I'm a 52 year-old father of one.
My only son, Brandon, is now 25 years old. He is a school teacher in Fort Worth, Texas. When he was 15, Brandon asked for my permission to go to a 'rave.'
Now I was more than a little disturbed by this, as most of you parents out there would be. My kid, a very bright boy with promise and intellect, wanting to go hang out at a party with a bunch of druggie heathens? Oh no, not in this house. So I said no, and Brandon did not go out that night.
Two weeks later, he asked again, and again I said no. Two or three weeks down the road, the same thing. Finally, in the heat of what was becoming a regularly-occurring heated argument, I gave in on one condition: I would be going with him.
Folks, these kids are OUR children. And let me tell you now, the kids are alright. I went to that rave. I went to the one he wanted to go to about a month later. Although he no longer lives close by, Brandon still attends raves, and with my blessing.
I've seen this community of "druggie heathens," and they're going to be just fine. If anything, the raving community has taught me several things as a father. Acceptance, for one. The kids, some sober and more than a few not, accepted me, an old fogie. Believe it or not, after talking with a lot of these previously-deemed miscreants, I've found that these kids are some of the brightest out there. Even those that are on drugs.
Raves are NOT scary. I've been far more scared driving up to an ATM near my home in Miami. I've been more afraid to walk down the streets in some nearby neighborhoods. There are no weapons at raves. There's security personnel checking everyone, and I mean everyone, including then 42-year old fathers.
Now I'm not saying I've never seen things that have scared me. Once, I saw a person overdose. On alcohol. In all of my experiences at raves over the past 10 years, I've never seen someone overdose on ecstacy or any other drug. Considering the amount of narcotics done in and around Miami, I'd say raves are one of the safest places for your children to be on the weekends, if they're not within your sight.
What we as parents are forgetting is the amount of LOVE in the raving community. By love, I do not mean sex. I mean genuine affection for the well being of others. These kids care for each other. They look out for their friends and make sure they're okay. They bear candy bracelets and hand them out to the people they meet, as a memento of their meeting and of the night. They're not gun-toting, rape and pillaging youth.
Do I agree with drug use? Absolutely not. However, these are an independent people, with minds of their own. At least they have people that care about their well being watching over them when they're on something.
These are OUR children. They are not terrorists. They should not be having assault rifles pointed in their direction. They should not be attacked for gathering peacefully and listening to music, sober or not. They should not be attacked like dogs, by dogs (two and four-legged).
People, stand up for your rights as citizens. Stand up for YOUR children. There are right and wrong ways to do things, and this was wrong. If you want to break up a rave, fine. Bring in officers and tell people to go home. You don't need camouflage, tear gas, attack dogs and assault rifles to do this. A simple, "We're shutting it down," will do.
Hopefully, some of these atrocities perpetuated upon the kids will be revisited upon officers with suspensions, firings and lawsuits. Just because you have a badge doesn't give you the right to break the law yourselves by beating defenseless children. You should be ashamed of yourselves. God IS watching.
To the kids out there posting and reading these comments, know this. Some of us parents love you. Some of us parents care for you. Some of us parents SUPPORT YOUR CAUSE, whether we agree with it or not. Peace, love, UNITY and respect. Please, be safe and continue to help others.
To the parents: listen to your kids. Show some interest in the same things they do. Connect. Be open-minded. Attend a rave and decide for yourself. Don't let society's stigmas rule your beliefs. Search out truth, and find satisfaction at coming to your conclusions through experience rather than simply believing everything you hear.
-A Truly Concerned Parent