One of my favorite questions to post on Facebook is: Whose relatives are these? Usually the question is asked in connection to some sort of criminal activity, which should embarrass the relatives to know that their family member was involved in the alleged activity.
My question got answered recently in a very unusual manner. Surprisingly, it was the content of the video that was posted that provided the answer to the question. By now most everyone has seen the video of the black family involved in a fight at Toontown in Disneyland. Toontown is an area specifically designed for toddlers and very young children. So the area was filled with young children as they got to watch an entire family display behaviors that were a complete embarrassment.
The video starts off with a brother arguing with his sister. During the course of the argument — about the brother’s daughter being disrespected — he calls his sister the B-word. She, in turn, spits on him. On display are the dynamics of a dysfunctional family. The use of that kind of language toward one another is completely unacceptable but appears to be very common within that family’s structure. The ease with which she responds with one of the most heinous of acts, spitting, is telling. She has not learned any kind of self-control either. The brother responds by punching at his sister and her husband. The sister then pushes the stroller containing her two young children out of her way so she can become more involved in this family feud. The two males are throwing punches at each other when the brother’s girlfriend enters the picture. The husband proceeds to sucker punch the girlfriend. In the meantime, the matriarch of the family, who uses a mobility scooter, rides into the middle of the melee. Her presence is ignored as the fight continues with everybody punching at everybody. Not one of them pays attention to the little boy who is meandering in the middle, where he could have easily been injured.
The mother eventually struggles to get out of the scooter and stands up. The sister and girlfriend get into an argument and as they throw punches at one another, the mother ends up being knocked to the ground. As the family members scream and accuse the girlfriend of having caused mama to be on the ground, the brother comes over and proceeds to knock his sister to the ground as well.
That was just the first minute and a half of the video. All of those grown people with no sense of self-control. That video told more about the black family’s social structure decline than any sociologist could ever relate. The ease with which profanity has become the norm is a major contributor to that decline.
I find myself cursing more than I’ve ever cursed in my life, so it has become a conscientious effort for me to monitor my speech patterns. However, in front of young children I know how to control my anger and my actions. That family feud should cause many of us to do some self-reflection about what is going on in our own families.
Do we treat each other like that?
Can we do better?
Will we do better?