The Cycle of Thuggery: How Can We Break It?

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    The video of a toddler using profanities and having profanities used on him by family members went viral this week.

    The video was posted on the Omaha, Nebraska police union’s website. They say they did it to show what they were up against and to break the so-called “thug cycle” in the city.

    They also say they shared it so the public will learn about “the terrible cycle of violence and thuggery that some young innocent children find themselves helplessly trapped in.”

    The head of the union tells me that they wanted law abiding citizens to know what they were up against.

    The question is whether it was ethical for police to post the video.

    Before you decide you should probably know that the video was originally posted to Facebook by one of the child’s relatives because he thought it was funny.

    The police union then took the video from the Facebook page and re-posted it on their site.

    That’s when the outrage ensued, not only over the re-posting of the video but mostly over the adults who were complicit in the scene.

    No one condoned the adult’s behavior but some have called police racist for making the video available to a wider audience.

    CNN Political Contributor Marc Lamont Hill told me it “sends the wrong message about young, black boys.”

    Others, including myself, have argued the “thug culture” is not exclusive to African-Americans, and that sadly I hear people of all different ethnicities calling their children the most ungodly names all the time.

    I also hear the most ungodly words coming out of many children’s mouths.

    Needless to say, the social media response was overwhelming after my discussion with Hill on CNN from people going back and forth about whether this type of behavior is pervasive in our society.

    Whether you believe it’s pervasive or not, the fact is that it does happen.

    All you have to do is a quick YouTube search and you’ll see it with your own eyes, hear it with your own ears.

    After our segment ran on CNN the toddler and three other children living in the home were removed and taken into protective custody.

    And from here who knows if their lives will get better or worse.

    Because for many children in this country, the foster care system isn’t such a good place to end up either.

    It could be just the beginning of another type of cycle; one just as contemptuous as the one from which police believed they were saving the children.

    It is a sad story all the way around.

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