Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Little boys on the bus

This past weekend I decided to go and buy a few Christmas cards and a few other last minute gifts. I left pretty early, around 9 am. I wanted to avoid the shopping crowds.

I was surprised when the bus came after only about 5 minutes of waiting. That's unusual, especially for a weekend day.

The bus wasn't very crowded. So I settled into a seat and relaxed and listened to my ipod. After a few minutes two boys sitting at the very front of the bus started arguing. I really couldn't understand what they were saying because I had my ipod pumped up pretty loud.

Then almost without warning these two boys started to scuffle. I took one of my ear pieces out to hear. They were 'cussin' up a storm'. And no one was saying anything. Not even the bus driver. One woman got up and moved toward the back of the bus and sat back down.

After a couple of minutes of watching this for some reason I yelled "hey you two quit that and sit your butts down!" And amazingly they stopped fighting. I told one to sit where they had been sitting and I told the other to sit a few seats away.

Oh and after they stopped that's when everybody started mumbling about the 'bad' boys fighting and how crazy and ill behaved kids are these days.

I sat there thinking it's wasn't those boys I wonder about, they were only about 11 or 12 years old. I wonder about that darn adults, men included, who just sat there not saying anything. Those boys were just doing what kids do when they aren't supervised. They act-up!

What was the excuse of the grown-ups on the bus? Including the big burly bus driver who remained silent until after the boys stopped fighting.

Eventually the boys pushed the stop request. One of them looked at me with eyes that said "Is it okay if I get up now?". I could tell that these were not bad boys. Just boys.

They got off the bus and just like kids do began to walk together just as if the fight never happened.

That's when the mumbling turned into conversations and shaking heads. I wanted to yell at the adults and tell them if they couldn't speak up when those boys were on the bus that they shouldn't say anything after they were gone.

I'm tired of people pointing out problems but never taking any action to solve them. I'm no martyr I could just tell that they were little kids and that they were not to be feared.

Did the other adults keep quiet because they were afraid to say something to African American boys? Has it gotten that bad?

When it was all said an done I was disgusted with all the adults on the bus. I spent the rest of the bus ride with a frown on my face that said don't even talk to me.

Darn adults.

Do you think I was wrong to speak up to those little boys?

19 comments:

Symphony said...

"Is it okay if I get up now?".
Whew, I almost teared up right there. Heck no, you weren't wrong. People are quick to blame kids but you're right, they are kids. They are to be molded into good human beings. Some behaviors are inherent, but not all.

Its why I blame parents and other adults. If more people took an interest in kids (including parents) instead of calling them bad things would be better.

Every doesn't have to go out and mentor all the kids of the world, heck, you can do it within your family.

Families at one time took care of each other. If my aunts or cousins see my son doing something wrong they know what to do. And they wont hesitate.

Selfishness of parents; thats whats wrong with many kids. Not enough attention.

Having said that I'm on my way to my son's school for a meeting.

Soul said...

It could be my things.

We live in a world of 'it's not my business' (especially in cities) and unfortunately, it's not a new thing.

Then there's the fact that some people might not know what to do, some people are quick to use the fist as a correction mechanism, and you can't do that with other people's kids... So they say nothing.

Some people sit there and say... oh well it's not my problem, so they sit back and say nothing

Some people think, what if the kids have a knife or even a gun, so they sit back and say nothing

Some people think, it's not their place to discipline or even correct other people's kids.. so they sit back and say nothing.

Some people think, well if I say something and they don't listen, and they start cursing me, I'll be embarrassed.. so they sit back and say nothing.

Some people are just plain tired. They see it all day, everyday it's become the norm.. so they sit back and say nothing cos they can't even seee it anymore.

A myraid of reasons..
Doesn't make it right or better...

Randi523 said...

I definitely think the adults were afraid to say anything to these CHILDREN. And look how quickly they atraightened up after you said something to them.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

They don't sound like adults if u asked me and if the were too scared to do nothing.....and thats anice ass bus, lovely pic too

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

PS: you know my lady vols (homegirls) gone take it all

Danielle said...

I think you were correct in checking them. However, I also think it has gotten that bad in our community.

It's a catch 22 because so many of our kids are out of control because adults don't handle business.

Alot of kids are loose canons and you don't know what they are going to do, so adults are afraid to speak and the wheel goes round and round.

Tami said...

You were right on, MDC. There are myriad reasons why adults are hesitant to confront and correct children these days--from the threat of violence from kids to the threat of violence from their parents. But unless we want to lose a generation, we grown ups are going to have to find our courage and find our voices.

I wouldn't DARE act up in front of an adult when I was little, ANY adult not just family and friends.

Professor Tracey said...

MDC - You were not wrong, but risky. And the unfortunate truth is someone needs to start taking this kind of risk. I never would have engaged in that type of behavior on the bus, I would have died if someone told my mother.

