The exchange took place amidst discussion about the police shooting of teenager Michael Brown in St. Louis over the weekend
MSNBC daytime host Ronan Farrow took the shooting death of St. Louis teenager Michael Brown personally.
A segment of “Ronan Farrow Daily” Monday featured Jonathan Capeheart in-studio to talk about the shooting, during which the host and guest commentator engaged in a discussion about the unspoken set of rules that young black men are taught to live by because of the way society views them.
“The lessons that my mother taught me: Don't run in public. Don't run with anything in your hands,” said Capeheart. “Keep a discreet distance away from white women, lest you get accused of any number of things.”
The issue came up when Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old resident of Ferguson, MO, was shot dead by police following an alleged altercation. The shooting prompted protests and vigils in the small community outside St. Louis, and the FBI has opened a civil rights investigation.
Farrow joined in that he has a personal connection to the issue of how black teenagers are taught to behave a certain way so as to not draw the wrong kind of attention. “It resonates so much for me on a personal level because I grew up with a black brother and people talk about this term ‘blackmotheritis,'” said Farrow. “My white mother had blackmotheritis.”
Farrow's mother is actress and activist Mia Farrow, who has thirteen children — four biological and nine adopted.
“I heard the speech so many times,” Farrow said. “My brother was a big black guy and he'd run in the supermarket as a young teen. She'd say ‘You can't do that.’ He had to dress in a different way from me because there were all these fears about maybe violence against him if he went across the street in a hoodie or looking a certain way.”