9.18.2012

Black Men, Stats, and Debating "the Village"

Have you chuckled and/or *rubbed temples* today? If not....

By way of Clutch Magazine:
Caslin breaks it down: The school-to-prison pipeline for African American males is not just propaganda. According to new data released by the U.S. Department of Education this spring, “African-American students, particularly males, are far more likely to be suspended or expelled from school than their peers.”

The statistics are disheartening because there are many officials and educators, and a plethora of research, that supports that this disparity is not based on or related to “differential bad behavior” but to “differential responses” from the educational system.

You know the saying, when a door closes, a window opens. In this case, the alienation from school opens a window of opportunity for our young black men to often end up on the wrong side of the law and land in prison. Our young black men are “at risk” and three times more likely to be incarcerated than non-African American males. And that’s a fact.


Caslin highlights the Big Brothers Big Sisters program in Atlanta and points out that of the 455 children waiting to be matched with mentors, 95-percent were male and 77-percent were black. So what’s the hold up? The Big Brothers Big Sisters programs says they need more African-American male mentors to volunteer.

While Caslin focuses on Atlanta, I’m sure mentoring programs in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, New Orleans, Houston, and other metropolitan areas have similar numbers. And one thing is clear: more black men need to get involved.

Inside and outside of the home black women are stepping up to parent, teach, and mentor children, but we can’t do it alone. More black men need to join the ranks of teachers, mentors, coaches, and community leaders if we are going to help our young people avoid the traps that are ready and waiting to swallow them whole.
This, of course, would not be complete without some choice comments:
Yvette - “70% of our kids are born to unwed parents—”

If these men can’t even bother to get married before having children (or after), why in the world would they think to mentor a stranger’s child? These men should focus on their own children first. Maybe the author was referring to men w/o children?

Chilly Road - Yvette,

I would gather most of these men aren’t choosing to have children. They are choosing sex- sex without protection- but not children. Remember, gestation happens to women not men.

Chilly Road (later) - This just isn’t going to work. Men should take care of their own children. It doesn’t take a village cause that village wasn’t in the bedroom with you doing the wild thing.

Reading some of the blogs about the custody battles between Usher and his ex-wife, and Dwayne Wade and his ex-wife, there seems to be this idea that that children are the possession of either parent. Children aren’t the possessions of either parent. They are equally both the children of the man and the woman and have equal responsibility. No one parent should have more say than the other. Once we establish, acknowledge and LEGISLATE for that then we can seem some impasses on this issue.

I say this because it bothered me when so many women were upset that the judge in the Raymond vs. Raymond case would dare give that woman’s children away to Usher. They way they were talking you would think Usher were some random stranger.

Justanotheropinion - I know this won’t be popular but let’s share the blame here: Black Women need to be more selective with whom they have children with. Neither party did it on their own so they both need to be held accountable. Too many black kids come from single parent households. It’s easy to put the blame soley on the man’s shoulders (don’t get me wrong, there are enough deadbeat dads out there), but we all know that there quite a few women that had no business having kids.

Yb - Your opinion isn’t rare. It’s the most popular opinion. You should like a broken record. When it comes to this discussion the woman is always blamed and told to keep her legs closes and be selective with whom she procreates with.

Rarely is the man under as much scrutiny. Rarely is the man told that he should of kept his dick in his pants or dated a better woman, watched for the warning signs in the early stages of the relationship. Your opinion is not revolutionary.

The primary message of this piece was to encourage more men to get active in the community. Why did you miss the point?

Ms. Information - The male is rarely under scrutiny because he does not and cannot by nature reproduce. As women, we see that men will not keep said “dick” in his pants. ERGO…as women, since we bare the burden of child bearing WE should be much more careful than men. The point is that we would not even need such an organization as Big Brothers/Sisters if mama chose better and if daddy would tame his need for sex. This will just put vaseline on a massive scar that is the black community.

libpatriot - I would start with men acknowledge your own flesh and blood first. Too many man are shocked to learn that men impregnate women. So, let’s start at stupid and work up from there.
*dead* and *sigh*

8 comments:

  1. I read that on Clutch yesterday and once i saw that comment from chillyroad or whomever he/she is about the gestation bit, i just decided to keep it moving. I comment there from time to time but even in the short week or two that i've been visiting that site i can see that half the audience (and some of the writers to be honest) ain't about nothing!

