HGTV Alum Recalls Son, 5, Asking ‘Daddy, Are They Going to Kill You?’ When Pulled Over by Police
“Y’all let that sink in. At five, he has equated that being stopped by the police is a death sentence," writes Maria Antoinette Loggins
Maria Antoinette Loggins usually shares crafty how-tos on her Instagram page, but this week, she shared a heart-wrenching personal story.
The HGTV alum, 41, who hosted the network's digital series’ Burning Daylight and Clash of the Crafters, has been candid in speaking with her Instagram followers about what it’s like being Black in America following the death of George Floyd in police custody on May 25.
In a post on Saturday, the Knoxville-based creative tells the story of a time when her then five-year-old-son, Garrison, asked if his father would be killed when he was pulled over by the police for speeding.
In the caption, Loggins shares “We are a blended family,” and explains that the incident occurred when her husband was on his way home after dropping off his other two children at their mother’s house out of state — an eight-hour drive one way. “He was tired, ready to be back home and was speeding,” Loggins writes. “He got pulled over.”
Garrison, who was along for the drive, immediately asked his father, “Daddy, are they going to kill you?”
“Y’all let that sink in,” Loggins writes. “My five year old’s first thought when his father was pulled over was will my dad get killed by the police? …At five he has equated that being stopped by the police is a death sentence.”
Loggins goes on to say that her husband had a “deep hard conversation” with Garrison that day about interacting with the police as a person of color. He explained “That all police aren’t going to kill you but some might have a disdain for you because of your skin color,” she writes. “That even when they are disrespectful don’t fight back, make it home alive.”
Loggins says having this conversation with your kids is just another part of being Black in America. She asks followers if they remember how old they were when they were given “the talk” by their own parents. She also asked her white followers if they have ever had these conversations with their kids, and welcomed their responses in her comments section.
“It’s hard, it’s hard being black,” Loggins writes. “It’s hard to be a black woman. It’s hard to worry about my husband, my sons and fathers. Will they make it home?”
She continued: “I would go out on a limb and say those that have killed an unarmed black person... didn’t see that they too were human. That they have a family that wants them to come home. They lead in ‘fear,’ ‘hate’ and ‘prejudice’ maybe even ‘privilege.’ I can’t change the way anyone thinks. I can only educate my sons on how the world might see them.”
At the end of the post, she added some hashtags to help spread her message, including #RaisingABlackBoy, #TheirLives Matter, #BlackFamily and #ItWontEndOnItsOwnSoLetsTalkAndStopIt.
RELATED VIDEO: Mother of George Floyd's Daughter Speaks Out After His Death
Loggins’s post comes as demonstrations continue to unfold across the country. They began last week in Minneapolis when footage of Floyd — an unarmed Black man who died after a white police officer pinned him to the ground with a knee on his neck — began circulating online.
The officer, Derek Chauvin, and three others who stood by while Floyd repeated that he couldn't breathe have all been fired. On Friday, Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. That charge has since been upgraded to second-degree murder and the other officers involved have been charged. In the days since, masses of outraged Americans have taken to the streets to protest police brutality and systemic racism.
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
- Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
- ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
- National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.