01 August 2006

DC Curfew! What's up with that?

I have to admit that I am incredibly surprised by the public outcry against the 10:00PM curfew on DC kids 16 years and younger. People are really upset over this. There is a group called JUSTICE4DCYOUTH and another who's name escapes me and countless people throughout the community that are crying foul with the curfew component of DC's state of "Crime Emergency."

For those who may not know, The month of July in DC was marked by 17 homicides including a very high profile and divisive throat slashing in one of DC's more affluent communities, Georgetown. This crime was high profile because the man killed was a British citizen with significant political connections, and it was divisive because it seemed to be the sole catalyst for a declaration of a citywide state of "Crime Emergency." Part of this Crime Emergency is a mandatory curfew that requires teenagers 16 and under, who are not with a parent or coming home from work - to be in the house and off the street.

I expected a few people making a fuss, but it seems that a lot of folks are upset about this. ADULTS! Not just the kids!!! You have a lot of people that are saying things like,
"Why are you accusing the kids of committing crimes?"
"Why do the kids have to suffer?"
"Why are you punishing the kids?"
"They're not causing any trouble just hanging out on the corner?"

I personally think these people are missing the point. They're missing the big picture. Certainly there are some sad statistics about juvenile crime in DC (44 teens arrested for serious crimes in the week of June 26th and 82 teens arrested for serious crimes in the week of July 17th), but I believe the heart of this program is for the protection of DC teens. I've driven through parts of DC in the evening hours and it is amazing the number of kids that are hanging on some of the corners. Little kids, too. Just clusters of kids on the sidewalks and in the street itself. Simply put - DC streets [like many in big cities] are dangerous. Several teens have been shot and a few killed at late hours recently in DC and getting these kids off the street by 10:00PM may save a few lives.

Too many people are thinking DC teens are being blamed for ALL of the crime in DC. To these people I say, "Nobody is blaming every DC kid for every DC crime!" These people have to be realistic though, a good portion of DC crime is committed by people under the age of 18. [a 15 year old was one of 4 people involved in that Georgetown killing, and a 13 year old boy was shot to death by a group of three teenaged boys] So, getting some of the more troubled [yes, I mean 'dangerous'] teens off the streets is a side-bonus. The curfew may be saving them from themselves!

For those confused people that think teens under the age of 16 need to be out in the streets after 10:00PM to 'hang out' or 'chill out' or 'relax and unwind' - YOU NITWITS HAVE TO WAKE THE F*CK UP!!! There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING in the streets of the District of Columbia that is of benefit to these kids after 10:00PM! Standing around and dribbling a basketball between their legs; Slap boxing with their homies; Playing 'grab-ass' with the girls; and loudly rapping the profane lyrics of the most recent Paul Wall song - are of no benefit or value to the young people of DC.

Instead of all these bleeding hearts trying to keep hordes of unsupervised kids ON DC's violent and dangerous streets, I wish they'd use this same energy to get drug dealers and hustlers OFF the streets. People - we need to smarten up!!!



Native Son said...

This is good. And for the youth who were picked up for theft, his mother needs to be fined. If she is having problems with him, she needs to get him a mentor perhaps the Big Brother Big Sister Program, or some social organization that would link him to a positive male figure. I am tired of excuses. The curfew may not decrease crime, but it is holding some of these parents responsible for the lack of supervising their kids. 13 y/o children should even be out at 9PM!!!!! Start fining these damn parents and if their kids keep getting caught past the curfew, make the parents take mandatory parenting classes. The problem is not the kids; that is end result of the problem. The problem is the lack of responsible parenting!!!

Pall Stanley said...

"Thinking" today is a word loosing its original meaning. People are often consumed with themselves that how others see things is out of the question.

As in the case of the curfew in the DC area, people seek to be understood without considering understanding clearly other dimensions to the problem at hand.

Those individuals that are complaining about the latest order truly lack understanding and prefer to fight or be on the defense for a useless cause than trying to be apart of the solution.

We all can agree change is an uncomfortable thing, be that as it may, there are certain changes that are necessary progress forward to new positive heights.

