David Blaska wrote:Your mistake is to think that M'F-ing teenagers on the basketball court behave like cello players on the darkened streets of night.
What's funny is I grew up around some cello players (actually, classical string bass and violin) on the mean streets of suburban Minneapolis who did a lot worse on the "darkened streets of night" than cuss in parks.
I see you working here though. You want to make it seem like I don't object to bad behavior. To review: you believe it's justified to destructively remove recreational equipment from a park when some kids who use it swear. People will remember that I objected to these tactics, as did many others here. I took it a step further and suggested engaging the kids in a discussion, perhaps serving refreshments to establish rapport, a notion you continue to scoff at... over two years later.
It was interesting to see what they're doing in Meadowood Park this summer, where there's a free drop-in summer camp and, on Saturdays, a football league. Another thing my neighbors are doing in Meadowood is taking neighborhood walks and rewarding kids they see acting positively. They're also making improvements to the park, believing I'm sure that if you attract more kids there, it becomes the ideal place to have positive interactions with them.
I was lucky enough to grow up in a house with a mom and a dad who paid for me to play sports and participate in other activities were I was around coaches, scoutmasters and other mentors. Kids who grow up in crappy households with toxic parents obviously don't have such opportunities. You think we should take the basketball away, but I think we should have someone who is well trained in dealing with at-risk kids go the the park and use it as a point of entry to intervene. Conservatives should be able to see that investing in youth this way is much cheaper in the long haul than pushing them through the criminal justice system and locking them up.
What's interesting is that in the worst parts of Milwaukee (northeast of North Ave. and 30th Street, for one), you're not likely to find many basketball hoops or recreational opportunities of any type. That's just one of the many symptoms of that perpetually troubled city, which carries the dubious distinction of being America's most segregated