25 October 2013

Friday Follies...
Welcome to another weekend...and does it seem as if the weeks are just FLYING by or not?
Sure feels like it.
The weather today will be mostly sunny after some morning clouds with a high of about 47 degrees (that's Fahrenheit, kids).
No precipitation to speak of for the time being, but it will feel like Fall.
In any event, let's not be deterred from all the other "stuff" that's been going on around us, but rather take a look at it instead.
*** First out of the sack today is an article that hasn't gotten that much press in the drive-by media here in the Summit City...and it makes me wonder why? The Journal-Gazette (left-leaning publication that it is) managed a story in today's edition, and here's the story link:
The headline states "City Joins Plan for Black Males".
Let's preface this by noting that I have said here (often enough) that we DO have a minority problem in the Summit City.
We also have a white trash METH problem that is moving from the rural areas into our city, and in ever-increasing numbers.
But, the majority of the criminal "mischief" this city enjoys can be attributed to the black males in mostly the SE side of town...and that is also spreading out to the upper east side and southwest areas.
So, now we hear about this latest "initiative" (we could REALLY use the AVENGER INITIATIVE) that places US on the list with ten other cities chosen by the National League of Cities to promote black male achievement...
Can I get an "Amen" on that?
(...what...too soon?)
Now, this City Leadership to Promote Black Male Achievement plan is coordinated by the league's Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, which is designed to GIVE (another handout?) Ft. Wayne a year of technical assistance, supporting an effort to reduce disparities between black males and their peers.
(...is it time to roll our eyes yet?)
King Henry (our mayor) spoke about this and states:
"We must come together to overcome obstacles such as unemployment, education disparities, high incarceration rates, and health concerns".
-- All well in good, "Sire", but unemployment is ACROSS THE BOARD...as in NOT all that many jobs to be HAD, thanks to a lousy economy with sluggish growth that makes snails looks speedy in comparison..
-- The educational problems can be solved a lot easier...get the kids to COME TO SCHOOL...and then BEHAVE themselves long enough to actually LEARN something.
-- The high incarceration rate is because these bucks have too much time on their hands, and the gang problem seeks to recruit these boys for THEIR agenda. Crime doesn't just "happen" ...it doesn't manifest itself like an apparition...it needs a "nudge" to get it rolling. It needs opportunity and an excuse.
We used to call the solution to such a problem as OBEYING THE LAW...period.
-- As far as health concerns go, well, if people didn't go catch an STD and then hump anything with two legs and an orifice to spread that STD, things would be a lot better in that regard, right?
It all comes down to TWO WORDS - COMMON SENSE, and apparently another group of people are determined to create an environment where all these bad things will just go away...I seriously have my doubts on this.
Our fair city actually has a Fort Wayne Commission on African-American Males...did you know that?
And they spent FOUR months compiling data and creating an action plan for addressing issues that affect the "social status" of black males.
Now, I'm positive that this group is NOT interested in the black males that have challenged THEMSELVES, pursued HARD WORK, and managed to better THEMSELVES into a good JOB or CAREER...right?
So, the intent is only aimed at a minority OF that minority...sounds a bit biased to me.
This coming Tuesday at 5:30 PM, City Council will host a discussion with the Urban League of less than extraordinary gentlemen (what the hell is it with all these LEAGUES all of a sudden...someone watch a few too many Sean Connery movies?) on finding solutions to the problem of all the homicides we've enjoyed this year (...38...and counting).

