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Opinion | The Strange Failure of the Educated Elite - The New York Times
By David Brooks
Opinion Columnist

May 28, 2018

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
See also
"Jun 18, 2007 | WSJ | Robin Moroney. Extreme intelligence might
undermine a person’s managerial capacity, he speculates. “What is
required at the top levels of govt. is not brilliance, but managerial
skill,” says Posner. That includes knowing “when to defer to the
superior knowledge of a more experienced but less mentally agile
subordinate.” Especially intelligent people also have difficulty
trusting the intuitions of less-articulate people who have more
experience than they do. That might be why many smart senior officials
in govt. have tried to reason their way through problems on their own,
assuming their civil servants’ inadequate explanations rendered their
judgments invalid."
the_best_and_brightest  books  civics  mental_dexterity  David_Brooks  diversity  dysfunction  elitism  failure  fractured_internally  the_Greatest_Generation  institutions  IQ  meritocratic  Steven_Brill  college-educated  baby_boomers  Tailspins 
may 2018 by jerryking
We need to talk about the boys -
MAY 5, 2018 | The Globe and Mail | MARGARET WENTE.

It’s girls who get all the attention these days. But it’s the boys we should be worried about. Boys lag girls in school at every level. They drop out, get in trouble with the law, and become disconnected from the mainstream – sometimes for good.

Jamil Jivani was heading there himself. He grew up in Brampton, Ont....At age 16, he couldn’t read – or didn’t care enough to. He was convinced the system was rigged against him. His role models were gansta rappers. Police officers gave him a hard time. His dad wasn’t in the picture.....Mr. Jivani is now 30. He is a law professor, a graduate of Yale, and an activist for disadvantaged communities. His personal story is the powerful thread running through his new book, Why Young Men: Rage, Race and the Crisis of Identity......He aims to change the conversation from “either/or” to “and also.” “If you’re trying to change the conditions young men grow up in,” he says, “you need to talk about both law enforcement and families.”

He gets pushback saying things like that. “People are used to hearing a certain kind of narrative – the world is unfair, racist, biased, and the primary concern we should have is that these are systems that oppress us – systemic racism, sexism, and so on. It’s amazing how much this passes as a truth.”

Mr. Jivani believes that we can’t address the crisis of young men without talking about families and culture. For boys, fathers are their first line of defence. Without fathers, they may have no positive role models for how to be a man.

“A lot of people in the black community want to talk about fatherlessness,” he says. But we seldom hear from them. The voices you hear are all from one side, and the media seldom seek out any other perspectives.

People censor themselves too. “..... Black Lives Matter makes things worse. “It’s a style of activism that tries to define people – to tell them this is what you’re supposed to think and do because of your identity.” ....“BLM’s approach to activism focuses on having an enemy that must be defeated,” he writes. “It is accusatory at its core.”
Margaret_Wente  fatherhood  parenting  dysfunction  Black_Lives_Matter  African_Canadians  books  crisis  systemic_discrimination  systemic_racism  lawyers  Osgoode  family_breakdown  values  dropouts  achievement_gaps  Yale  activism  economically_disadvantaged  victimhood 
may 2018 by jerryking
The Republicans’ Incompetence Caucus - The New York Times
OCT. 13, 2015 | NYT | David Brooks.

The Republican Party’s capacity for effective self-governance degraded slowly, over the course of a long chain of rhetorical excesses, mental corruptions and philosophical betrayals. Basically, the party abandoned traditional conservatism for right-wing radicalism. Republicans came to see themselves as insurgents and revolutionaries, and every revolution tends toward anarchy and ends up devouring its own.
By traditional definitions, conservatism stands for intellectual humility, a belief in steady, incremental change, a preference for reform rather than revolution, a respect for hierarchy, precedence, balance and order, and a tone of voice that is prudent, measured and responsible. Conservatives of this disposition can be dull, but they know how to nurture and run institutions....Over the past 30 years, or at least since Rush Limbaugh came on the scene, the Republican rhetorical tone has grown ever more bombastic, hyperbolic and imbalanced....Politics is the process of making decisions amid diverse opinions. It involves conversation, calm deliberation, self-discipline, the capacity to listen to other points of view and balance valid but competing ideas and interests.

