Thursday, May 31, 2007

Missing Role Models and Black Culture

As I read through the news reports about the school shooting at C.W. Jefferys Collegiate, then the teachers' rant on what was wrong at the institution, and then I saw the pictures of the funeral and the news conferences, I could not help but notice one thing amongst all others.

Where are the fathers?

Every time there's a shooting involving black kids in Toronto, I see similar pictures. A kid dies, the mother (God bless her) crying to the camera. Then there's the funeral, you have a mother and 3 or 4 siblings, mournful. Then the accused (also black) are brought to court. Again there's his mother, teary eyed, in court.

In all these situations, you have the missing factor. The father. He's nowhere on the scene.

What type of monster produces a kid then wants nothing to do with it?

Some time ago when Tony Blair "blamed" black culture, I said it was a bit rich coming from him. Maybe I was a bit too hasty in condemning him.
Between 1992 and 2003, the number of homicides involving black youths in Toronto was almost five times greater than the average overall homicide rate of 2.4 per 100,000, according to a 2004 analysis by two University of Toronto's criminologists.


As much as society overall bears responsibility for the shooting death of a child, there's also no getting away from the cultural things going on, such as the deterioration of the family structure and lack of role models for some youths, says John Muise, of the Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness, who participated in the news conference at the Christian Centre Church on Jane St. It's been said the single greatest predictor of anti-social behaviour in a young male is the absence of a father.

"At the end of the day, you've got a bunch of young guys who are having babies way too young, that they don't look after," which leaves boys "without fathers, or they're confused about who their father is ? not that they don't have loving moms, but their influences, their role models are guys with guns, guys who act like thugs and act like gangsters," said Muise, a former police officer.[source]
I think the government owes it to the black community to provide more funds to promote sexual abstinence and educate them on the practice of safer sex and contraceptive methods, so if they are promiscuous at least kids are not being produced that will not only be brought up in an economically disadvantaged household, but also minus a father figure. The government should also go after dads who have kids and then do not financially contribute, with jail time if necessary. Finally, the government should seriously and aggressively target youth crimes, making the punishment such a big stick that it acts as a deterrent - in other words the punishment is not worth the crime or the risk.

And all of this is not just me speaking - this is also the opinion of a mother of a dead black son.