Talking about a post-Trayvon Martin world

Updated
Jaylen Reese, 12, of Atlanta, marches to downtown during a protest of George Zimmerman's not guilty verdict in the 2012 shooting death of teenager Trayvon...
Jaylen Reese, 12, of Atlanta, marches to downtown during a protest of George Zimmerman's not guilty verdict in the 2012 shooting death of teenager Trayvon...
David Goldman/AP

Host Melissa Harris-Perry was not the only parent who struggled to explain the significance of the verdict after George Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

When it comes to talking to kids about race, history, and giving them the tools to forge a more peaceful world, Harris-Perry wrote:

We don’t want to be a generation of handwringing elders who make our children afraid to grow and explore. We do not want to nurture hatred, fear, or disinvestment in the collective project of America. But we also want to give them the tools to thrive in a country where race continues to predict their life outcomes in powerful and insidious way.

The verdict also stirred long-buried memories in NBC News Vice President Val Nicholas, who twice in his life found himself profiled and targeted by police. About the deeply-ingrained racism that leads to moments like those he experienced and tragedies like Trayvon Martin’s death, Nicholas wrote, “won’t go away until we all face up to fact there is a bit of a racist monster lurking in all of us. And it will continue to fester until we choose to face it head on, discuss it openly and find some common ground. It can begin for each of us with the tiny courtesies that we can extend to one another every day if we so choose.”

Be a part of the conversation and share what you’ve learned talking with your children, your parents, or loved ones in the aftermath of the George Zimmerman not-guilty verdict. How did you talk about racism and privilege, safety and danger?  Email MHPmail@msnbc.com or send a tweet to @MHPshow using the hashtag #caringforchildren. TERMS: http://on.msnbc.com/15pBuJR

Talking about a post-Trayvon Martin world

Updated