But this new Republican faction regards the messy business of politics as soiled and impure. Compromise is corruption. Inconvenient facts are ignored. Countrymen with different views are regarded as aliens. Political identity became a sort of ethnic identity, and any compromise was regarded as a blood betrayal.
right-wing  David_Brooks  GOP  conservatism  Tea_Party  dysfunction  root_cause  Rush_Limbaugh  radicalization  mindsets  messiness  politics  compromise  rhetoric  listening  self-discipline  conversations  partisanship  political_polarization  partisan_warfare 
october 2015 by jerryking
Toronto’s school board isn’t just troubled. It’s rotten - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jan. 16 2015

It is just as hard to imagine how a government that balks at breaking up a ridiculous and wholly unnecessary commercial monopoly such as the Beer Store is going to undertake a root-and-branch reform of the country’s biggest school board. Yet that is what is called for – nothing less.

The problem at the TDSB goes far beyond a few trustees with swollen heads. The rot at the board is deeper than that. Teachers’ unions and custodians’ unions have far too much power, individual teachers and principals far too little. The dead hand of the education bureaucracy stifles innovation and creativity.
TDSB  education  mediocrity  Marcus_Gee  mismanagement  schools  performance  bureaucracies  dysfunction  reform  root-and-branch  unions  autonomy  leadership 
january 2015 by jerryking
School-board politics, the gateway drug - The Globe and Mail
KONRAD YAKABUSKI
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Nov. 20 2014
TDSB  Konrad_Yakabuski  dysfunction 
november 2014 by jerryking
Joseph Epstein: What's Missing in Ferguson, Mo. - WSJ
Aug. 12, 2014 | WSJ | By JOSEPH EPSTEIN.

The black family—the absence of fathers—is the problem. The old dead analyses, the pretty panaceas, are paraded. Yet nothing new is up for discussion. Discussion itself is off the table. Except when Bill Cosby, Thomas Sowell or Shelby Steele and a few others have dared to speak about the pathologies at work—and for doing so, these black figures are castigated.

President Obama, as leader of all the people, is not well positioned for the job of leading the black population that finds itself mired in despond. Someone is needed who commands the respect of his or her people, and the admiration of that vast—I would argue preponderate—number of middle-class whites who understand that progress for blacks means progress for the entire country.

The older generation of civil-rights leaders proved its mettle through physical and moral courage. The enemy was plain—rear-guard segregationists of the old South—and the target was clear: wrongful laws that had to be, and were, rescinded. The morality of the matter was all on these leaders' side. In Little Rock, in Montgomery, in Selma and elsewhere, they put their lives on the line. And they won.

The situation today for a civil-rights leader is not so clear, and in many ways more complex. After the victories half a century ago, civil rights may be a misnomer. Economics and politics and above all culture are now at the heart of the problem. Blacks largely, and inexplicably, remain pledged to a political party whose worn-out ideas have done little for them while claiming much. Slipping off the too-comfortable robes of victimhood is essential, as is discouraging everything in ghetto culture that has dead-end marked all over it.
Ferguson  African-Americans  leaders  leadership  Michael_Brown  '60s  '50s  NAACP  MLK  civil_rights  fatherhood  dysfunction  victimhood  thug_code  family_breakdown 
august 2014 by jerryking
Venezuela’s declining fortunes a lesson in mismanagement - The Globe and Mail
GWYN MORGAN
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Feb. 23 2014

The fact that Canadian oil production, which faces much greater technical challenges than in Venezuela, has grown steadily over the same period offers some fundamental lessons.