The average African American child is not afraid of anyone anymore, the adults are the ones in fear. Adults must stand up and reclaim their power. I watch black children back-talk their parents, disobey their parent's instructions and basically act like mini-adults. It has just gotten out of control.

I don't have a problem with speaking up in situations like this, just remember to brace yourself for negative reactions.

Lisa said...

The one thing I have found out about kids is they know who means business and who does not - they are the most discerning of all humans - imo - Yes, MDC, you were absolutely correct in making the kids stop. Grown folks have to step up and be the adults - that's why the kids "stayed in a child's place" because you were in an adult's place.

Mes Deux Cents said...

Symphony,

He was just a little kid. That's true unfortunately some many people have kids when they are almost kids themselves.

What Bill Cosby and Oprah need to do is outfit a special mobile classroom and go to inner city neighborhoods and give parenting classes.




Soul,


That's true people are frightened to intervene, but they have to look at the kids as individuals. These were darn near babies.

If they had taken the time to just really look at them they would have seen that.



Randi,

True they might have been afraid, but they shouldn't complain them. That's what got me angry.



Torrence,

If you had to take those darn Van Hools buses everyday you'd hate them like I do! The isles are too narrow and the seats face each other. Who wants to ride facing complete strangers (weirdoes) everyday!


Danielle,

Yeah I agree but if you catch them when they are 11 or 12 they might not become loose cannons.



Tami,

When I was a kid on the bus I just sat quietly until it was time to get off the bus. Too many neighbors might have been on the bus and told my mother if I hadn't!


Professor Tracey,

If they had been a couple of years older I wouldn't have said anything either. But if you can't speak to babies then we are really lost.


Lisa,

They just sat down. You should have seen the surprise on the adults faces.

Mes Deux Cents said...

Torrence,

I'm a Candice Parker fan but not a Vols fan. I'm hoping Rutgers or Temple will give the Vols a run this year.

Miriam said...

Hooray for you MDC! you acted like a responsible citizen.

sadly, it really does take a village to raise a child.

Thanks for the story.

~~~~~~~~~~~
Yes, I suppose it could have gone wrong if those kids were older "thugs" beyond repair (already?). but there are ways to manipulate kids, they are just kids.

Mes Deux Cents said...

Miriam,

(lol) I try!

True but it was easy to see that they were just kids.

clnmike said...

LOL, Mes Deux Cents you are OLD SCHOOL! Most people are terrified of black boys including black people, when all they needed was what you gave them right there. I hoped you shamed every man on that bus. Better yet I hope people took a lesson from you. They are kids, not some animals to be feared. Guidance is exactly what they need from every one. Lord knows were that could of led if let unchecked.

BTW that has to be the cleanest looking bus I have ever seen.

Janie said...

Big Ups to you! It definitely takes a village to raise a child as says the cliched proverb. Not enough people take responsibility for our children, that's a problem.

However, I won't forget reading about a grandmother a few months ago that was gunned down after she reprimanded so taggers.

So, thank you MDC for stepping up and taking a risk for the good of what's right and human.

Jackie said...

MDC, BRAVO!! You did the right thing.
Great comments from everyone too.
The boys respected you because you cared enough to step in. The more we adults step in the more kids will be hesitant to do anything anywhere.
I remember on a Chicago bus some teen girls were clowning, cursing and disrespecting a lady senior citizen. A young man about 18 stood, told them to sit down and shut up. They tried to get nasty but he meant business and didn't back down. They sat and glared and got quiet. The bus broke into applause for the young man who did not crack a smile and waved off the applause. The girls soon got off and walked quietly away. We need to go back to being adults around kids. It shows we care and sometimes it's what they really need.

Mes Deux Cents said...

ClnMike,

Is this being old school? (lol) I hope the men that were there will speak up in the future.

Those buses are pretty much brand new. The yare from a company called Van Hools, which is a Dutch company I think.

Anyway the buses are very uncomfortable. The isles are way to narrow and the seats face each other. I would trade them for the old buses any day!



Janie,

OMG, that poor lady. Trust me I wouldn't have said anything if they had been teens. I definitely know my limits!



Jackie,


I've seen girls getting as bad as boys. I try to think if teen girls were this wild just 10 years ago. I think hip hop culture is hardening some of our kids, boys and girls.

clnmike said...

"I've seen girls getting as bad as boys."

The heck with that they are out right dangerous. I posted about a little gang of them that were terrorizing a male class mate. And when I was taking the transit system down here in Atlanta it was the little school girls causing havoc.

I have no idea what turned the out like that but I do not think Hip-Hop can be blamed for this one.

Mes Deux Cents said...

ClnMike,

Yeah the girls are getting a bit out of hand too. I really think the "hard" hip hop so-called culture is responsible for the mind-set.

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About Me

West Coast, United States
African American, Poet?, Vegetarian, Music lover, Agoraphobic, Social Phobic

My Favorite Poet

My Favorite Poet
Staceyann Chin

My Favorite Track Athlete

My Favorite Track Athlete
Christine Arron