The annual E. 185th Street Festival came to a close Sunday evening August 5, 2006 but unfortunately I can't say the 5-day festival was unheld without incident. On Friday evening a mini-melee resulted in several area youths being arrested and adults in the crowd complaining about police treatment of the miscreants.
The actions of police on Friday did not deter two young girls from getting into a brawl in the middle of parents and young children trying to enjoy a nice evening in the community.
The problems of youth violence have to managed and I believe one step in the right direction is to hold parents or guardians financially responsible! The actions of the youths this past weekend are detestable for a number of reasons, but as a black women they are first and foremost a problem because the youths causing all the ruckus at this Family oriented festival were black!
The actions of a few jeopardize the enjoyment of thousands. This year the festival was cut by a day and was limited to the school grounds of O.H. Perry School. Speculation on the reasons behind the cuts range from the cost to maintain the festival on the street as well as an attempt to deter the late night fights.
If the latter was a reason, it is evident that the changes did not serve as a detriment and that something needs to be done about these hoodlums who continue to threaten what was once a safe, family friendly festival.
The parents of each of the instigators should be forced to pay a steep fine as well as mandated to attend counseling sessions with their unruly minors - at their expense as a means to help curtail this nonsense.
I understand that is not the only solution, but I do believe that actions will change if people are held accountable by a method that has a lasting effect.