If He Were My Child

We all want to live in a strong country where morals and values cause one’s neighbors to be a benefit rather than a curse. But what makes a strong country? Did someone say strong states, and cities? Of course. But what makes a city strong? I heard another chime in, “strong communities”. Then we must ask what makes communities strong. The answer is, of course, strong families.

Do not worry, I will not go down the all too familiar line of reasoning that there are too many broken homes in the US. While I do believe that there is some merit to this line of thinking, there is a vast amount of research that shows just because a father isn’t in the home, does not mean he isn’t in the life of his children. And to be clear let me strongly suggest that men have children with one woman and stay with her. Don’t trust me, then take the advice from former NBA player Stephen Jackson. He recently offered some advice to young men who simply want to chase women and not behave responsibly. His advice should be a mantra for every boy at the age of 13 and up. But I digress.

Recently there was another viral video of a young kid, whose high pitched voice and lack of physical size indicated that his manhood has yet to descend. In two separate videos, which I highly encourage people to watch, here and here: we see a general failure of strong communities. Let me explain before the collection of “boos” come hurling at me.

What this kid did in recording his confrontation with police, I have no problem with. It’s his lack of decorum and sheer rudeness to the police, authority figures and prolific use of the N-word that troubles me. Apparently, he and his “mans” were in some type of store and somehow were accused of stealing something. When police arrived, his “mans” actually had some stolen items on him. But the child protagonist of the now-viral video berated the officer for not finding anything on him.

Children need guidance, direction, and correction. He, at this time, received none of the aforementioned items. What is gained by berating the police and later store security officers or workers? What good does it do to embarrass yourself, your parents and community? Hurling the N-word is bad enough, but there wasn’t even any base in his voice. Many communities demanded that their officers were body word cameras to stop the allegations of abuse. Cell phone cameras should mean the end of the abuse of citizens by well-trained officers, not the beginning of the abuse by grade school kids.

Now I applaud the family, or whoever made the kid apologize, for his actions. My problem isn’t so much with the child. I’m sure he and his family may have spoken about how to interact when and if confronted by the police. However, I’m sure that at no time did they greenlight the right for the child to be that which many of the community loathe, an abuser. My biggest problem is with the community. Read through many of the comments and listen to some of the commentary and one will actually hear people who are big-upping this kid’s behavior. If left unchecked this same kid will grow up disrespect the teachers, principals, boss, elders in his community and maybe one day, the wrong officer. The community should not, no, must not condone this type of behavior. We cannot create a monster and then hope to control him or expect him to be an upstanding citizen later.

Lastly, I’m glad he apologized, however, I do not feel his apology was adequate. Had he been my son, we would go down to the police station and he would have apologized face to face with every officer he put on blast that day. He would have looked them in the eye, shook their hands and said he was sorry for his actions. He was bold enough to go around asking them for badge numbers and putting the cameras in their faces. Then be bold enough to apologize, shake hands and put that on IG. The community, city, and country deserve better.

My problem isn’t so much with the child. He was wrong and got the correction he needed. But when adults are liking and laughing at that behavior, then this tells a chilling story of our community.

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