Where are the adults?

 I was on the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) which is our version of a commuter train and there were 2 young black girls sitting behind me. I thought they had to be on the phone because they were talking so loud; however they were not. I was trying to read and trying to ignore them. I could not.  The car that I was sitting in was full of all race, ages and sizes of  adults and children.  The girls I speak of were talking to each other.  They were talking about something that had happened between them and their baby daddies. I heard the n word this, n word that, I wish that mf would, sh this, n word, n word and more n words. Again they had this conversation as if no one else was on the BART train. I was shocked.I didn’t say anthing that day.  I was waiting for someone else to and no one did and neither did I.

Around 4 o’clock on Friday I had to go to the store to return something. As I entered the store the usual Walmart friendly greeters smiled and did their job – they greeted me. I went directly to the right and was the last person in the line.   The others that were in the line were a white man, around 40; and his son,around 14; a black man, around 35;  an asian woman and a white woman were being helped at the counters, and directly in front of me was a tall asian kid on the cell phone. He was about 19 or 20. He was having the usual inappropriate loud typical cell phone conversation – he was talking about something that had happened that he was none to happy about. He used the f word, the mf word, the d word, the gd word, the sh word and the mf word again and the mf word again, he was talking and looking as if he was all by himself in the line.  The white man glared at him, the black man turned around and stared at him, I watched and waited for these men to handle this kid.  I knew they were going to take care of  it. Whew relief. Then the white man turned around and looked at me, I  was standing behind the kid and he glared at the potty mouth kid and the black man exhaled loudly and stared at him trying to catch the potty mouths attention as if by staring at him he would feel it. He did not feel it, potty mouth continued to cuss and talk louder and rub his stomach with his hand under his shirt and walk back and forth and turn around and talk louder. I then did what none of these men would do – I said excuse me, I happen to be much older than you and we really do not want to hear all of that.  The white man smiled and turned around. The black man never turned around. By then there was a long line of people behind me – no one even moved.   The kid stopped talking and said I am sorry and lowered his voice.  The line then moved and everyone stepped up to the register.

In church some of the girls wear the most inappropriate clothes – spaghetti strap shirts, low cut jeans, shirts too small and too tight, jeans too tight and too small, skirts too tight, too short and too small and not one of them are old enough to drive, to work and therefore cannot only not buy their clothes they can’t drive to the store nor even to the church.  When I see them on Sundays I get real close to them and I whisper things like girl you oughta know better than that, and pull your shirt down your booty is showing, and  then I kiss them on the cheeck and walk away. Their parents saw them before I did.

We are living in a society that tries real hard to stay to themselves. To hide their head in the sand and pretend that nothing inappropriate is happening to our collective children and the society that we have created for them.  I did this on the BART – I hid my head in my book and pretended I didn’t hear anything. What a coward I was!! No more. We expect these children whose frontal lobes are not at all developed to know what they should or should not do, how they should or should not dress and when they should show respect. They lack the basic skills of the golden rule hecause we as adults have abdicated our responsiblity. We are too tired, too hungry, too broke, too stressed and just too upset to be fully vested in all of our children.   These children that we are not raising will one day rule the world.  And the fact that they lack the basic necessities of  how to sustain themselves both physically, emotional and financially I am not sure what is going to happen. Are you? We are so into ‘it is not my business’  but it is really. It is all of our business what happens to one child does in fact have a ripple effect.

Yolande Barial
Your Words Project: Speaking on Purpose
Seeks to enrich the lives of women through spoken word.
ybarial@gmail.com“Through her inspirational writings and spiritual poetry, Yolande Barial empowers all sisters, young and seasoned, to become on-purpose for themselves.”


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