Watching Marquette battle Villanova on Saturday...
Watching Marquette battle Villanova on Saturday...
... prompted thoughts of the teen curfew at Bayshore.
... prompted thoughts of the teen curfew at Bayshore.

The intersection of basketball and Bayshore

Perhaps the dawn of a new year has me thinking about big-picture topics. Maybe it's the cold weather that has me mixing sports with "real" news. Maybe it's the fact that I'm sitting 10 feet in front of the Marquette pep band and my head is throbbing.

In any event, I can't help thinking about the scene today at the Bradley Center, where the Golden Eagles are hosting Villanova in the Big East opener.

I'm watching thousands of mostly white fans cheering for a group of mostly black players in their late teens and early 20s. There is nothing noteworthy about that; it happens at college arenas across the country.

But, it got me thinking about what's happening at Bayshore Town Center.

Yesterday, Bayshore enacted a weekend curfew for teenagers. For the first three weeks of the year, the mall has decreed that youths ages 17 and under can't stay in the public spaces of the mall after 3 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, unless accompanied by a parent of legal guardian aged 21 and over. One adult may accompany up to four youths.

"We are very pleased with the way the surrounding communities have embraced Bayshore as a true community gathering place," Bayshore general manager Chris Jaeger said in a statement.

"We have been closely monitoring traffic and behavioral trends over the past year and identified the need to make adjustments to our existing policies to accommodate these trends and ensure we remain a family-friendly, positive and welcoming environment for all of our guests."

You know what this means, don't you?

A bunch of black teenagers gathered at the mall and scared the bejeezus out of a bunch of mostly-white shoppers. Apparently, things came to a head last Saturday, when large groups of teens descended on an already crowded mall. Some of the kids may have been acting inappropriately. Some may have seemed menacing. Some may even have broken the law. I wasn't there, so I can't say exactly what went down.

Officials at the mall responded by instituting the curfew, which was totally within their rights and based on local precedent.

The same thing happened two years ago at Mayfair Mall, which its Parental Guidance Required (PGR) program. When that happened, a lot of folks -- in the media and the community at large -- figured that Wauwatosa's mall was headed the way of Capitol Court and Northridge.

I drove past Mayfair today and... let's just say it was pretty busy.

Though some Bayshore retailers may complain, I would guess that the impact on sales is not going to be significant. Given that this event happened during the holidays, it hasn't received a lot of attention from the media. Come Monday, the news talk stations will probably tee it up and predict gloom and doom for the mall and the state of race relations in the city.

When that happens, I'll think about how tough it is to be a teenager these days and how folks who cheer a bunch of college athletes at a basketball game might experience fear upon encountering the same young men at a shopping center.

Having a curfew at a mall may streamline the shopping experience and make all kinds of business sense.

But, I think there are bigger issues in play here. They've been around for some time and I don't think they're going away any time soon.

Talkbacks

speakthetruth | Jan. 6, 2010 at 3:30 p.m. (report)

Natemarq didn't graduate from elementary school, let alone Marquette.

The only experience that he has with regard to MU vs. Badger basketball is based upon what he sees on the 19" Emerson television in his mom's basement.

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jojofalls | Jan. 4, 2010 at 9:20 p.m. (report)

35392 It's behavior and conduct, not race that warrants a business's right to protect itself along with the well being of that business' patronage. In this age of high tech communication venues (facebook, instant messaging, texting, etc.), it's easy for any public domain to become the recipient of a "flashmob" crowd. Appreciate your column.

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jojofalls | Jan. 4, 2010 at 9:13 p.m. (report)

35392 It's behavior and conduct, not race that warrants any business to look out for its best interest along with the well being of that same business' patronage. In this world of high tech communications (Facebook, texting, instant messaging, etc.) it's easy for any public domain to end up with a "flashmob" of crowds. Appreciate your blog.

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mikeb | Jan. 4, 2010 at 1:15 p.m. (report)

The issue is that people don't want to shop around people who are being loud and obnoxious while they are "doing their thing". White, black, yellow, or blue, people have shopping options and don't need to put up with unruly behavior.

Mayfair had a string of incidents before implementing their policy. By all accounts, the new rules there have worked well. Bayshore probably learned something from Mayfair and was a bit more proactive.

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buck | Jan. 4, 2010 at 10:21 a.m. (report)

natemarq,

you always have an amazing ability to turn every article into a marquette vs. wisconsin issue even when it is completely irrelevent to the subject matter, and you also are able to turn almost anything into a slight against marquette even where none exists.

if you are somebody satirizing certain marquette alum i say job well done. if you are an actual mu alum and this is the way you view the world, then that is just hilarious and sad.

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