On Friday, I was waiting in line at a clothing store. In front of me, there were two teenagers, neither one of them appeared to be more than 16. Like a parent or shall I say a responsible adult, I was ease dropping on their conversation when I heard:
“F*** those n*****,” said the girl with her hair neatly brushed back in a ponytail.
“I know. Those n***** are so f***in’ stupid,” said the other girl with a pink headband holding her hair back.
“Hey, why in the world would such pretty girls use that type of language,” I asked.
I was surprised when they apologized; because a few months earlier I had a similar situation that didn’t go well.
I was riding the metro when two girls — maybe 13 — jumped on the train at the L’Enfant Plaza stop. They caught my attention because they were giggling and pushing each other back and forth while the train was moving. They were both wearing gym shorts and white T-shirts. But one of them had her shirt tied up in a knot and her breast was showing. So I quickly stood up and whispered in her ear, “sweetheart, your bobbies are showing.”
“So what b****,” she said.
“Well, there are men on this train,” I said.
“So, you ain’t my motherf***in’ mother,” she said.
“I am not; but you still need to fix your shirt. What if one of these men tries to touch you,” I asked.
“B****, you need to mind your business,” she said.
The two girls then jumped off the train at the Gallery Place Chinatown metro station.
Regardless of the response, I was and am proud to be an engaged presence in the lives of our youth. I will not be silent while they use profanity in public. I will not turn my head when I see young girls dressed inappropriately. I will not run away when I see acts of violence. Although I am not a biological parent, I am a responsible adult.
“Too many parents, busy with business, career, social life … have delegated their responsibility and abandoned their relationship with their kids, leaving them to their teachers, coaches … and others — often virtual strangers who are in no way committed to their safety and well-being,” said BE’s Earl Graves.
“And too many who are not parents dismiss our kids as none of their concern. But we are learning the hard way as a society that when our children are treated as somebody else’s problem, they too often end up on a path of suffering, victimization and poor choices — ultimately becoming everyone’s problem,” he added.
In Philadelphia, teenagers have been committing random acts of violence. According to FOX Philly News, a 15-year-old and two 17-year-olds were charged Jan. 30 with beating a cab driver in Center City Philadelphia.
“They began calling a male passenger in the cab racially derogatory names,” police told FOX Philly News. “Then, they allegedly threw a liquid at the cab, opened the passenger door, pulled him out and started pummeling him.”
The attack, according to FOX Philly News, came two days after Mayor Michael Nutter held a news conference to announce rewards to help stem the tide of violence in the city, and to talk about being strong and tough parents.
In Chicago, three white teens tried to lynch a black teen. According to the Chicago Tribune, the teens allegedly put a noose around the neck of 17-year-old Joshua Merritt, and hurled racial epithets at him before one of the boys held a knife to his throat and threatened to kill him on Christmas Eve.
“The teens were apparently upset about Merritt’s relationship with one of the boys’ female cousins,” police told the Chicago Tribune.
In Peoria, Ariz., the secret service launched an investigation involving a group of teens. According to the New York Times, a photograph was posted on the Internet that showed a group of young Arizona boys posing in the desert with guns while holding up what appeared to be a bullet-riddled image of President Obama’s face.
In Charlotte, N.C., two teens conspired to commit murder from behind bars. According to WCNC-TV, police are investigating 16-year-old Brittany Carter and 17-year-old Zahra Reid who were arrested for the robbery of a Pizza Hut delivery driver in October. Court documents suggest that the teens planned to have the driver murdered in order to stop their upcoming trial.
In Oakland, Calif., a teen killed his adoptive parents. According to KTUV, as friends and coworkers mourned a couple killed in an Oakland double homicide, their 15-year-old adopted son was behind bars facing murder charges.
In Pueblo, Colo., a teen was sentenced to 40 years for murder. According to the Republic, the teen was 16 when he broke into the home of a 50-year-old man, then fired shots when the homeowner startled him.
In Nassau County, N.Y., two teens were arrested for four burglaries between September and December 2011. According to Patch.com, two teens, ages 15 and 16, were both charged with four counts of second degree burglary.
In Wisconsin, two boys, ages 15 and 16, were arrested for battery and retail theft. According to the Capital Times, the two teens went on a crime spree stealing coats from a local retail store and then robbing an 18-year-old man on a transit bus.
In Detroit, it only took 35 minutes for two teens to yank wires from batteries, pull fuses and let the air out of school bus tires. According to the Detroit Free Press, the vandalism — in which 18 of 58 buses were damaged — forced the District to cancel classes Monday, Jan. 30.
“If they didn’t know before, they seemed to figure it out pretty quickly once they got in,” police told the Detroit Free Press.
As a child, I remember the elderly woman who lived three doors down from our house, Mrs. Hudson. I can still hear her yelling from her bedroom window, “Get off my grass.” We called her “nosy old eagle-eye hudson” because she sat in that window carefully watching our every move and like a momma bird, correcting us for every wrong that we committed.
“You may say that kids no longer want to listen to adults. I say that many of them feel that way because adults stop listening and paying attention to them,” said BE’s Earl Graves.
“Show me a generation of lost children, and I’ll show you a generation of adults responsible for losing them,” he added.
- Teen charged as adult in adoptive parents’ murders (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Black teen forced into sudden noose over white girl: Cops (bazaardaily.com)
- Teen parents charged with SA baby’s murder (news.smh.com.au)
- Teen parents charged with SA baby’s murder (news.theage.com.au)
- Canada Honor Killings: Shafia Family Found Guilty of Murdering Teens (ibtimes.com)
- Teen parents charged with baby’s murder (theage.com.au)
- Teen Suspect Charged With Murder Of Adoptive Oakland Parents (sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com)
- Del. police: Man raped teen, threw her out window (mysanantonio.com)
- SFgate.comOakland teen charged as adult in parents’ slayings (sfgate.com)
- Judge evaluates death penalty in teen murder case ()