The first is that building a business requires reinvestment. Siphoning off cash to shareholders or governments stymies growth. The second lesson is that skilled people are always in demand, either in another company or another country. Without them, the only direction is down.

The third lesson is that, sooner or later, state-owned enterprises will be doomed by cronyism and dysfunction. The idea that it is up to government to set the rules, and business to hit the ball, separates free-market capitalism from command-and-control socialism. Which leads to a key lesson for those who cling to socialist philosophies: Distributing wealth, before creating it, impoverishes everyone. Only free-enterprise countries have managed to build strong and prosperous societies.
command-and-control  free-enterprise  Gwyn_Morgan  reinvestment  socialism  Venezuela  PDVSA  oil_industry  mismanagement  SOEs  human_capital  cronyism  dysfunction  decline 
may 2014 by jerryking
The gathering storm
Jun 18, 2013 | Trinidad Express Newspaper | By Rolph Balgobin.

A darker and more invidious force is also developing in our society bizarrely masked by these surface ripples of discontent. It is a counterculture, which has a vastly different value system to the mainstream. This phenomenon has been treated as a social issue—in fact it is rapidly morphing into a challenge for the economic, political and security systems in our society as well.

There are large and growing parts of this country where the law does not rule. Where the police cannot go, except in force. Being there is like being in another dimension. Time slows, and values are extremely different to the rest of the society. We work for what we have, they take what they want. We take the long view, they think short term. We hope to die old, they are prepared to die young. We value dedication, they value least effort. We contemplate, they proliferate—more young men to kill tomorrow.

This has gone from a criminal fringe to a full culture, which is rising up and challenging the law-abiding society. This is a monster, and it intends to destroy our democracy. The media only reports the murders—it misses the causes.

Our sociologists have only imperfectly described, far less explained, the very serious nature of what is before us. And so the challenge continues to grow while we use race and ethnicity to explain little black boys killing each other. This is a misdiagnosis.
op-ed  Caribbean  thug_code  dysfunction  killings  violence  values  Trinidad_&_Tobago  men  masculinity  Afro-Guyanese  Afro-Caribbeans  sociologists  race  root_cause  ethnicity  counterculture  lawlessness  cultural_values  value_systems 
july 2013 by jerryking
Think markets raise capital? Think again.
March 25, 2013 | G&M | John Kay as told to Brian Milner

On the glut of information available to investors:

“We need to dispose of the idea that more information is better and eliminate informa...
economists  information_overload  investment_custodians  relevance  middlemen  dysfunction  money_management  asset_management  capital_markets  noise  incentives  conflicts_of_interest 
march 2013 by jerryking
The year the Valley embraced sustainable food innovation
Feb. 21, 2013 | GiGaOM | By Katie Fehrenbacher.

When I ask Tetrick why his company is “venture backable,” he says because they are creating a powerhouse of innovative thinkers that can come together across disciplines, and traditional food companies just aren’t as nimble. Tesla used that same argument for why as a startup it can revolutionize the car industry, and out innovate against the large automakers.

But Tesla is a sort of outlier on a lot of levels. It’ll be harder to disrupt more traditional industries without Moore’s Law in your corner. But in the meantime, as these startups sink or swim, at least they’ll be putting the spotlight on a crucial problem: the food industry is broken and it needs technology and innovation to be fixed.
Silicon_Valley  food  food_tech  innovation  Vinod_Khosla  venture_capital  start_ups  Peter_Thiel  nimbleness  supply_chains  dysfunction  Moore's_Law 
february 2013 by jerryking
carnage and culture: Jason Whitlock: Taylor's death a grim reminder for us all
November 30, 2007 | FOXSports.com | Jason Whitlock.
HBO did a fascinating documentary on Little Rock Central High School, the Arkansas school that required the National Guard so that nine black kids could attend in the 1950s. Fifty years later, the school is one of the nation's best in terms of funding and educational opportunities. It's 60 percent black and located in a poor black community.