Now, I do not whole heartedly believe that a curfew will solve the preexisting problems of crimes in DC community, but if the residence of DC fail to clean up there own communities through the proper education and training of our youth from an early age then the authorities that exist must step in and take action to protect there own self interest.

On the other hand, many of the parents or single mothers in most of the high income areas were not trained themselves correctly according to strong morals, principles, etc. So, I am not surprised they are not able to do the same for there children.

In addition, instead of learning how to use the streets, surroundings, and circumstances to fuel the furnace producing outstanding men and women in our society characteristically, most of the youth only learn how to exist in streets or survive and be manipulated or influenced by the powers that be.

Survival? If certain powers decided to eliminate low income housing in certain communities and or demolish blocks of dilapidated housing, what street smarts would they have to sustain themselves? Who would prove to be the winner in the case of a real estate war?

Sivival in the streets is just getting by. Any individual that wants to learn everything that a typical person learns in there lifetime in the streets, in a matter weeks. It took them a lifetime of exposure to the terminology fo the streets, lessons learned by others in the streets through observations, and more.

Even an educated white boy from the suburbs without any exposure to black people in the hood and the streets could learn the entire game of the streets in a matter of weeks and know more about the situation than someone living in it all there lives.

Whats my point? Education is not just about attending a university or college or any other institution to acquire a trader and or skill, its about learning how to deal with people at all levels in this life which requires a number of skills, attitudes, determinations, motivations, and so many skills that are not taught at even many of our prestigious instituions in the USA.

Many of our youth within the DC area within the next seven years will be replaced in terms of opportunities they would or could have in America, they will be replaced with highly motivated individuals outsourced in China, India, and other areas. Its already taking place and within seven years from this date, will prove to be true.

The service industry will not even want to hire many of our young black children because of the attitudes and drama they carry into the work place. Many of the highly motivated foreigners to achieve and work towards a better life than previously known are going to replace or fill those positions. Its happening already, right?

What will many of our young black males and females do without a viable place in the market place? Think.

john of ne said...

I agree thinking black man, but remember what it was like being a kid? You can understand why the kids are pissed off. On the other hand, to those kids out there: you have to take it and shut up!

To the kids:
Too bad, too sad, your dad!

He he.

The Thinking Black Man said...

Thanks NativeSon -

I'm always humbled when you drop your comments, Bro!

I agree with your position on some folks parenting. I think 'parenting self image' is what is fueling all these folks that are claiming, "Our kids aren't criminals!" I think they're taking an extreme defensive position even before anybody has made any accusations. To me, that is the sign of a guilty conscious.

The Thinking Black Man said...

Thanks for the comment Paul, I appreciate everyone that takes the time to share their thoughts on mine!

You hit the nail on the head with all that you said! People have to open their eyes to their own vulnerabilities. So many people, adults and kids focus and thrive on the here and now - oblivious to the fact that the carpet can be pulled from under their feet in a moments notice.

For the sake of thousands [if not millions] of young people, they have to become as talented with textbooks as they are with basketballs.

The Thinking Black Man said...

John of NE...

Man, that was cold! (Too bad, too sad.)

It's funny though that you mention when I was a kid, because I was thinking about that this morning. When I was 16, in Baltimore, I had a 9:30 curfew on week nights and 10:30 on weekends.

And, in my neighborhood, we weren't like a lot of these kids today in DC. We weren't just hanging out in clusters in the middle of the street or on the corner. My friends and I were either in someone's front yard [with understanding parents] or in somebody's basement listening to music or playing Atari [2600 & 5200] or we were playing football. And, when I had to come in the house - I WENT IN THE HOUSE!
'cause mom and dad said so. Their was none of this being upset foolishness I'm seeing with these kids.

Thanks for the comment! Take care!

tickledpinkies said...

Havent got much to say on this as its obvious that under 16yrs should be in at a certain time. I remember sometimes at a young age we would have ecxeptions to stay up later as it was summer it was lighter but that was only in the garden, supervised in some manner.

