If you were watching all the feeds and then the media blackout from Ferguson, MO, last night like I was, you were thinking about how you'd explain what happened to your kids. And maybe you thought you wouldn't have to say anything to your kids about it. If they're preschoolers or toddlers, you don't, but if they're elementary school and above, it's one of those things they'll hear about whether or not you tell them. You owe your kids the truth, and your owe your kids guidance dealing with the hard things. So talk to them about it.
I wrote this post last year when I was thinking about what my white kids needed to know about the Zimmerman verdict, and I think everything in it is applicable to what happened in Ferguson over the past 6 days. It's really REALLY important for kids to know what their world is about. Even when that's unpleasant. If you tell them, you can help them think about it. If you let them hear about it somewhere else, they have no help from you to process it.
So please, talk to your kids about racism, privilege, institutionalized bias of all types, and the fact that we can all stop it, but only by exposing it whenever we encounter it.