Watch the documentary and ask yourself why nine poor kids in the '50s risked their lives to get a good education and a thousand poor black kids today ignore the opportunity that is served to them on a platter.

Blame drugs, blame Ronald Reagan, blame George Bush, blame it on the rain or whatever. There's only one group of people who can change the rotten, anti-education, pro-violence culture our kids have adopted. We have to do it.

The "keepin' it real" mantra of hip hop is in direct defiance to evolution. There's always someone ready to tell you you're selling out if you move away from the immature and dangerous activities you used to do, you're selling out if you speak proper English, embrace education, dress like a grown man, do anything mainstream.

The Black KKK is enforcing the same crippling standards as its parent organization. It wants to keep black men in their place — uneducated, outside the mainstream and six feet deep.
NFL  self-help  hip_hop  killings  violence  African-Americans  thug_code  dysfunction  documentaries  HBO  immaturity  integration  students  '50s  education  civil_rights  high_schools 
august 2012 by jerryking
The U.S. Cavalry - WSJ.com
July 2, 2004 | WSJ

Colin Powell has just made a high-profile trip to Sudan to examine at first hand the abominations in Darfur, the western province that is the world's latest killing field.

The Secretary of State's visit also throws a spotlight on another unfortunate global reality. Once again the world is calling on the U.S. to stop a horror that the United Nations and everybody else have failed to act against. The killing of black Muslim tribesmen by government-backed Arab militias has been going on since February of last year. But while the world's moralists are in full cry about the threat of "another Rwanda," no one sees fit to actually do something. No one, that is, except the U.S.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has been raising the alarm about Darfur -- and he also visited there this week -- but not until two weeks ago did the Security Council call for an immediate halt to the fighting. This being the U.N., the resolution was toothless. Permanent members China and France are worried about jeopardizing their business interests in Sudan. Pakistan and Algeria, which hold temporary seats, refuse to impose sanctions on a fellow Muslim nation even as it is engaged in the mass killing of Muslims.
Colin_Powell  Darfur  dysfunction  genocides  indispensable  Sudan  UN 
august 2012 by jerryking
Shall We Overcome? - WSJ.com
October 14, 2005 | WSJ |By CHARLES JOHNSON.

As Louis Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton prepare for yet another symbolic and substanceless "Million Man March" in Washington, all three have managed to dodge the joke about the first such rally a decade ago (the one in which Mr. Farrakhan dazzled the world with his knowledge of numerology): namely, that black men in America are the only group ever to march in protest of themselves. I'm guessing that the rationale for this weekend's gathering is identical to that of the initial march. It is a lament we have heard in one guise or another for 3½ decades: Our family is in crisis; black men are an endangered species....On the one hand, we are CEOs at AOL Time Warner, American Express and Merrill Lynch; we have served as secretary of state and White House national security adviser; we are mayors, police chiefs, best-selling novelists, MacArthur fellows, Nobel laureates, professors, billionaires, scientists, stockbrokers, engineers,etc...But there is a second, disturbing profile that reveals too high a percentage of black men being AWOL as fathers and husbands; as disappearing from our colleges (UC Berkeley's 2004-05 freshman class had only 108 African-Americans out of 3,600 students, with less than 40 males, and not one black among the 800 entering students in engineering); as graduating from high school with an eighth-grade level of proficiency in math and reading; in prison, on probation or on parole (a third of black men in their 20s). With the HIV infection rate doubling for blacks in the past decade, as well as urban violence, hypertension, social stress and heart disease, the number of black men now trails black women by two million....we are finally willing to acknowledge a national "boy problem" in general, one with devastating consequences for black males in particular...We have already allowed the talent, resources and genius of two generations of young black men who might have enriched this republic to be squandered by gang violence, by poor academic preparation, by the lack of good parenting and by the celebration of an irresponsible "thug life" that is ethically infantile and, predictably, embraced by a notoriously values-challenged entertainment industry....Two things could not be more clear in 2005: First, without strong, self-sacrificing, frugal and industrious fathers as role models, our boys go astray, never learn how to be parents (or men), and perpetuate the dismal situation of single-parent homes run by tired and overworked black women. The black family as a survival unit fails, which leads to the ever-fragile community collapsing along with it. Second, our black predecessors (particularly Booker T. Washington with his corny but unfailingly correct "gospel of the toothbrush") understood from the era of Reconstruction until the late 1960s how indispensable was the black family for sustaining a fight against racism that by its very nature can only be measured in centuries, and for ensuring that our progress toward liberation, personal and political, would not be lost in but a single generation as it now threatens to be.
African-Americans  Al_Sharpton  Booker_T._Washington  crisis  dysfunction  endangered  family_breakdown  fatherhood  frugality  industriousness  Jesse_Jackson  leadership  Louis_Farrakhan  Reconstruction  self-sacrifice  single_parents  thug_code 
august 2012 by jerryking
Problem starts at home
February 7, 2008 | The Caribbean Camera | editorial by Raynier Maharaj.

