City Shouldn’t be Nanny
Later this month, the city will begin hosting a series of Friday evening activities at the Dixie Classic Fairgrounds designed to keep teenagers from becoming desultory this summer. Idle time is, indeed, the devil’s pal; throw in summer and teenagers and you potentially have a powder keg.
We hope last Friday evening – when teens, presumably excited about the last day of school, made a beeline downtown and began actin’ a-fool – isn’t a harbinger of the next three months. As is always the case, a few bad apples ruined what would have likely been an uneventful outing, but when it comes to black youth, that’s all it takes. If one knucklehead acts out, the whole lot is labeled thugs and every black teen on Fourth Street on Friday night is viewed askance.
Parents and teenagers often complain that a lack of positive outlets begets the violence. The city can’t be accused of ignoring such concerns. For the past several years, it has offered diverse, teenagers-only summertime programs, like this summer’s offering, “Fairground Fridays,” which will include a free indoor skateboard park.
But parents have a greater role to play than the city, the police or any other entity. If your 13-14-15-year-old is on a downtown street corner – or any street corner, for that matter – at midnight, and you are at home asleep or God knows where, you have a problem!
While summer means a break from school for kids, it doesn’t mean a break from parenting for adults.
The city is providing a courtesy to its young residents with its summer programming, but is not ultimately responsible for ensuring that your kids are positively engaged and well-behaved; that’s all on you, parents.
Good Ol’ “Traditional” White Folks
N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis made national headlines this week over comments he made in 2012, when he essentially stated that black and brown people are scaring the bejesus out of white people, or “traditional” North Carolinians, with their adroitness at procreating.
In an interview with Carolina Business Review, Tillis, in one breath, talked of how the GOP needs to extend its reach to African Americans and Hispanics; in the next breath, he shows why people of color have such an aversion to his party.
Comparing the birth rates of blacks and Hispanics to that of white folks, he opined that the “traditional population of North Carolina and the United States is more or less stable. It’s not growing.”
How white skin translates to “traditional” has us bemused. A traditional North Carolinian would be a Lumbee or Cherokee, would it not?
Tillis is like many “traditional” Americans, concerned to the point of paranoia that the brown people are coming and plotting to take over. Their obsession to halt this feared take-over is evident in their obstinacy to immigration reform and their hostility to even the mere mention of the word “amnesty.”
Does Tillis’ bad choice of words mean that he is a racist? No, but this – taken along with his hostility toward the N.C. NAACP and his actions to silence the civil rights’ organization’s Moral Monday events – shows that Tillis has little patience or concern for folks who aren’t “traditional.”