I love going to the movies. There is just something about watching a film on a 50-65 feet screen, surrounded by sound that just does it for me. What I do not appreciate when going to see a movie is unruly, disruptive behavior. Although this isn’t usually a problem for me, it was a problem on Saturday night at the Deerbrook AMC Theatre.
The foolishness began with a young man shouting out some expletives about it smelling like feet. It was funny for about .5 seconds, but the aftermath of giggling, shouting, and mumbling while the movie was going on continued for about 5 minutes. Let’s pause right there. When you are in a public area with people of all ages, backgrounds etc., be mindful of those around you and keep your foul language to yourself. To those of you who think, “I say what I want and I don’t care who hears it”, chop yourself in the throat twice and read a dictionary. There is nothing cute about a limited and vulgar vocabulary. If you’re still upset, you just might be the parent of the child who started this whole ordeal.
Back to the story…the teens simmered down for a moment until another child pulled out a laser pointer and proceeded to point it at the screen. The teens laughed, hooped, and hollered. A shouting match between the disrespectful teens and people trying to watch the movie ensued. Frustrated families began to file out of the theater and the teens had the nerve to taunt them as they left. Now I’m angry and I’ll tell you why in a moment. Since half of the people left the showing to get a refund, management eventually came in to see what was going on. First came the worker-bees, then the manager and security guards, and finally, two police officers who proceeded to escort rows upon rows of black children out of the theater for questioning. Angry moviegoers muttered ugly comments about the kids while attempting to start up applause as they were escorted out. This entire ordeal took about 30-40 minutes and put a complete damper on the movie going experience. I can live without seeing a movie but what I can’t live with is knowing that the younger generation doesn’t seem to get it.
I get that it’s a multi-layered issue. I get that it’s unfair, but the fact remains that black children do not have the privilege of being young and dumb. It boggles my mind a little bit that these kids who are social media dependents are not more aware and conscious of how they are being perceived and what’s going on in the world. Tamir Rice, a 12 year old boy was killed for being a kid and playing with a toy gun. People have been socialized into believing that black people, regardless of age, are something to fear, so we are treated like criminals. It’s not fair. But what I won’t do is make excuses for foolish behavior, especially when my melanated brothers and sisters run the risk of losing their lives for it. All empathy went out of the window once the police officers arrived and honestly, anything could have happened. That didn’t sit well with me.
Consider this my plea to young people. Understand this system was not designed for you; therefore, you have to operate differently. I am a believer that there is no such thing as a bad kid. I whole-heartedly believe in bad parenting or lack thereof. So I’m here to tell you, (black teenagers of Deerbrook AMC and elsewhere) just because the world perceives you as less than, you are not. You are capable of giving and receiving respect. You should demand it. You are capable of watching a movie without being a distraction. You are capable of encouraging your friend who has no chill to chill out; and if they don’t, remove yourself from that situation. I know you can do it, because I do it. Once upon a time, I was a black child too and I hope that one day you can say the same.