Michael Williams speaks with infectious disease expert Dr. David Dodson about coronavirus spiking in Palm Beach County and other areas of South Florida, plus a discussion with Palm Beach County District 7 Commissioner Mack Bernard about police reform and racial equality.

Father’s Day: Local Black leaders on the joys and fears of parenting in today’s America

Mack Bernard, Commissioner, Palm Beach County District 7, father of Macall, 13, Mackenna, 11 and Kennedy, 5.

“I never met my parents. My birth mother left when I was very young, three months old, and my dad moved to the U.S. from Haiti at the same time. By the time we moved to the U.S. in 1986 when I was 10, he had already passed away.

You have to make sure when you’re raising young boys that you have to give them a proper education, to become young men who will take care of their families. That’s what I hope to be able to do in this county.

I was raised by my grandmother. So I take the opportunity to be a dad and raise my three girls so seriously. It’s so important to me. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized it’s so important to have your parents around, to try my best to be a part of my kids’ life, and incorporate everything I do into what they do.

I’ve always had these conversations with my girls, about what’s going on with Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, and now Rayshard Brooks. I’ve had them watch the whole video of what happened with Brooks, and we’ve talked about it as a family. It’s hard – you want your kids to be kids, but at the same time you want them to be aware of what’s going on in a way that they can change the world also. Three years ago, I took all three girls to a rally and protest for the first time. They see that it’s part of their lives to change the world.

This is one of the toughest times in elected office, dealing with a pandemic, where there’s a health crisis and an economic crisis with a generation who will be impacted by jobs that may never come back. And in Florida we are dealing with hurricanes. But it’s a great time to be a leader and address all of these issues.

Their generation is going to change not just America but the world for the better. This is their movement now. I’m 44, and it’s really a great reward to see that our kids are really participating and (don’t) have that apathy. It’s really exciting to see. This is not a moment. This is a movement.”