In Loco Parentis: Why It’s Still Relevant

In Loco Parentis

What’s good everyone?

That greeting holds a lot more heaviness than it used to. Things are heavy nowadays. Some days many of us are working harder to
find the good in some of the horrific things we’ve been seeing this year.

Many of you might remember the song “In Loco Parentis” from the Breaking Chainz Mixtape that was released in 2017. I wrote In Loco Parentis, the title which I grabbed from legal jargon that meant “of a teacher or other adult responsible for children) in the place of a parent.”  in response to the horrific killings of unarmed black men, women, and children during that time.

We should all now the story of Trayvon  Martin in 2012 who was murdered by a blatantly ignorant and prejudice George Zimmerman. I remember thinking, people have to see this is bullshit. But, instead I heard many of my gun fanatic friends talking more about the second amendment and right to protect themselves than the fact an un

armed child was shot by a grown man who was “scared.” They tried to justify that Trayvon was big, and was a threat. And as I listened to all of the counter-explanations I felt my heart grow cold. Take in mind, I’m raised in rural America, I’m not anti-gun. This isn’t the conversation I’m trying to have.

The shooting of Tamir Rice 2014… a 12 year old child that was playing at a park with a toy gun, where an adult called the police saying “A man with a gun” was there. The police ran up like cowboys and shot the boy dead, and nothing looked right about the situation. It had been engrained in my brain for some time since it happened. Still more coldness in my heart. Listening to people talk about the gun “didn’t have an orange tip” to show it wasn’t a real gun, etc etc… People defending gun rights and right to bare arms, while justifying killing a child with a toy gun blew my mind. It showed me the real ignorance available in abundance out here blinded by racial prejudice and ignorance, and lack of empathy.

J.T. Pender in loco parentisI grew up in a predominantly white town and knew racism all too well and blatantly. From the deceptively prejudice asking of what I needed every 2 mins while in a store to the “get out of my store nigger.” I had been beaten by police without cause. IN fact, the earliest of my memories a police officer questioned me about theft at a park across the street, and I was barely 4 years old. I remember my white aunt going outside to scream at the officer to why he was questioning me when I could barely get out of the yard.

So, after witnessing it first hand, and then seeing all of the news stories of this receptive issue it didn’t surprise me. What DID shock me was the willingness of the many of the white people that put me through this, and some family, and those I grew up around to deny or ignore the facts blacks are mistreated in general in this country. To know where I grew up, and tell me to my face that these instances were not examples of the same thing, and yet say they respected me was intolerable to me.

In 2016, after seeing the footage of Philando Castile being shot by another “scared” officer after disclosing he had a concealed weapons permit I once again could feel the coldness in my heart. Watching the video of him bleeding to death in front of his daughter while an officer still treating him like a criminal for a routine stop. The justification from the coward of a man that he smelled “marijuana” and didn’t know what he was capable of. The jury saying there wasn’t any evidence to prove he WASN’T a threat..amazed me. That was my limit.

I generally try to make music that brings people in and not be divisive, but I got sick of everyone from blatant racists to people in my white family playing this naive game of just cause in police killing blacks at an exponential rate due to “fear for their lives.” I got sick of playing this game of bullshit often driven by misinformation pushed on social media. Divisive tactics used to push a debate that shouldn’t exist. Where we should come together in empathy, we are now generally so petty in our opinions due to a general detachment from reality.

In Loco Parentis was my way to vent and say truly what I felt for once, at the expensive of losing some of my “friends and family.”  And I’m good with that. Anyone who knows me knows I’m good with answering for my statements, or mistakes, or good or bad. I’m not perfect. I’m human. The last 3 years since its release has shown that it’s the unfortunate necessity of its relevance is still here. With the murder of George Floyd in an unprecedented time, the need for the protection of black lives in this country took center stage.

So proud to see the next generation standing up for what they believe in, and getting out and making their voices heard.

Rest in peace to George Floyd. Rest in Peace Trayvon Martin. Rest In Peace Tamir Rice. Rest In Peace Philando Castile….Breonna Taylor….Sandra Bland…Eric Garner…..  and so many others.

Please take a look at this informative interactive from “Know Their Names”, which shows the amazingly tragic history and well known cases of police brutality on black people in America:



In Loco Parentis has been re-released as a single on all major music streaming platforms. Available 6/22


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