Yesterday, I was driving down Fond du Lac Ave and a car passed me going really fast. I watched the car swerve around cars right and to the left then all of a sudden it had to swerve around something and ended up driving over the median, did a u-turn (luckily not rolling or hitting anyone), and kept going the other direction. Everyone on my side of the street stopped their car in disbelief. We looked at each other, thinking, that was crazy.
It made me think why a person would be OK with risking their life and the lives of the people around them by driving so poorly. Alex and I talked about it on our podcast, 53206, and one of the conclusions we came to was that some of kids in the inner city of Milwaukee don’t care about their future. They don’t care because we (society) have shown them that their life isn’t really valuable. When kids aren’t given a good education and end up failing classes or failing high school (1/3 of Black youth in MPS don’t graduate), it tells them from an early stage, they are a failure. When half of all black males have or will spent time in prison in the 53206 zip code, a lot of kids think that will be their future.
When I encounter this type of situation that I don’t understand how a person could do this, I usually get angry and judge the person. I judge them for acting stupid and not thinking about others. I think this is the wrong approach. If I see actions like these as a cry for help then I can have empathy on the person. I understand that many of the teens in my neighborhood don’t see themselves having a fruitful future and that is the thing I should be angry about. It isn’t OK that there is a large group of people that don’t think their lives matter.