Comment from ‘gentleman’ was unwelcomed

Published 10:36 am Saturday, May 12, 2018

To the Editor:

Fourteen years ago, after my husband retired from the military, we relocated to the city of Franklin from the Greenbrier area in Chesapeake. Our intent was to reduce our cost of living, purchase a larger home and relax in a somewhat quiet rural area. We have definitely accomplished our goals.

Even though I have resided in Franklin for 14 years, I do not feel fully connected to the city, like I felt residing in Chesapeake. Most recently, I felt that “disconnection” when my 23-year-old nephew and my 12-year-old grandson informed me of an incident that occurred near our home. My nephew was driving my grandson to an activity and he decided to detour through a side street because traffic was heavy. As he parked at a stop sign in a neighborhood on College Drive a white gentleman looked in the car and informed him, “I just want you to know there are a lot of police around here.” My nephew asked him what he meant, but the gentlemen turned and walked away. My nephew was driving MY 2016 BMW 328I.

When my nephew arrived home, he was visibly upset and he asked me why would a complete stranger feel the need to provide him with information about the whereabouts of police when all he was doing was driving his cousin to and from an activity? My nephew and my grandson believe that the gentleman assumed that they had stolen the car and this was his way of telling them they were in the wrong neighborhood.

When I questioned my grandson, he said, “Nani, I felt so bad. That man made me feel so bad that he would think that I had stolen a car.” Of course seeing my 12-year-old grandson hurt caused me to become angry! This incident caused me to have “THE TALK” with my grandson about how some people stereotype others, particularly African-American males.

For the gentleman, and I say this sarcastically, do not be so quick to judge and stereotype others. By the way, my nephew recently relocated here from Georgia.

A few months ago, he was offered a job at Newport News Shipyard and he does not have a criminal record, not even a speeding ticket. My 12-year-old grandson is a great child, and he brings so much joy and laughter to my life. He is a good child; however, your comments caused him to question his worth, and for that you should be ashamed.

Emma Torrance