Boys 16th Region Tournament 2016

Lewis County coach Lamont Taylor talks to his team during a timeout in their game against Lewis County during the first round of the Boys 16th Region Tournament Wednesday March 2, 2016 in Morehead, Ky. Photo by John Flavell/For The Daily Independent

There isn’t equal justice between black and white people. The police brutality is real, and I feel that it’s real everywhere, not just in the big cities. Obviously we know there are more good cops out there than there are bad cops, but that percentage of the bad cops make it tough for us black folks to trust any cop, for that matter.

When I want to travel to Florida, the whole time when I’m traveling with my family, which is a biracial family, I do get nervous. It does make me a little nervous to travel to different places because you just never know what you’re gonna run into or what’s gonna happen.

We want justice for our people during this police brutality issue. We want people to understand that we’re just tired of those things that are going on and racially being profiled before they even know what the case is or what the situation is.

Luckily for me, in my community, we don’t have a lot of issues with being an interracial married couple and an interracial family. But there are still some that do look at us differently when we’re walking into grocery stores together. My kids, our thing is, we teach them to love everybody. We teach them that no matter your race, no matter your color, no matter your religion, we teach them to love everybody. We also teach them to know that we want them to accept everyone. We tell them that daily.

My bosses are great friends of mine. They don’t look at me as a black man; they look at me as a person and they look at me as a friend here at Mason County and when I was at Fleming County. They actually treat me with the utmost respect and they treat me as a human being. I will say that when we go to different places to play, we feel a different vibe, a different attention from different people, depending on where we’re playing. But as far as working in the school system, working with the bosses that I work with, they don’t treat me differently at all.

What I’ve seen and the things that I’ve heard, I see that we are racially profiled in some aspects, especially from police, with everything that’s going on. Me personally, I never have felt like I’ve been racially profiled, but I also understand that there’s always that chance and there’s always that possibility. I’ll never think that everything’s gonna be great, because if I were to get pulled over, if I were to be somewhere where there’s tension, I’m gonna feel that way because I am a black man, just seeing how things have gone on here in the last week or so. It’s not just this last week, it’s been months and years.

We hope and pray that maybe what’s going on today will send a message that, hey, there is an issue and we do need to fix this issue. The rioting and the looting, I don’t agree with that because you don’t do that, but the peaceful protesting, I’m 100% agreeable to that.

For me to be that leader as a coach, it makes me feel good because it allows me to speak with kids on a personal level, in order to make them feel comfortable and let them know there are opportunities out there for black young men and women to be successful and be able to do what they want to do, and be successful at doing whatever they decide to do.

LAMONT TAYLOR is the boys basketball coach at Mason County Middle School. The Flemingsburg native became the first black head varsity basketball coach in 16th Region history when he held that position at Fleming County from 2014-16.

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