I'm not going to go over all this again, as you KNOW what real solutions entail in regards to this issue.
It takes TOUGH decisions...and enforcing the laws we have on the books...'
Nuff said there.
Interesting to note that cities ALSO on the list include Philadelphia (no surprise there) Chicago (ditto), Oakland, Orlando, Omaha, Portland, OR, Louisville, Jacksonville, Milwaukee, and Charlottesville, VA.
I wonder why Atlanta, New Orleans, Miami, L.A., Houston, Dallas, Indianapolis, or Cleveland weren't included?
Are THEIR black males not as much "at risk" as those on our list?
Are they better behaved?  Do more of THEM obey the laws?
I think that list could be amended quite a bit.
And I wonder HOW MANY of those cities are run by DEMOCRATS (read liberals)?
On the surface, all this DOES appear to be a very noble plan...but you have to remember, the institution of the WELFARE system was also as noble a venture...and we know how poorly THAT has turned out in LESS than 50 years...not to mention the extreme COST and FRAUD entrenched in the system.
I always want to back off of something of this scope, because of one simple maxim:
"You can lead a horse to water...but you can't make him drink."
Much of the problems (here) stem from a lack of knowledge of that tried and true saying.
We have created an environment replete with youth activities...family counseling...church involvement, and so on...all designed to do exactly what this "league" proposes...again.
And STILL we have not seen the results from previous incarnations of programs that were created to HELP those black males overcome their own issues when it comes to crime, education, etc.
So why does the city seem to be returning to a "dried-up" well?
It sure SOUNDS good for one thing, doesn't it?
A "new approach" always does.
And, it might even help to make some people MORE equal than others...always a good thing for the liberal agenda.
Finally it has to come down to what will the COST be, not just in dollars, but in resources, time, and whatever else is going to be tossed at this wall, in the hope that some of it will stick.
We've already had WAY too many neighborhoods become part of the ghettohood.
How are you going to "teach" people to NOT litter..or NOT walk down the middle of the streets?
How will you educate black males that blasting the car stereo is NOT socially acceptable?
How do you foster a sense of self worth when black males like to wear their pants belted BELOW their Joe Boxer-clad ass cheeks?
How do you promote a feeling of respect to children and women when some of these "men" abuse them both, thanks to much of the music they choose to listen to?
The questions are as numerous as the number of crimes these males commit.
And, as is always the case...it (initially) comes down to a very SIMPLE solution:
Learning to make the good ones, while refusing to knuckle under to the bad ones...THAT is the key.
But also, we have to think about that horse...and that trough, don't we?
It will be quite interesting to see WHERE this initiative leads, and how it will impact the black community...as well as everyone else, because the current situation with these black males DOES affect us ALL, whether we choose to believe it...or not.
*** Lastly today...you can create programs, initiatives, surveys, polls, leagues, commissions, task forces until the cows come home.
We've seen proof of that for SO damn long. And we also see the "results, as ambiguous as they are.
How to change the minds of the people at risk, while not affecting the people who DON'T need changing is the REAL challenge here.
How to create a greater good for all while not allowing a lesser evil to thrive for some...that's the REAL trick, isn't it?
No one person has the entire solution, and it will take many with good, solid reasoning and perhaps a biblical grounding to fully work out the problems.
Success in such matters is not (nor should ever be) measured by how many feel good after it's all over...
It should be measured by how many people become BETTER people as a result of whatever undertaking is put forth.
And THAT needs to be the tip of the spear in this battle of wills within the arena of ideas.
Do have yourselves a great weekend.
Be well, make a difference to someone today, and as always...
Stay SAFE out there, America.


CWMartin said...

"The high incarceration rate is because these bucks have too much time on their hands..."

Here, Bob, I disagree. Now if you said, "The reason for the high incarceration rate is the SAME reason they have too much time on their hands," Then you're on to something. When the economy was booming, these types were still committing crimes and having too much time- if you use that as a euphemism for dropping out of school and refusing to look for work. I realize you cover that as you go on, but you did say reason- and reason goes back, as you said, to choices. We all have too much time on our hands sometimes. Do YOU will that with tagging walls, selling drugs, driving through peaceful neighborhoods with your annoying boomcar, or dealing drugs? Of course not.

YOU were taught respect for others.
YOU were taught appreciation of life.
YOU were taught the meaning of honor.
YOU were taught there's no shame in hard work.

THAT is the difference here. It pisses me off when I hear experts bemoan that "fact" that the inability to get a job is what leads to "time on hands" and thus crime. Guess what? I'm 51, fat, with no discernible specialized skills, and I got the best job I ever had after a two-week unemployment. How? By LOOKING. By acting professional and decent when I interviewed. By having an education that I bothered to pay attention to and use. Like you mentioned, I didn't go to interviews pants hanging down, answering questions in Ebonics, or whining about not making enough to do nothing.

These people CHOOSE to be thugs. They are NOT forced into it by economics or anything else. The city cannot change anything for these people with opportunities- THEY have to do it by changing their culture. But as long as Aunt Rose can stand in line at the Jobworks office whining to Ethel how that cop who caught her little Jimmy red-handed robbing the convenience store was an a-hole who only "picked on Jimmy because he was black", Instead of thinking, where did he learn the values that PUT him in jail, Nothing will change.

Bob G. said...

First of all, I want to thank you for finishing my primary thought...they DO commit crime even when times are good.
I apologioze for not wording it better.

Well said by YOU, sir.

--Next, yes growing up and being TAUGHT "the basics" at home, at church and yes, even at school helped us out to NO small end.

--Never sell yourself short on your "abilities"...I find that many times, we keep discovering things we hadn't known about "us" before...I suppose one might call it "active adaptation" (to whatever situation or job we find ourselves in).
Dad always asid:
"the day you STOP learnin' is the day they BURY you".

-- Choice - Yes, and I slways drive home here, it's ALWAYS about PEOPLE...and the people always CHOOSE (good or bad), so the definable logic here all but states the obvious to anyone with half a functional brain (like me...lol)

-- Personally, living (down) here for the last 15+ years, it's going to take MORE...or rather something "else" than has been tried in the past to turn this part of town around.
And since everyone is affected by all this crap, everyone has not only a vested interest in the solutions, BUT has a responsibility to do what they can TO change it.
Otherwise the future for down here looks to be a longer runway for the airport and a lot of warehouses and business parks...but NO residential housing.

I appreciate your keen observations and thank you for taking the time to stop on by today and comment.

Have a good weekend and do stay safe up there.