Last night, at about 8 pm, when it was full night, my doorbell rang. Red had a complete meltdown. I looked out into the darkness and there were three young African-American boys, no more than 13, standing well back from the door and my dog.
I put the howling Red away and came back to the door. They hung back, about 5 feet from the door, at the edge of the porch light, as if they didn’t really want to be identified (or attacked by my dog).
They were well dressed. They seemed well cared for by their parents.
I asked what they wanted.
They said they were in the neighborhood collecting for “underprivileged Black youths in the community.”
They were well spoken and polite, but it was all I could do not to laugh out right. It was obvious these three were trying to scam money. Any youth in this area isn’t underprivileged. Too, it’s so white here they were probably the only African-American youth for miles. But I was amused. I liked them. And I wanted to see how far their story would go. So, I asked what was the group that had sent them out collecting.
They said, “The black adult community.”
I asked if they had a permit, which is required for collecting in the city.
They said no.
I asked if they a copy of the 301(c) of their charity.
They said no.
Politely, I recommended they go back to their pastor or charity leader and maybe get these things. Then, I wished them well and sent them on their way.
I watched them go the neighbors on the corner, one on a tiny fixed-gear bikes (indicating they lived in the area). After some discussion, they went around the corner.
About 10 seconds later, a cop car pulled up and went around the same corner after them.
I wasn’t surprised. Someone less charitable than I probably thought they were casing homes. I assume the boys were picked up for panhandling, or, if they did collect any money, fraud.
I hope they were sternly warned and released to their parents. Though I must confess, I felt bad for their parents. I’m sure they had worked hard to bring their boys to a safe affluent community with strong schools. And now their kids had just thrown it all back in their faces in a bid to get some easy cash.
At the same time, I did wonder if their parents weren’t contributing factors. That is to say, why did these children already hold such negative images of the abilities and opportunities of today’s young African-Americans that they thought it entirely reasonable to knock on strangers doors at night collecting for this group?
Someone put the idea into their heads that in America being of a certain race (to which they belonged) was reason enough for charity. I don’t mean to be skeptical, but are US African-American youth really as in need of charity as say, homeless victims of a tsunami, or people who have been set on fire during religious persecution, or an actual orphaned African child with AIDs?
Anyway, I’m not sure why I’m writing about this. I guess as a cautionary tale. But what the caution is, you’ll have to decide for yourself.
Bad Me has decided the caution is never have children. They’re more of a crap shoot than a solid investment.