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  2. ". More black men need to join the ranks of teachers, mentors, coaches, and community leaders if we are going to help our young people avoid the traps that are ready and waiting to swallow them whole."

    And many black men would love to be role models, but unfortunately because many of us are gay, bi, and queer, we can't risk catching false charges for being pedophiles or being lynched for going near black kids. So if the black community is expecting black men to step up, I'm goinna need the black community to STFU and learn the obvious that the Good Black Man isn't always a cis straight one.

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    1. ^^truth.


      And reading this makes my head hurt. I just can't...

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    2. It's not just gay/bi/queer men who need to worry about those risks. I could tell you some stories about having people try to pull my own baby relatives away from me, in public (as if we didn't look alike, and they couldn't/didn't hear us talking about the other times that their mother let them spend the weekend with "Uncle MaMu".) I just had to deal with an incident on the bus. A father placed his infant on the bus seat (he was trying to fold up the carriage), and the boy bumped his head. When the baby started crying, I was the only person who stretched out a hand to calm him down. So, as soon as I have to baby calmed down, I look up and see an older woman scowling at me, as if she thought that I was going to grab this man's child and run off (adding insult to injury, that day was a "I need my cane day", and my cane was visible. I couldn't have run if I'd even wanted to.)

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  3. "The statistics are disheartening because there are many officials and educators, and a plethora of research, that supports that this disparity is not based on or related to “differential bad behavior” but to “differential responses” from the educational system."

    I’m reminded by what your former contributor (Randy) said about people of color. He seemed convinced that black culture was 'rougher' than white culture. That very same sentiment is shared by judges and teachers today. If a white and black child commit the very same offense its interpreted differently by white authority, thus the punishment tends to be more severe for children of color. Tragically, the very same teachers who wouldn’t touch their own children at home, paddle black children every day. The white child’s given the benefit of the doubt because, "as you know boys will pull these pranks from time to time, and we wouldn't want to hurt his chances for a better future now would we."

    From Starla Muhammad's article: Back to School or back to hell? Why America's education system continues failing Black students:

    “Ninety-three percent of all American school teachers, public, private, charter, parochial, are middle class White women and too often we fail to look at the failure of the Black male and the girl but especially the male from the perspective of the racial disconnect between the instructor and the student. That is major,” said Dr. Abdullah-Johnson. How teachers feel about the students in his or her class lend to the outcome of how the students do in that class he explains.”

    There needs to be continuity, meaning seven days a week, 24 hours a day continuity from black men. I was an elder in my village as it were, but many of our men moved out and fled to the suburbs, not that I blame them mind you- for my own block has gone to the dawgs as well. But now we have schools without capable black men and neighborhoods without capable black elders (the black church notwithstanding). I started with my son and his friends. It wasn’t just my responsibility to raise my child up. But if his friends came to my home they were held to the same standard. I corrected boys in my neighborhood when they did wrong, mentoring where I was able and I was respected for that. Nowadays, things that I could say to a black teen 20 years ago might get me shot today.

    Having two parents in the home doesn’t always guarantee success but it increases the likely-hood of a better life for black children. The black father is usually the first hero for both his son and his daughter. The relationship he fosters with the mother of his children will have far reaching consequences as they mature. A lot of young black boys and girls have daddy/abandonment issues. With no one to model themselves after many take that repressed anger and project it on others. In our communities underachievement has become so normalized black boys expect to either die young or end up in prison. Black girls aspire to become Mothers before they’re out of Junior high school. Such waywardness reflects on black fathers everywhere, because instilling esteem is his responsibility.

    In the village the Elders are responsible for teaching boys to be men, not the women. Women gather and nurture babies yes- moreover they pass on long held traditions, but when little boys reach a certain age the men assume responsibility. In the village it is the Elders who take boys through the stages that ultimately lead manhood. No boy can marry or own cattle until he has proven himself to be a man. The blame falls on Fathers for not raising young boys to be men. Maybe we need Million Father march on Washington to wake us up.

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