During the podcast, the siblings -- who were joined by their mother, Marian Robinson -- discussed racial injustice and recalled how Craig was just 10 years old and riding his new yellow bike in Chicago, Illinois, when he was stopped by two cops.
“You were about 10, had your new 10-speed bike that Mom and Dad had bought you,” Michelle shared. “You were riding down the street, and you got stopped by the police, and they accused you of stealing your own bike. And, they would not believe you, to the point where you were like, ‘Take me to my home.'”
“It was terrifying, only because I was always taught that the police are your friends, and they’ll believe the truth,” Craig, 58, added. “I was telling the truth and this guy would not believe me. This guy grabbed my bike and he wouldn’t let it go. I was like, ‘You got this all wrong, this is my bike, don't worry, this isn't a stolen bike,’ and he would not believe me."
“I was absolutely heartbroken,” he continued. “And, I finally said to him, ‘Listen, you can take me to my house and I will prove to you this is my bike.’”
Taken home to Marian, 83, in a police car, she was mortified -- telling the officers, who were Black, that by accusing Craig of something he was not guilty of, they were canceling out everything she had taught him about trusting the police.
“Nobody thinks about the fact that we all come from good families that are trying to teach values,” Michelle said. “But when you leave the safety of your home and go out into the street, where being Black is a crime in and of itself, we have all had to learn how to operate outside of our homes with a level of caution and fear because you never know.”
“We have to be better to just be equal, so the fact that there’re people out there that treat us less-than, when we’re working so hard to be better-than, that’s where the pain comes from,” she continued. “That’s what these young people are so angry about because they’re doing everything right, everything they are told and it doesn’t matter. A police officer will still stop them and accuse them of stealing a bike that their parents worked hard to get. That hurts.”