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I WAS IN A SUPERMARKET recently when four young children were having the time of their lives. They were running up and down the aisles, taking up items and rolling around on the ground. The behaviour drew stares and whispers from the shoppers witnessing the display. To be honest, the children were darlings, just being children if it were another setting. However, they were running the risk of injury. We could not determine who they belonged to or why they were being allowed to carry on in this fashion. One of the brave little ones, bless her soul, approached me and wanted to know what groceries I had. We small-talked for a while and she began rolling around on the ground again. This time I asked her not to and explained the dangers of germs. She got up smiled and was on her merry way. What followed from the mother, whom we shoppers eventually realized was at the cashier, was a shocker. The situation soon changed from fun and frolic to danger when the young ones entered the liquor section and began their roughhousing again. By now the mother had cleared the cash register and a cashier spoke up and told the children they should not be in that area. Four hyperactive children in a section that contained all glass bottles could only spell danger. At least that is what all the other right-thinking customers believed. But the mother’s response caused the jaws of almost all the other adults to drop. “Come from in dey, wunnuh black so wunnuh can’t be in dey,” she shouted. Gasps of disbelief followed the ingrant proclamation. Then murmuring began among the shoppers. This was none too pleasing to the mother. “Mind wunnuh business, mind wunnuh business,” she turned and shouted to the whispering shoppers. “That is wuh I got to tell wunnuh,” she spouted as she exited the supermarket. The incident prompted an informal discussion on why some children will end up believing that wrong is right. The blame rested solely with the parent, the shoppers concluded. How could she not see that the instructions to the children were clearly to protect them from harm? It is amazing to me how some people will simply drop the race card to avoid facing up to certain responsibilities. This was a case of discipline and child rearing – nothing to do with skin colour. That the mother could not see the true purpose of allowing her children to heed the instructions, albeit of a stranger, that would prevent them from getting hurt is beyond belief. • Antoinette Connell is the DAILY NATION Editor. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.