Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey‘s nine-year-old twins Moroccan and Monroe have incredibly famous parents. But they still get a sense of fear from the “energy” of law enforcement officers, according to their 39-year-old dad. Following the police-custody death George Floyd, Nick is opening up about the conversations he’s with his children and how officers these days seem to “perpetuate fear.” “I say this in all sincerity, and I even got some push back for this. I made a statement that my children fear police. And it’s a real statement,” Nick told Access Hollywood in a June 4 interview.
“I didn’t say, ‘You should be.’ I try to teach fearlessness. I try to teach, ‘You have a power within you that you need to fear nothing.’ But when they see the energy of law enforcement. When ‘Uh oh, here comes the police’ or that mindset of, ‘Sit up straight and don’t talk, keep your hands where they can see them’ — these are things that I’m talking to a three-year-old about (and) nine-year-olds about; they bring those questions to me,” Nick continued, also referencing his son Golden by ex-girlfriend Brittany Bell, 32.
The conversation begins at the 11:09 mark:
Nick said a lot has changed with the current generation of law enforcement. “I remember when I was growing up there was an idea that one wanted to be a police officer. ‘Oh man, I want to help and protect and serve people.’ But now this generation has definitely changed to where they perpetuate fear. And it’s hurtful to have those conversations with your children, but you want to protect them at the end of the day,” The Masked Singer host revealed.
Nick at one point referenced the “Stay alive talk” that many black parents have with their children when it comes to dealing with law enforcement. He then explained, “It’s part of our culture. My parents had the conversation with me. I’ve never called the police in my life, because our family was afraid to call the police.”
“And that was from a child growing up seeing ‘Uh oh the police showed up.’ It wasn’t about safety. It was like, ‘Somebody’s in trouble. Someone’s going to go to jail because the police were called.’ When we’d see the police in our neighborhood, it’s never been a good experience. And that’s why I say we’ve got to rethink and reconstruct what law enforcement is. Specifically in our communities. Law enforcement should be from the community,” Nick advised. You can watch the whole conversation in the above video.