'My Mom Is White, But I When I Get Pulled Over by the Police, I'm a Black Man': Virginia Delegate Hopeful Shares His Struggle

As the nation continues to face civil unrest over another killing of an unarmed Black man by the police, one congressional hopeful shared his experience dealing with officers as a biracial person.

Matt Rogers, a Democrat and activist currently running for the Virginia House of Delegates' 47th District, shared a few truths of his experience as a Black man raised by a white mother on Twitter on Thursday.

"My mom is a white woman but I identify as a black man because, as a grew into a man, I understood that when I get pulled over by police, I'm a black man. When I show up to a job interview, I'm a black man. When I go through security check points, I'm a black man," he wrote alongside a photo of himself dancing with his mother.

A Virginia Commonwealth University graduate who serves as a youth sports coach and a community volunteer with organizations like local anti-poverty non-profit, Arlington Thrive, Rogers' message struck a chord with a number of other Americans who come from interracial families but because of their skin color, have often endured harsher encounters with police compared to their white family members.

"Yep. No matter how high my rank was in Army, no matter how many medals I earned, no matter how well I did in college or law school, no matter how many criminals I prosecuted as an assistant DA, when I get pulled over by the police I wonder whether I'll get shot," one Twitter user wrote.

One mother explained how hurtful it has been for her to see her sons, who are biracial, be treated aggressively by others. "Yep, my sons think the same way. They have been treated like black men...pulled over for no reason, accused of things they didn't do, profiled at length, turned down for jobs, and they both have masters degrees...their only sin is being black. My heart hurts for them," she wrote.

Rogers' tweet comes amid nationwide anguish felt over the shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin who was shot seven times by a police officer as he was trying to enter his vehicle. Blake survived the shooting, which was captured on video.

In an emailed comment to Newsweek, Rogers said he wanted to share some of the realities of his experience as a Black man to help elaborate on the differences people are subjected to merely because of their race.

"I think it's important to talk about this topic because, despite all of the well wishes in the world on the part of my mom, my family and I, we cannot change the reality of how I'm seen. Understanding that I'm a black man and will be treated as such is a survival technique that those who share my genotypic and phenotypic characteristics learn—whether we want to or not," he said.

One of the many driving points of Rogers' campaign is establishing better measures to address police brutality in Virginia. If elected, Rodgers hopes to "implement a State Police Accountability Board with subpoena power" and establish policing guidelines that will ensure "every officer is assigned a police body camera that must stay on at all times," according to Rogers' website.

Virginia Delegate Hopeful Shares His Struggle
Police in riot gear and shields block the street on July 25, 2020, in Richmond, Virginia. Eze Amos/Getty Images