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Teen Takeover. Only the beginning?

Janet Lansbury, once an actress but now a well-known “parent educator” once said “In my world there are no bad kids, just impressionable, conflicted young people wrestling emotions and impulses, trying to communicate their feelings and needs the only way they know how.”

Janet, as a Chicagoan, I can tell that you live in Evanston and not downtown Chicago.

A social media-fueled “Teen Takeover” in the Millennium Park area of Chicago over the weekend reportedly spun out of control, resulting in two people shot, 15 arrested, property damage, and police outnumbered in attempts to shut down the disturbance.

Well now…a takeover by teenagers on the streets of Chicago “spun out of control”? Well, Holy crap! Who would have seen that coming? Usually when left to themselves, today’s teenagers are so polite, respectful and well-behaved!

This whole thing is just hard to believe and must be that fake news Trump is always talking about. There is no way that…

Okay, I cannot even keep going. Of course I believe it. In fact, I am really shocked that more cities do not resemble scenes from the Lord of the Flies. Do you realize that during our recent pandemic the average teen spent almost 4 hours per day online for non-school-related purposes? The Journal of the American Medical Association just reported that our sweet little teens are spending an average of 7.7 hours online in non-school-related activity!

What could possibly go wrong? Why on earth would they not understand the simplest of common courtesies and behavior? Could it be that they don’t live on this planet any longer?

By the way, 27% of parents blame social media for their kids being hard to handle but 99% of those parents bought their little brat the phone.

On Saturday, crowds estimated by various sources in the hundreds up to thousands descended on the Millennium Park, which bars those under 21 after a certain hour. Instead, the teens smashed cars and jumped up and down on trapped vehicles, with police having to escort tourists back to their hotels in the area just to keep them from being harmed.

Large groups began gathering earlier in the evening, responding to social media prompts for a takeover. They quickly blocked traffic and mayhem ensued.

Chicago police said two teens,16 and 17 years old, were wounded by a gunman in the crowd, but the report that got to me was the 6 year old who was also shot.

Hundreds of police officers assisted by SWAT teams attempted to restore order as gunfire was reported multiple times. I am glad this all happened on a Saturday when law enforcement in Chicago usually has nothing to do.

Mayor Elect Brandon Johnson

I guess that we should not be too judgmental and a bit more forgiving like the Illinois State Senator Robert J. Peters that defended the takeover claiming it was simply “a mass protest against poverty and segregation”. Of course, this is the same guy that does stuff like introducing the measure to discontinue court fees for juveniles who end up in the court system, a measure that just passed in Illinois less than three weeks ago.

Chicago Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson responded to this incident by urging the public not to “demonize” the hordes of rampaging young people who set cars on fire, clashed with cops and damaged private property. This guy is the FUTURE of Chicago!

Johnson, a progressive Democrat and former teacher’s union organizer who was elected mayor earlier this month, released a statement Sunday reacting to the disorder:

“In no way do I condone the destructive activity we saw in the Loop and lakefront this weekend. It is unacceptable and has no place in our city, however, it is not constructive to demonize youth who have otherwise been starved of opportunities in their own communities.”

I am sorry Mr. soon-to-be-mayor, you should have stopped one third of the way through that last sentence. Try this script:

“It is unacceptable and has no place in our city.”

Please note where I placed the period in the sentence; right before the bull****. Has it ever crossed anyone’s minds that the reason why people will take to the streets and destroy private property, attack innocent people and burn communities is because there are always these loud voices that say they understand the “reason”?

We are a country of laws. What we do with those laws is what defines us. Ignoring laws will eventually make us lawless and we have unfortunately taught this to our children and allowed them to be influenced by an online world of lawlessness.

Social apps have become a lawless wilderness and instead of parenting, we have welcomed its allure because it watches our children for us. The way we cover news has influenced our children because we have become so wary of criticism, we trip over each other trying to come up with the kindest adjectives to use when a crime or crimes occur. We refuse to call things as they are. Arson is now an expression of anger and frustration? No, arson is arson.

Breaking store windows is now a physical sign that someone has been feeling downtrodden? No, breaking a window is illegal and called vandalism.

Stomping on a car window until the man inside gets out and then beating him senseless in the street because the internet told you to is not the act of someone starved of opportunity it is assault, battery and vandalism. The attacks against police that were trying to calm the situation? That is called a 3rd degree felony.

Like Father, Like Son", also known as the "I learned it by watching you!", was a large-scale campaign here in the United States made by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America.

The PSA features a father confronting his son in his bedroom after finding a box containing an unspecified controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. After his father angrily asks him how he learned to use drugs, the son shouts, "You, alright?! I learned it by watching you!" As the father recoils from realizing the error of his own ways, a narrator then intones, "Parents who use drugs, have children who use drugs."

It was listed by Time as one of the top ten PSAs of all time.

Terrorizing the streets, purposely attacking people and fighting law enforcement officers is not a part of puberty and I do not care what books you are reading or who you voted for. We have taught them that this is how you solve issues. We have allowed the negativity of social media into their lives, purchased the devices for them and paid the bill. We have shown them that crime is not a real thing as long as you have a good reason to commit it. This is on us and we better figure out how to reverse it quickly.

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