I was on the bus the other day and because of the crowdedness, I had to sit in the very back along with a group of high school students; two females, one Black and the other White and one black male. I mention their race only because it will be needed for future reference. Well, if you’ve ever been around teenagers, then you know that they have no concept of their ‘inside voice’ but instead conducted their entire conversation with their outside voice; which resulted in me being privy to their entire conversation. I listened as one of the young ladies quipped about another student; to which the male’s response was highly unusual. You could tell from our previous rides that he was the elder of the three, because he often spoke authoritatively and even bucked a few drivers on a few occasions. However on this ride, he told the young ladies not to speak poorly about their absent classmate.
Then almost like clockwork, their attitudes went into high gear. They immediately began to question his newfound resolve. To which, he timidly repeated his demand and oh that did it! One told him, ‘Oh, I forgot. You go to Triad now. How long you been goin’ there?’ Then the other chimed in with, ‘Yeah and what did you do to get into Triad?’ Well, assuming from the conversation, Triad was an alternative school or program for at-risk youths. And evidently, this young man had been recently reassigned. When he explained his story, it angered me or shall I say, I became indignant. In fact, his response is the inspiration behind this post. Why? Because evidently he and some young lady had an exchange of words or ‘spit boxed’ at the youth would say and the battle must have gotten heated, because the girl got ‘all up in his face’. His words, not mine. And because she did, ‘he had to remove her from his space.’ Again, his words, not mine.
When I heard that, I inwardly shook my head and not for reasons which most of you are thinking. I shook my head because this young man’s life was being altered because some young lady ‘got all up in his face.’ Well, what’s wrong with that? Everything! And don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating Domestic Violence because I am a survivor; in fact, I still have the temporary tooth in my mouth from his blow. But my point is that so many young men’s lives are being changed or redirected into the pipeline of the prison system because of small confrontations such as this one.
I mean think about it. They were arguing and she got in his face. As a man, what is he supposed to do? Sit there and allow her to continue to disrespect the very core of his being or should he have done what he did? Neither of which are right. In fact, both he and she were wrong. But should he now have this underlying criminal blemish on his record because of it? And though small and seemingly insignificant, this is how these young men get pushed into a system that they were not designed for.
This is just an introduction so get ready to get riled up as we continue our discussion on tomorrow. But until then….
Pray this with me: Heavenly Father, please help me Lord. Please forgive me because I’d already chosen a side without hearing the whole story and without knowing what Your Word has to say about it. Teach me how to not judge situations based on my experiences; but to instead seek Your Word as to how they should have been handled. In Jesus’ name.
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