Psychological Defense Mechanisms and NPR

I have a habit of listening to NPR (88.5) while I’m driving. It was 12:40 PM, and an otherwise insignificant day. I decided to stop to get a manicure.

Kojo Nnamdi was on the air. The topics for today’s show included COVID-19, how it’s affected the education system, and the most recent wave of civil unrest sparked by the murderer Derick Chauvin. Just before I got out of the car, I heard Kojo welcome kids of all ages to call in with their questions and comments. I decided to wait to see what a couple of them would say. Eight-year-old Benjamin went first. He started with a simple greeting:


It was endearingly as-a-matter-of-fact.

I smiled.

Kojo ended the amusing awkward pause that followed by returning the greeting. He asked Benjamin a couple of questions to get to know a bit more about him. After receiving those answers, he told Benjamin that he could ask his question. Benjamin said:

“I’m scared of being a Black person. What should I do?”