Sad, Sad America

I used to get on here and tell stories about my ghetto cousin Erica whose intelligence level is about the same as a doorknob.  I’ve told so many stories about her that it isn’t even funny anymore, it’s just sad. 

Her younger brother, Erique, he is following in her footsteps.  I can’t dig on him too hard because he’s just a little boy, 10 years old, and I’m trying my best to do something with him even though I only see him like 2 or 3 times a year.  He doesn’t have a rough home life, like, no one abuses him, but he’s neglected in a way that no one has time for him because his mother is a hood chick and his father is a waste of flesh.  As a result, he just acts out for attention, misbehaves in school and other typical 10 year old things to get someone to notice him.

Every time I go home to Florida I try to get him and take him some place with me to expose him to other things other than his super ghetto family.  He makes it hard because he’s loud and obnoxious because he’s just overjoyed that someone is actually looking in his direction, but I really do try to keep my promises to him and do things with him.  I’m not really into children and a weekend is really all I can stomach.

So this week, I go to Florida.  I pick him up on Friday night with the intention of taking him to Orlando with us on Saturday.  My sister and I always go to Orlando and go shoe shopping, eat at our favourite Chinese restaurant and get milkshakes from Steak’n’Shake.  It’s just an excuse to do something.

When I pick him up, I have rules.  I’m just like my mother, I know!  No music videos, no MTV, nothing that is too grown for a 10 year old.  I know his mother lets him do all these things and I guess it really doesn’t make a difference because I only have him for one weekend, but still!  I just can’t condone these sorts of things.  My sister has video games and he has to ask permisission to play and he cannot play the ones that are just crazy adult.  No Grand Theft, you know, stuff like that. 

So we get to the house and he’s like, “Can I please just watch one video?”  No, absolutely not.  My little brother, who is 19, says, “Why can’t he watch videos?”

Let’s see, why can’t Erique, the 10 year old watch videos?

I asked Erique the following questions:

What state do you live in?
He answers, Florida.  The correct answer.

What county is this?
He answers, Duval.  The correct answer.

What country is this?
He stares at me blankly.  Tallahassee?

What country? 
Uhm, Duval?

Not county, COUNTRY.  Where are you from?
Jacksonville?

I move on.  Name two states that border Florida.

He doesn’t know what border means so I ask him to name two states that are NEXT to Florida.
He correctly answers Alabama and Georgia.

What is the capital of the United States?
The Gulf of Mexico.

Name two countries that are next to the United States
Mexico and Africa.

After I explain that Africa is not a country, he says Mexico and California.

Name two countries in Europe.
Africa.

He can’t name another one and I remind him once again that Africa is not a country.
So obviously geography is not his strong point.  Let’s move on to mathematics.

He answered 3×5, 2×6, 9×3 all correctly but he had to use his fingers.

He could not answer 4×3, 4×4, 2×12 or 5×5.

I asked him to spell doctor.

D-O-C-T-L-E-R.

Don’t ask me where the L comes from.

He couldn’t spell lawyer, season or basket.

Were these questions too difficult for a 10 year old?  When I was giving him words to spell I kept wondering if the words were too hard.  I’m a pretty good speller and I don’t think anything is too difficult if you really think about it, so I have to give him the benefit of the doubt that I might have been asking him too difficult questions.

The killer is the fact that he doesn’t even know what COUNTRY he is from.  How the hell do you not know you are an American?  That’s craziness.  I don’t know what other people did but when I was school age we recited the Pledge of Allegiance everday.  I pledge allegience to the flag and the United States of America….

Call me crazy but does that mean I’m from the United States? 

What’s worse is that my sister tried to tell Erique’s sister, Erica (the dumb hoe) about how her brother didn’t know simple things and Erica says, “Those are typical answers for a 10 year old, how would he know all that stuff.”  The kid doesn’t know who the president is for God’s sake.  Erica probably doens’t know who the president is.  She is also the same person, who, after 9/11, just discovered there were other religions in the world besides Christianity.  She asked me why Osama bin Laden and other terrorists attacked the United States and I said (the best answer I could think of at the time) that sometimes people who feel strongly in their religion want other people to believe in it too.  They aren’t the same religion and they have different values and goals.  They think we are evil.  Added to the fact that they are crazy and have a weird sense of their own religion, sometimes people just don’t make any sense.

She responded with, “What you mean other religions?”

Not everyone is a Christian.

I didn’t know that.  Like what kind of religion could they be?  Like what do they do with their religion?

Erica, there are hundreds of other religions in the world.  There are hundreds of types of Christianity.  Not everyone goes to the same type of church as you.

She just stared at me completely baffled.  Erica was maybe 16 or 17 at the time. 

Am I overreacting?  Am I being too hard on these kids?  Maybe I am expecting too much.  I mean, a 10 year old knowing what country he lives in?  That’s probably too much to expect.  A teeanger not realising that there are other religions in the world?  Never mind trying to get everyone to believe in your same religion, but just realising that other things exist.  It’s just crazy.  It’s a sad, sad world out there.

This is our future.

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