Any effort to address the failure rate of black students will fail if it does not take the specific home environment into consideration. That’s the key. Educational intervention has to be designed to replace what is lacking at home to be successful.
Remember this: if 40 percent of black students are dropping out of the school system, this means 60 percent are finishing school in the exact same system. Not just that, but children of other minority backgrounds are exceling in same school system where the curriculum also does not address their specific ethnic or cultural needs.
Look, we cannot be afraid to say where real problem is, for that is the only way it can be addressed.
editorials  African_Canadians  Afrocentric  Caribbean  dropouts  dysfunction  family_breakdown  high_schools  parenting  TDSB 
august 2012 by jerryking
Memo to Toronto school board: Are you nuts?
February 2, 2008 | G& M pg. A23 | Jeffrey Simpson.

Given the provincial election results, it is hard to fathom how the Toronto District School Board could be sanctioning "Afrocentric schools" that, although theoretically open to all, are clearly designed for black students only, or almost only. How could it be that having rejected an extension of religiously based schools just a few months ago, the province's largest city will now countenance the creation of racially based ones?

Of course, the board was pressured, as boards often are, by interest groups with a cause - in this case, the theory that inadequate educational achievement can be improved by changing the curriculum. That poor achievement - a 40 per cent dropout rate by black students - is supposed to be lowered if the curriculum is more Afrocentric, which will be quite a trick in mathematics, physics, biology, foreign languages, basic civics, and even the broad sweep of world and Canadian history.
The theory is largely unsound. The much more frequent explanations for poor student achievement, for blacks or any other group, have much less to do with curriculum than factors over which schools have little control: dysfunctional families, troubled neighbourhoods, few role models (absent fathers), poverty, gangs or, in a few immigrant communities, attitudes toward education (especially for females) that are not easily reconciled with mainstream Canadian ones.

All the discourse about inclusiveness, that usually forms a staple of trendy, leftish discourse, has been discarded by the Toronto board in favour of its opposite: membership based overwhelmingly on one characteristic of the human and educational experience - race. As such, it is at profound variance with an important goal of a "public" school system, and should therefore be rejected.
Jeffrey_Simpson  African_Canadians  TDSB  identity_politics  Afrocentric  education  schools  dropouts  public_schools  race  achievement_gaps  family_breakdown  dysfunction  fatherhood  out-of-wedlock 
august 2012 by jerryking
July 19: When society’s broken, and other letters to the editor - The Globe and Mail
july 19 2012 | G&M | David McInnis

Margaret Wente (Broken Families Caused This – July 18) shows courage and candour in naming fatherless families as one of the significant, if not precipitating, reasons for the rise in violence in Toronto’s low-income communities.

During a period of cultural studies in Kingston, Jamaica, a few years ago, I listened as academics discussed the role of “matrifocal” families as a contributing factor to the breakdown of social cohesion in that country. Matrifocal is not to be confused with matriarchal: In the latter, women have the power; in the former, they are a segment of the dispossessed.

