With regards to my previous post about the DC curfew, someone commented:
"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?"
I wanted to REALLY reply to this, so I decided to make it a post:
I'm a little on both sides of the fence and I hope I can explain myself clearly.
I don't think rounding up kids en masse and sending them to a jail-like facility is a good idea. Law Enforcement may be trying a bit of "scared straight" with the kids, but I'm personally not 'feeling' that approach. However, curfew violators need to be taken off the streets! SOLUTION - Parents need to respect the law, and if your kids are 16 years old or under, get them off the streets. Simple as that!!! Now, if you're one of these wimpy parents that like to piss and moan about your kids not wanting to listen to you, 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, Internet, Cable TV, cellphones and expensive tennis shoes AWAY from them until they start listening to you!!! Nothing gets a kids attention like taking their shit away! If that doesn't work, these parents need to whup some asses! [ Tender hearts - PLEASE Save the moral high ground for somebody that wants to hear it! ], a good old fashioned ass whuppin' will get a lot of kids in line quickly! [ Anybody reading this above the age of 30 will probably agree with me! ] The bottom, bottom, bottom, line is this: Parents making their kids come in by 10:00PM 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, and go outside into the world, you can follow the rules of the OUTSIDE world. Because, when you break the OUTSIDE rules, the punishment gets much much worse!" Parents need to prepare their kids.
Now, for the police-
I'm all for police being kinder and gentler and talking to kids and all, that's fine. I think there is always room for improved understanding and compassion between police and citizens and citizens and police - but lets be real here - 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! Don't get me wrong, I know cops aren't perfect, I'm not trying to say they are, they are people just like you and me - only, they carry guns and risk their lives every single day!
We as a community have to find a way to create better parenting situations among our young people. We need to stop these babies from having babies! For example, An 18 year old girl 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! We can't blame the cops when Sharondasia is 26 years old and the single parent of a 14 year old and an 11 year old that she can't [or won't] control in the streets of DC at 11:15PM.
And as far as cops not being able to stop these murders, Jesus Christ, just - 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 [like I said above], but these people, like the guy that asked me the question above that think cops can stop murders. Sadly, you all need to get real. I mean really - that kind of statement is almost comical.
Look at the dynamic of a homicide:
16 y/o Johnny "J-Rock" Doe, drives his mothers car to Prince Georges county. He buys a 9mm Glock for $90 in the parking lot at Prince Georges Plaza and sticks the gun in his waistband. He then drives 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 "J-Rock" Doe's, 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... TAA DAA! J-Rock's mama just stopped a murder! Imagine that!
Or, here's one more [since I'm feeling REALLY cynical tonight]
Bobby "Boo Boo" Jenkins, is carrying a five inch knife in his suede Timberland boot. He's 15 and he's hanging out in Barry Farms in Southeast DC. He gets into an argument with another 15 year old over the Washington Wizards. The other kid says, "Boo Boo, you're full of shit. The Knicks can't beat the Wizards." Bobby gets angry and stabs the other kid eleven times and kills him. Has anyone seen the magic, psychic cops anywhere? No.
Now, had Bobby's dad stressed non-violet conflict resolution to his little boy, in the years before this fatefull night, Bobby would have waved off this other kid when he said he was full of shit, and therefore - Bobby's DAD would have stopped a murder.
The reason a homicide is virtually impossible for police to prevent, is because by the very nature of the crime it is a secret. Few if any people walk down the street proclaiming, "I'm going to kill someone today!" On top of that, we have laws against illegal search and seizure, so police can't just walk up to shady looking characters and pat them down to look for a gun or a knife. So, until people become more intelligent, more compassionate, and more willing to settle disputes non-violently we are going to have homicides in our streets.
I simply hate when folks take the responsibilty of parenting off of the parents. And, I doubly hate it when these people expect cops and teachers to raise these kids, and when the kids fall short - they point the blame at law enforcement and the school systems! Yeah - I know... I'm a Black Man - I'm supposed to dislike cops and use my blog to talk about how racist and wrong police are... well, I'm sorry folks. I'm just NOT going to do that! I know that there are some cops that are racist, and some that don't like Black folks, and some that are corrupt and some that are violent - but I don't believe they are in the majority, so I'm not going to condemn the entire establishment - not at all. And, I'm going to close by saying this - for all those folks that want to blame the police for the problems our young people have, consider this - at 2:30 in the morning when we're warm in our beds and we hear someone walking around our home and we know it's not someone that lives with us, 99% of us are going to quietly pick up the phone and dial 911 and say, "Please send the police, right away!" and you know what, we're going to be damn happy when the cops get there! And, we're not going to be blaming them for our kids problems as they arrest a crackhead trying to climb out our window with our DVD player and X-Box!!!