The street corner thing is a deliberate attempt to escape parental prescence (intrusion) which in turn sees them feeling the are indeed an independet source. You know what happens next (rolls eyes) the more free reign you allow them after school the more the more they push the boundries for full authority over being whilst still living in your house!!! :s

When I was a "yout" these people were "walking streets". For boys it wasnt neccesarily a bad connotation, for girls moreso. Walking streets in the dead of night was a pretty unladylike thing to do. Plus it was nice and warm in my house :)

Anyways who the f**k are these parents anyway!!! There must be someone letting these kids in at midnight...

I always say im not gonna write a lot but I do!
* I know I'm a bad speller, sos.

The Thinking Black Man said...


I don't know what to say about these parents - I'm thinking that a good portion of these parents are enjoying the time they DON'T have to watch their kids! Yeah, I know that sounds bass akwards but I kinda' feel that way.

There is no way my kids would be hanging out in the streets that late!

This local station [Channel 5, call sign WTTG] did a special report last summer about the rediculous number of pre-teens (Yes, PRE-teens) that were stealing cars and driving reckless through the streets of certain neighborhoods in DC. If I remember correctly, the vast majority of these thefts occured between midnight and 6:00AM. All I could say was WTF?!?! How do you have an 8 y/o, an 11 y/o and a 13 y/o out in the streets at 2:00 AM stealing a Dodge Stratus? The police report said whichever kid was driving [and I think it was an 8 y/o mentioned specifically in this story, that was doing the driving] his feet couldn't reach the gas when he said down so he had to stand up behind the wheel!!!

Where are the parents and what the hell have they been doing for the last 8 years? All I asked when I saw this article was, "Please let me kick these parents asses before you haul them off to jail!"

Thanks for the comment!

Stephen Bess said...

Great post! If they took the drug-dealers and Hustlers off the street it would interfere with their political wallets. They treat the black community of this country like any other African nation. They only get involved when there is something to gain or if it is affecting/infecting their community.

The Thinking Black Man said...

Hello Stephen-

Thanks for the comment!

Yeah, we can't have crime "REALLY" reduced in our community. What would the cops, judges, lawyers and prison gaurds do with their free time?

NativeSon left a comment on a previous post pointing out the details of the money making industry that is Crime Prevention. I agreed with him and you both. You hit the nail on the head!

The Assimilated Negro said...

yeah, but what about freedom of choice. free will. when you start regulating people's behavior based on moral beliefs i.e. the freaks come out at night) you may be right in a particular instance, but it sets a horrible precedent for the future.

ownthepress said...

What about treating our young people like they're criminals? Kids are rounded up and taken to "processing centers." To me, these centers look like a way to enter young people into the industrial prison complex at an earlier age. What lesson does exposing our children to the police (who can't seem to prevent the murders) and the jail system send them? If the police were on the street to talk to kids, to engage them and understand their needs, that would be OK. We need to take our resources and give our young folks avenues of expression and education, per Mr. Stanley's post, not a one way ticket to jail.

The Thinking Black Man said...


I like the X-factor that free will brings to a discussion.

So, I'll knock the ball back in your court...

I don't think it's much of a freaks come out at night issue, but considering malls, stores, libraries, certain restaurants, community centers and places like that that could occupy young peoples time - tend to close at 9:00PM, the kids are forced to 'entertain' themselves. Let's be real here - a lot of these kids need some real work when it comes to home training, self control and positive influences. Finding themselves lacking in these skills can clearly lead to bad news in a lot of cases. At some point, a voice of reason and authority has to step in and say enough is enough.

Okay, I digress, let me touch on free will and freedom of choice...

What would you do about a 13 y/o that wants to watch someone die, so they go and shoot an old lady in the head? THAT was his CHOICE, right?

What about that 12 year old girl that wants to lose her virginity to a 17 y/o boy in the back of a van? The boy happens to have HIV and no rubbers. They hook up and she and their baby are HIV positive? THAT was her CHOICE right? Her FREE WILL, right?

Okay - here's one more, an 11 y/o boy wants to see if he can steal a car using only a screwdriver. He breaks into a poor family's Toyota and finds that he is greatlt talented at car theft, he speeds off, only to find that he can't quite reach the brake pedal, he crashes into a lamp post and kills himself. That Free Will is a bitch, isn't it?