Matrifocal societies are ones in which groupings of women, usually mothers with children of various paternities, grandmothers, even great-grandmothers all live under the same roof. They become the dominant model for family life. Males come and go as they choose, and usually contribute little if at all to the family’s maintenance, financially or emotionally.

In such families, not only do male children suffer from the lack of decisive and stable male role models, they are often subject to discrediting messages about and toward males by the female family members.

Small wonder young males growing up in such environments lack direction and are attracted to pseudo-families (gangs) that they falsely assume can provide them with a sense of self-respect.

We must surely find a way of supporting such families and the fragile and emerging egos of this vulnerable element in the population.

David McInnis, Ancaster, Ont.
letters_to_the_editor  directionless  Toronto  dysfunction  violence  Margaret_Wente  parenting  fatherhood  Jamaicans  family_breakdown 
july 2012 by jerryking
Broken families behind the violence -
Jul. 18 2012 | The Globe and Mail |Margaret Wente.

"The single most significant root cause is not guns or crummy housing or racism or inadequate policing or lenient sentencing or lack of jobs or insufficient social programs. It is family and community breakdown. Most especially, it’s absent fathers.

Social programs are essential. But all the social programs in the world can’t make up for family disintegration."
Toronto  violence  Margaret_Wente  dysfunction  family_breakdown  fatherhood  parenting 
july 2012 by jerryking
Considering the Sad, Violent Death of Trayvon Martin — Letters to the Editor - WSJ.com
April 4, 2012 | WSJ | Letter to the editors by Rick Nagel.

Regarding Juan Williams's "The Trayvon Martin Tragedies" (op-ed, March 28): The marchers are asking that George Zimmerman, who shot Martin, be arrested immediately and, if the facts justify, charged and tried. That goal is a narrow, short-term one, achievable through protest. Black crime, failing schools, single parenthood in the black community and the rap culture's pervasive influence are far more difficult issues for policy makers and cannot be redressed in the short term, certainly not through marches.

Mr. Williams reinforces the image of a dysfunctional black culture pervaded by crime, illegitimacy, poverty and ignorance in the guise of decrying it. That is not the image that I have of the thousands of black students I taught and knew in my 36-year teaching career. They are entrepreneurs, fund managers, attorneys, teachers, social-service providers, carpenters and hospital administrators. They are not out on the street committing crimes or in prison. They are not collecting welfare. Rather, they are contributing to the well-being of the communities in which they live; they are working to support their families, and they are doing all they can to see that their values become those of their children.
letters_to_the_editor  African-Americans  Trayvon_Martin  dysfunction  values  role_models  thug_code 
april 2012 by jerryking
The need for fathers
Nov 29, 2005 | The Globe and Mail. pg. A.20 | Wayne Harris.

I am a Jamaican-born Canadian. It disheartens me to see Selwyn Pieters (Boys Without Dads -- letter, Nov. 28) and others claim that "systemic racism" in institutions and schools is "forcing black kids to drop out" and that this is part of the "big picture" of why black youth is in such a quandary.

Your editorial (The Many Fatherless Boys In Black Families -- Nov. 26) says it like it is. The root cause starts in the home, not the community.

If the fathers were there to guide, teach, nurture and lead, then the community would not have to provide focused counselling and intervention.
ProQuest  letters_to_the_editor  fatherhood  dysfunction  family  systemic_discrimination  the_big_picture 
november 2011 by jerryking
The need for fathers
Nov 29, 2005| The Globe and Mail pg. A.20 | Carol Richards-Sauer.

Your editorial rightly claims we need to admit that the absence of black fathers contributes to social alienation and violent behaviour among some of their sons. The silence that you decry, however, is not universal.

Recently, I have participated in a town-hall meeting and been in the audience at a round-table discussion about gun violence.

