Social Commentary

Unruly Teens Spoil Holiday Shopping

In reflectons on December 24, 2010 at 12:55 pm


Yesterday, I did some Christmas shopping with my husband.  Well, actually he had to run into the mall and get a gift card for his daughter.  So, I tagged along.   

I was totally disappointed as I was about to enter the mall—for privacy reasons, I won’t divulge the mall’s location.  As we headed for the entrance, we saw groups of teens walking out of the mall.  As we walked through the mall, we saw a pattern—groups of teens walking together, sometimes up to 10 deep.

It would be okay if most of them weren’t so loud and confrontational looking–with their pants sagging below the waist.  I even heard a lady at a cosmetic counter say, “They’re like a bunch of animals.”  I knew who she was talking about.  She was talking about the large groups of African-American teens who were roaming, aimlessly, around the mall. 

As an African-American, myself, I hate to see “my people” add fuel to the fire—add fuel to the fire of those common stereotypes.  Don’t they know what people are saying about them?  The sad part is that many of  them don’t seem to care.       

It’s not to say that white teens don’t act disruptively at times.  But, I’m concerned about “my” youngsters.  They don’t have the luxury of acting up in public.  In such situations, police have the luxury of shooting  first and asking questions later.         

But, I’m just tired of it…As a former teacher, I have seen the day-to-day disrespect that has been allowed—by parents, principals, etc.—to occur by “my” teens; I can’t relate to these types of youngsters, but I feel the need to claim them in some sort of way.       

When is enough, enough?  When will these youngsters understand that you have to act a certain way in order to be treated a certain way?  When will parents get the memo that it’s time to take back discipline of “our” children?  No, you don’t have to beat them, but you sure need to show them whose boss, from day one.

Also, in my city, the libraries have become the hang out spots for teens.  They congregate in the library, after school—being rude and making noise.  I’ve been in the library too many times when the police have had to intervene.  It’s simply an uncomfortable feeling to be around such behavior.

The library should be a peaceful place to read a book quietly.  The mall should be a relaxing place to shop and get a bite to eat with the family.  I’m angry that these places are being taken over by unruly kids.  It’s just not fair and shouldn’t be tolerated.  And, if something isn’t done, it’s just going to get worse.


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