Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I'll NEVER Accept It

I've seen a lot of things. But there are somethings that I refuse to accept, no matter how often I see them...

A few weeks ago I went to court with a co-worker and my stomach literally knotted when I saw a boy, no older than 16, in a prison jumpsuit and shackles. And I can't deny that I probably would have cried... in the car... had I driven myself. It's one thing to see it on television and something totally different when it's all up in your face. He was a baby... is a baby.

And I can't tell you that I wasn't seeing through a mother's eyes. I'm a mother no matter what my occupation is and it isn't a role you can just switch off and on. When I saw this child, something struck a nerve. I even put the entire situation in perspective... he wasn't there because he was 'child of the year'... broke the law in some way. Maybe he killed someone, maybe he cursed out the wrong cop, maybe he's a victim of racial profiling, maybe he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, maybe he beat up his mom... or sold drugs, was a pimp, was a runner, or just the cool guy who didn't flee....

I made up all these 'stories' about him, 'cause I didn't know him. But still... seeing a young person, in prison-issued garments... shackled wrists to hips, ankle to ankle... will never be something I can accept. Ever. 'Cause it isn't supposed to be that way...

Where are we failing? And what's working? When we begin to look at the things that are keeping kids out of juvenile detention centers, we'll be in a better position for really executing change.

Stay peace

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