A guest shares her thoughts on the proposed curfew

on Nov 30, 2009 in Blog by

by Brandy Johnson

Tomorrow (December 1), a proposed curfew for minors in Iowa City will come up for consideration by our City Council. I was recently asked if I felt that the curfew proposal was focused on black youth.  My answer was “ABSOLULTELY YES!”  The violence that people talked about during the curfew debate has been taking place in our part of town, so it seems pretty clear that the curfew is more towards the African American kids on the Southeast side than any other race or location.

I am a minority student attending City High School and I am a member of the FAS TRAC program.  The choice of a juvenile curfew as a response to crime that affects all of us in my neighborhood–instead of choosing to invite me and my family and others of us to help figure out a solution–makes me feel like blacks aren’t to be trusted.  This makes me feel that our community isn’t welcoming me here, like I am being judged by other races (mostly Caucasians) and the decision being made is that I’m not wanted in my neighborhood.

Not only is the curfew affecting blacks in general, it is also affecting minors who have done nothing wrong.  I fit in both categories. I am not a troubled student or a violent person.  Why am I being punished for doing nothing wrong?  If the curfew is going to be a new law, it shouldn’t be toward one race or non-violent kids, it should be forced on the individuals who caused this.

It would be better to get to know minors as a new generation, understand what we are about, and hear our voices when it comes to making new decisions about us in our community (which don’t even affect the adults who make them). Again, why punish me and others who have done nothing wrong?

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