Lets take systemic and systematic circumstance out of the equation for a minute. And you know I love me some discussion on intersectionality, equity and accessibility as it pertains to race.
We pass so much judgement on our young people forgetting how much like them we were and still are in some ways.
We sang inappropriate song lyrics. We became sexually active before we were mentally or emotionally prepared (with some pretty unsavory folks in retrospect.)
We stayed on the phone/ IM too long. We watched fights instead of telling our friends and classmates there was a better way to resolve their issues.
We did not value people like educators, bus drivers, cashiers, etc. We were quick to catch an attitude and we probably stayed in some bad relationships and ended some good ones over really petty things.
We had no time for our parents advice, opinions or feelings and we were not trying to hear some random adult telling us anything about ourselves.
But now we look at these kids like they’re the scum of the Earth. For what? Having premarital sex? How many of you were teen parents? Oh. Ok.
Their music is terrible? Ok. But I bet you remember all the lyrics to Nelly’s ‘hot in herre’ even though our little asses had no business singing about taking anything off!
We used foul language. Most of us were drinking before the legal drinking age. Like, come on. Let’s keep it a hunnet.
Now there’s some of this stuff I definitely didn’t do, but some I did, and I’m grouping us all together because it’s what we do to younger people.
Every time someone shares a fight video (which should not even be happening) it’s accompanied by a caption like ‘smh these disrespectful kids today.’ I always see the comments and think, ‘ but who raised them?!’
These kids don’t come out of the womb inappropriate, violent and looking for trouble. They learn these behaviors somewhere. And instead of taking responsibility for our young people as a whole we lift up the ‘good’ ones we know and Shame the ones who ‘make us look bad.’
Imagine a world where we didn’t wait on anyone else to save our kids and made a daily effort to create communities where all generations were invested in building and growing together?
Imagine a world where we took our most destructive young people and actually asked ‘why did you hit that girl? What did you think would come of it? Is jail time something you look forward to? Do you realize your ability to work, vote and live peacefully in general will be impacted for life because you chose to react instead of utilize long term/ big picture thinking?’
We need to start a conversation with our youth instead of making them wrong for everything. We also need to spread the positive as quickly as we spread the negative.
A lot of you have all these things to say online but put ZERO effort into our kids and communities in your daily lives. Some of you post fight videos regularly, but never graduation photos.
How about you help change the narrative instead of promoting the status quo?