Went downtown today. I always park on the street and go into the door next to the bus stop where they treat the cement floor every morning with chemicals to eliminate the urine smell. On the way in I always give the brothers an ever so slight upward head nod. "Sup." But not too much lest we become long lost pals finally reunited and able to now share our joint resources one for all and all for one style.
But coming around the corner I caught a glimpse of a nicely tanned crossed leg with a besandaled foot and painted toenails. Hmmm! That foot don't belong here.
Well it didn't. It was a beautiful young woman sitting well within begging distance of a group of our illustrious urban leisure technicians. She was sitting there very nonchalantly getting a fix from her nicotine stick. And what's more, the fellas seemed to be just as unconcerned with this situation as she was. They needed a place to be and she needed a place to smoke. And somehow they reached an understanding so that everybody could get what they needed.
Despite our differences, maybe we are all the same after all
Most of the time there really is nothing most of us can do about the the issues that overtake the collective consciousness of the nation/world. But in light of the most recent unpleasantness with the Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. episode, there is something we all can do about it.
If you will recall from my YoMamaGates affair posting, I decided that the real tragedy was neighbors not knowing each other.
Cue the National Night Out people. I don't really see where all registration and organization is absolutely required (especially since its now too late to do it anyway), but I think they have the thing figured out. Just get out on the street and meet your neighbors. And if you don't get around to it until tomorrow or the next day so what. You can start with the kids, hand out treats (assuming that's cool where you live). Then the parents might wander up and before you know it we are a force to be reckoned with (either that or you will be reminded why you stay the hell away from them sombitches). But at least you will know your neighbors and more importantly, your neighbors will know you (I'm looking at you Dr. Gates).
Oh goody, we are having iced tea and donut holes on my block. I wonder if they will be checking the cups?
What is wrong with you people? Why are we celebrating this little psychopath in training. In case you missed it, little 7 year old Preston took a joy ride in the family car. Take a look
The kid blows through at least two stop signs like they weren't even there. And at the end of the ride makes a break for it towards the house. What are the consequences of his actions? Instead of beating his little ass, he and the whole family get a trip NEW YORK CITY so he can wave at his friends back home on national TV on The Today Show. I'll bet he's even the center of attention with the playground set back at the local school. To my knowledge the Today Show did not present the cops perspective on this. I wonder what the take away message is for them.
The question I have is, what happens the next time he (or some other kid who watches this) starts to feel like he needs a little more attention. Sure the video is entertaining and sure the kid looks cute running to the house afterwards and sure the tape was worthy of national airplay. But why do we need to hear from the family that reared this child. Something is wrong here and somebody better fix it before its too late. I'm no child psychologist but I have enough child rearing experience to know that driving off in the family car is not the normal response of a seven year old seeking to avoid an unwanted outcome. I do know this, from the day of their birth most children are driven by two and only two things: 1. cause and 2. effect
I cry and somebody feeds me. I make babbling noises and people pay attention to me. I steal the family car and run from the cops and I get a trip to New York to be on TV. I wonder what I get if I burn down the family house?
This was not the finest hour of The Today Show. Hey I know morning show news is a tough business but this child's actions could have turned out much differently (I'll let you use your own imagination). And that is what has to temper the public response to this thing. And in light of the whole Louis Gates Jr. thing one has to wonder what might have been the response had this been a little black inner city child.
No word yet on whether there will be any sort of milk and cookies summit at The White House to sort it all out.