8.17.2011

Who Said A Curfew Ever Solved Anything?



It changes with every generation. It was Swope Park and "The Loop", back in my mom and pops day. Then it was Banister Mall, then it was Ward Parkway Mall. It's a never ending circle....they tear one place down, they run kids out of another. They just find a new place to hang.


This past weekend there was yet another senseless shooting in Kansas City. This time it was in one the "exclusive" shopping districts in Kansas City called "The Country Club Plaza". The Plaza is like a mini Rodeo Drive for us.

There are shops like Tiffany’s & Co., Coach, Guess, and Armani Exchange. But then we also have a movie theatre, several different restaurants and snack places like Topsy's Popcorn, Cold Stone Creamery and Starbucks.
It’s quite funny because when I talk to my parents on how things used to be, black folk couldn’t even go to The Plaza back in the day. Hell, we weren’t even allowed past the 40’s blocks.

It used to be a nice little spot to just go chill and have brunch or have a nice night on the town. But as of lately (the last year) it's become over ran by a bunch of kids,(teens) during the summer especially.

Now for all of those who don't live in Kansas City and haven't heard let me give you a short synopsis of what's been going on...

In April of last year there was a riot (police called it a melee) where basically several fights broke out and several kids were arrested. Just recently this Saturday there was shooting where 3 kids under 16 were injured. So now the city's solution is to impose a 9pm curfew for all of those under 17.

Now...
(Warning I am about to go on a serious rant…in 3,2,1)

My husband and I have frequented The Plaza for years, to go the movies and he even proposed at a restaurant on The Plaza. So it to me holds a special place in my heart. It's not just like going to your local mall. It's not somewhere, where you or I would you shop at or necessarily "hang out" at every day.

People want to blame it on the black community, which unfortunately it IS mostly just black kids that are doing the congregating. But to impose a curfew of 9pm I think will just cause more trouble.

When I think back to when I was 17, number one, I had a job in which I did not get off most weekend nights until 9pm. I had a curfew at 17 of midnight, where I could sometimes stretch until 1am if I was out on a date. The hangout spot then was the Westport area which is just a few blocks from The Plaza which is mainly a bunch of clubs and bars, but for us it was just a place to walk around and be seen. I never hit Westport to hang out until my college years.

My parents didn’t allow me to just go out of the house that late and “hang out” until I was a senior in high school and by then I had no time really to be going out like that I was trying to make money or be hugged up with my boyfriend.

My problem with this whole thing is why are you 11, 13 years old and out of the house at 11:00pm at night with no one over 18? Who is supposed to be watching you? Where are your parents?

I understand the debate that there is nothing to do for inner city youth in Kansas City, MO. But The Plaza is NOT the place to do it if you’re gonna cause trouble. I'm sorry, but I do blame bad parenting for this. People are also saying that people are dropping their kids off here to hang out...but I beg to differ. The Plaza is on the bus line. It's pretty pitiful that the city has to set a curfew for YOUR own kids.

I remember when parents set the curfew and you damn sure obeyed it!

It's ridiculous that your just not safe anywhere. I looked at the paper this morning and it seems like more and more, that kids are killing other kids, I'm talking 18 and under.

Just senseless shootings!

It's down right embarassing as a people!

So is a city wide curfew of 9pm ALL year realistic? I don't think so. What's the EXACT solution? I'm not sure.I don't seem to see the same problem in Overland Park,KS or North of the river here in Kansas City.

It just saddens my heart. What is the world coming to?
I could go on, but I’m through for now. I may do a continuing piece on this after I find out if they really are going to enforce the curfew.





Heres a link to the newstory if your unfamiliar: Kansas City Star Story: Plaza Mayhem Prompts Call For Change

1 comment:

  1. In my hometown, years ago, there was a curfew set due to the violence that had been occurring with the youth. Now, by then, I was on a totally different level than my peers because like you, I also worked and after I got off, all I wanted to do was go to bed and get ready for school the next morning. My curfew was also at 12AM but there was no extending that. My parents meant what they meant and felt that if I couldn't have fun from the time I left to midnight, then oh well. LOL.

    I totally agree with your notion on bad parenting. It's sad that some parents really don't care where their children are or what they're doing. On the other hand, some parents work overnight and the child is left alone to do whatever. But for 11 and 13 year olds to be out without a responsible adult is too much for me.

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