | The Players' Tribune: Growing up as an African American male in the U.S., I have been given many versions of The Talk by my parents, grandparents, and other family members. The Talk is usually given to you before you even start elementary school. The rules are simple: When it comes to law enforcement, do not act fidgety, do not back-talk, and answer every question with “yes sir, no sir.” Basically, just get it over with as quickly as possible without provocation. And if anything happens where you feel your rights have been infringed upon, the time for that isn’t in that moment. It’s down the road. You always have to assume that the police officer might just be having a bad day.
My friend, who happens to be white, never had The Talk. She was agitated and started back-talking right away. Everything she was saying was true.