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.

3 comments:

shim said...

Great post, but there's one point I disagree on.

I don't support hunting down stray fathers and trying to get money from them. It is the mother's choice to have the baby, not the father's.

Don't get me wrong, single mothers do need support and that's where family/friends/charities/the government should step in.

But, if you don't want to have kids, don't have sex, or if you do, use protection, and if you still get pregnant and choose to have the baby, then it's your responsibility. It's not the prerogative of the jackass who got into your pants to provide money and support.

Mushroom said...

Abstinence does not work. The message should be safe sex. Also, the code word should be ABC.

Abstinence
Be Faithful
Condoms

A bit too liberal to ethnic communities. Unfortunately, in a more interactive society, this message is quite effective and would be useful in promoting healthier lifestyles.

mezba said...

Shim, I disagree. I think a man and a woman are equally culpable for a resulting pregnancy - it takes two to tango - effectively. When you say "if you get pregnant and choose to have the baby then it's your responsibility" you are placing an unequal burden on the woman. Abortion should never be a birth control tactic.

Mushroom, the first A of ABC is abstinence! Actually ethnic communities (save for blacks) do practice the A quite highly. It is unlikely you will find many instances of single parents, premarital sex or promiscuity in many ethnic communities, who tend to be quite orthodox and traditional.