‘This Is Us’ Actor Lonnie Chavis, 12, Recalls Police Harassing His Parents: I Thought I Was Going To Be An Orphan

Lonnie Chavis

‘This Is Us’ Actor Lonnie Chavis, 12, Recalls Police Harassing His Parents: I Thought I Was Going To Be An Orphan

Actor Lonnie Chavis of NBC’s This Is Us has already witnessed and experienced racism at 12-years-old. In an open letter, Lonnie Chavis reflects on fearing for his parents’ lives during multiple interactions with the police. He starts the letter by expressing how he feels being black in America:

“My life matters, but does it? America paints a very clear picture of how I should view myself. America shows me that my Blackness is a threat, and I am treated as such. I actually didn’t learn about being Black and what that would mean for me until I was 7 years old… I was overwhelmed with confusion, fear and sadness. I had to lean on my faith in Christ for hope, protection and understanding.”

Lonnie Chavis, who plays young Randall on the hit NBC series, continues the letter, describing how he thought he and his siblings were going to be orphans after the police attacked his father:

“A Long Beach police officer twisted my dad’s arm behind his back and pulled him from our doorstep with the door opened, claiming he was being detained for a traffic ticket. My mother ran to my room and told me with fear in her eyes to go into my little brother’s room and stay away from the windows. She put my new baby brother in my arms and told me that no matter what I hear from our front yard to not come to the door. Can you imagine holding on to your three little brothers while thinking that you are all going to be orphans? I can.”

Lonnie Chavis even experienced a police officer question if his mother was driving someone eases car:


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“The white cop approached my mother’s window and asked her, ‘Whose car is this?’ — not about her license and registration, or even why he pulled us over. She had to go to her trunk for more paperwork, and I watched the cop hold his hand on his gun as if my mom was a threat. I was scared for her; I was scared for me.”

He added that his race is even a topic at major Hollywood Even being on an award-winning show, Lonnie Chavis is constantly confused with other young black actors at Hollywood events:

 “I think of going to Hollywood events with other actors and actresses where I was constantly asked if I’m the boy from Black-ish or the boy from Stranger Things. I guess we all look alike since we are all Black. Can you imagine being confused for any other Black kid just because you all share the same profession? I can.”

Lonnie Chavis ends his letter calling for change in Hollywood and the United States:

“If you don’t understand what’s going on in the world, then understand this: This is what the world looks like for me. A 12-year-old Black boy. This is my America. Policies need to change, laws need to change, the police need to change, Hollywood needs to change, hearts need to change, America needs to change. Change has got to happen for unarmed Black citizens to not live in fear of being murdered. Can you imagine being me in 2020 and wondering what the future holds? I can’t.”

What do you think about Lonnie’s open letter? Let us know in the comments.

Authored by: Eugene Smilez