waters family breakfast

William Waters, Christopher Waters and Joshua Waters eat breakfast with their father James, second from right, at their home in Dallas before heading off to school. (photo: courtesy Dallas News)

*As the parents of three sons, William, 16, Joshua, 15 and Christopher, 12, James and Frances Waters work tirelessly to provide their family with the best that life has to offer. However, these creature comforts pale in comparison to the one thing that money cannot buy — acceptance.

“We did everything America said we should do,” Frances says. “We’re [still] unprotected out in the world,”

When the Waters’ family step outside their usual circles in Dallas — where they feel not only accepted but embraced by friends of all colors — they cannot escape racism in America. No matter their credentials or accomplishments, they’re still black.

The Dallas Morning News spoke with James Waters. On July 7, 2016, when a Black gunman hunted down and killed three Dallas police officers working a peaceful rally, Waters was working late at his law office less than a mile away. His wife called to alert him of the shooting and urged him to stay put.

“I need you to promise you’ll stay there,” she tells him.

The incident occurred during a time of increased racial tension across the country, fueled by police killings of black men, women and children.

Mrs. Waters feared what the consequences could be if her husband left the office at this time. Despite being a high-achiever at work and respected by his peers, when he leaves, the reality is that he will just be another “nigga” to racist police.

Although he’s just a 10-minute drive away from home, James opts to stay put in his office, dozing at his desk as he waits for the sun to rise.

James graduated from Columbia University, the first in his family to finish college. Frances got a degree from Stanford University. Both James and Frances went on to study at Harvard Law School, where they met. But their diplomas can’t even guarantee them a fair shot at gainful employment, let alone safety from the police.

Being black in America supersedes every degree, every socioeconomic status and every move made towards achieving the “American Dream.”

It’s no secret: Although slavery was abolished more than a century ago, and we only recently said farewell to America’s first black president, there’s no debating the immutable fact that racism is still alive and well in this country, particularly throughout the south. Even to African Americans that have achieved great success in the academic world, the entertainment industry or on Wall Street, the majority of them can probably recall a moment in their lives when they experienced racism, discrimination, or both.

Read the FULL story at Dallas Morning News.