Thanks for the comment! Holla back!

The Thinking Black Man said...

Thanks for the comment OWNTHEPRESS-

I'm a little on both side of the fence and I hope I can explain myself clearly.

I don't think rounding up kids en masse is a good idea. However, curfew violators need to be taken off the streets. SOLUTION - Parents need to respect the law, if your kid is 16 or under, get them off the streets. Simple as that!!! If you kids don't want to listen, BE A PARENT, STOP TRYING TO BE A DAMN FRIEND TO YOUR KID! Punish them, take those video games, DVD players, MP3's, CD players, designer clothes, and expensive tennis shoes AWAY from them until they start listening to you! If that doesn't work, these parents need to whip some asses! Save the moral high ground, a good old fashioned ass whuppin' will get a lot of kids in line quickly! The bottom, bottom, bottom, line is this: Parents making their kids come in by 10:00 will eliminate the problem of police roundups! PERIOD.

I tell my kid all the time, "I give you rules in the house so you will learn to follow them. When you don't follow my rules, there are various punishments. I want you to learn how to follow rules in the house, so that when you get bigger, you can follow the rules OUTSIDE of the house. When you break the OUTSIDE rules the punishment gets much much worse!

Another thing-
I'm all for police being kinder and gentler and talking to kids and all, that's fine - but lets be real - COPS are NOT these kids PARENTS, it is not the responsibility of cops to hug and coddle and be warm and fuzzy with our kids! THAT is our job as our childrens parents! We as a community have to find a way to stop these babies from having babies! An 18 year old with three kids is in no way prepared or qualified to raise these future teenagers, anyone who thinks so, lives in Fantasytown DC. When this girl had her first kid, someone needed to take control of her life, but they didn't. It is this type of look-the-other-way attitude that creates so many unqualified parents in our community!

And as far as cops not being able to stop these murders, Jesus Christ, man - where do you see Protect,Serve and part the Red Sea on your police officers badges? I'm the first person to tell you, cops aren't perfect, but these people, like yourself that think cops can stop murders, you all need to get real. Please don't be insulted by that - hear me out!

When 16 y/o Johnny Doe, buys a 9mm Glock for $90 in the parking lot at Prince Georges Plaza and he sticks the gun in his waistband and drives the 14 miles to Benning road and walks up to a kid he doesn't like from school and he puts 3 bullets in this kid's head. Where exactly, do the Psychic Cops come into play? I mean - that is REALLY the only way they can stop a murder right? Let's try it this way now... Johnny Does, mother teaches him that when you don't like somebody, you either avoid them or you talk to them and try to find a happy median, but no matter what you do, you don't ever hurt anyone... TA DAA! Mommy just stopped a murder! Imagine that!

Thanks for the comment! Please holla' back, I want to hear your retort.

Pall Stanley said...

We talk about unity until there is no more unity in our community. We can have those elaborate town hall meetings or forums consisting of notorious black leaders saying, "we should do this or that...."

I say, we should STOP "SHOULDING ALL OVER OURSELVES" I am tired of hearing the same talk about supporting one another and or buying black products or services for survival.

The buy black philosophy sounds like a great principle or theory perhaps and idealistic, but we are now in a global economy.

If one is to follow that philosophy today, then we must reach out to our African brothers and sisters in there own countries of politics and create outsourcing business centers of manufacturing and more.

The days of the mom and pop shops are becoming obsolete. Ask the question why JET Magazine never published any articles in there publications about the prominent black billion dollar business financier from Baltimore, Maryland name Reginald F. Lewis.

The same reason why he was never published in Jet magazine is precisely why black people will never be united. It is ashamed that former owner of Johnson Publications could not sublimate his "ego" and publish stories about Reginald F. Lewis.

Mr. Johnson, a publisher that supposedly publishes articles about successful black people and or stories, and never published NOT a single article about a great black business man, entrepreneur, financier, family man, and more.

This troubles me! -- Pall Stanley