This Brave New World…

Earlier this week, a video of a fourteen year old, Amber Cole, performing oral sex on the steps of  her school went viral. As a woman and as a parent, I find the whole debacle very disturbing. I have pity for this generation. In my teens all you had to worry about was old-fashioned gossip. But with the advances in technology and the rise in social media, today’s teens also have to deal with the possibility of their deeds being broadcast across the net.

There are those who have rushed to insult and demean Amber. Growing up in the Black community, I am honestly not that surprised at the way she has been maligned. We are quick to label sexually active adolescent girls-or even those we SUSPECT of being so-“fast”, “hot” or “hoochie mamas”. We suck our teeth and roll our eyes at them, calling them heffas and prophesying that they won’t amount to anything. Rarely do we stop to ask ourselves why these girls are acting like this. Instead of writing off young girls like Amber as being “fast” we need to ask ourselves what is going on with them. Why does a fourteen year old girl want and need a boy’s approval so badly that she is willing to barter her dignity and perform fellatio on him in public? For me, that is the real issue here. I’m also disturbed by the callous behavior of the young men involved. It indicates a mindset that reduces girls to nothing but receptacles, as objects to be used for pleasure and then disposed of. If this episode is any indication of the brave new world we are entering, I’m very worried for the future.

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A native Seattleite and East Coast transplant, I have been interested in politics, religion, and race from the day I saw “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” on the bookshelf belonging to my BFF’s mom back in 1991. While my zealotry has thankfully diminished with maturity, I remain the deep thinking, passionate, and humble woman I have always been.

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