Pages From My Skin

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Where Do You Draw The Line?

So...I'm heading home on the 5 train and in enters this older woman with her grandson. They each find a seat and after sometime, I realize how much the woman is nonchalantly cursing to this little boy who appears to be no more than 5 or 6 years old. What made me pay attention in the first place was how she was talking to him as though he were a grown adult. Not surprisingly, the boy did not respond. He remained, in the face, unphased and emotionless. He was a child for CRYING OUTLOUD listening to this senile woman, who honestly looked like a heroin addict, say:

"All that is bullshit anyway! You understand me!? I don't give a fuck. You kick that little mother fucker in the balls. Don't play that shit. If anyone tells you anything, you come to mommy or you come to me. Fuck that! I am mommy."

After every few words, she would whisper in this kid's ear and tell him things in which had to somehow be worst than what she was saying so openly on a crowded train. She was basically telling him; vulgarly; that it is ok to "punch a motherfucker in the face" and no matter what, she will be there to condone his behavior. For a moment, I began to envision a fastfowarded presentation of his future...and I don't know how I feel about what I saw. That woman's ominous tone and sinister presence seemed to me as a devil on his shoulder. And we wonder how children grow to become killers and drug dealers. Through such various forms of neglect. Through such exposure to ignorance and unconscious hate. So open to the concept of inflicting pain with little emotional involvement. What are we breeding? How do you pinpoint this sort of moment in one's life when when he/she has already, for example, committed murder or rape or any list of horrible things that happen on a daily basis? Where you do you begin to draw the line?

Suddenly, I see anti-Obama racists rallying at Republican conventions, staging noose hangings of Barack and Joe Biden from trees in Catherine, NY. Suddenly, I see people across the nation shouting reasons why this country ought not to be run by "niggers" and "baby-killers." I see police officers posting 14 year old teens against corner bodegas for seeing gangs as their only form of family and selling drugs as their only means of feeding that family. Who see only what they've been shown. Only what they've been taught by people who serve as their only role models. Where do you begin to draw the line?