Each time, at least one brave black person from the audience spoke about the issue. Each time, their comments sparked little discussion or self-evaluation.

The topic is rarely addressed because too many community leaders, often self-appointed, have become too focused on blaming forces from without that we can't control as primary or sole causes of black disenfranchisement.

We need to recognize also those forces from within that we can control. We need to characterize ourselves not just as people to whom bad things are done (racism, police brutality, school suspensions etc.) but also as people who make choices that sometimes lead to bad results.

This is necessary to make any true change and to win helpful alliances
ProQuest  fatherhood  family  dysfunction  African_Canadians  disenfranchisement  silence  individual_choice  autonomy  violence  killings  family_breakdown  systemic_discrimination  systemic_racism  beyond_one's_control 
november 2011 by jerryking
Boys without dads
Nov 28, 2005| The Globe and Mail. pg. A.14 | Robert Sciuk.

Finally, someone has had the guts to stand up and speak the truth of the dysfunctional family and the impact that growing up fatherless has upon the children and the teens of both sexes within the black communities (The Many Fatherless Boys In Black Families -- editorial, Nov. 26). While The Globe brings to light the issues, it holds back from stating the obvious fact that our government provides financial incentives to perpetuate the situation.

In Canada, we have strong, state-sponsored financial incentives for unwed teenage mothers to have and to keep their children, even in the absence of a caring nuclear family with which to provide a proper upbringing. Perhaps it's time to adjust the way we help these troubled teens to avoid unwanted conceptions rather than reward them financially for having babies.
ProQuest  letters_to_the_editor  silence  African_Canadians  courage  dysfunction  family  fatherhood  family_breakdown  out-of-wedlock 
november 2011 by jerryking
Fatherless, yes, but no statistic
Oct 21, 2010 | The Globe and Mail. pg. A.21 | Haille Bailey-Harris.

So one day, she went to the principal's office and the two of them developed a plan, a sort of intervention to ensure I didn't end up as one of those statistics. This was the plan:

Find other role models. My mom made sure I was surrounded by very positive adults, male and female. I'm lucky to have two big brothers, who've been great father figures, and one of my uncles sort of took me under his wing. And I was lucky to have teachers, two women in particular, who really believed in me.

Create a community family. Big Brothers and Big Sisters provided a great big sister for me. We waited for a big brother for a year, but there weren't enough men willing to join up, they said. And now I have a mentor through their program, too. My mom also enrolled me in programs offered by the school, community centre, church and public library that all helped me to feel accepted.

Nurture a love of reading. Instead of banning me from video games, my mom got me games that also required me to read (like Pokemon) and encouraged me to get books (even comics) that interested me. Gradually, I wanted to read books and, eventually, I wanted to read everything, all the time.

Do community service. My mom and I volunteer in our community because giving back makes you feel good about yourself. I've already finished the required volunteer hours to get my high-school diploma by helping kids read at the public library, and working at a homeless shelter and for the Raptors Foundation.

Eventually, with the help of our battle plan, I grew wiser and realized I had great potential (as do all children, no matter the circumstances). I started to try harder in school, I found better friends and became a role model myself.
ProQuest  African_Canadians  high_schools  self-help  statistics  fatherhood  letters_to_the_editor  strategies  family  dysfunction  role_models  parenting  self-reliance 
november 2011 by jerryking
The many fatherless boys in black families
Nov 26, 2005 | The Globe and Mail. pg. A.26 | Editorials

...Yet as politicians at all three levels and black community leaders scramble for answers to the anarchy, no one has dared talk about the crisis of fatherlessness in the black community.

The silence is inexcusable. Growing up without a father present is now the norm for many black children in Canada, particularly those of Jamaican ancestry. Nearly half of all black children under 14 in Canada have just one parent in the home, compared to slightly under one in five of Canadian children as a whole, census figures from 2001 show. Two in three Jamaican-Canadian children in Toronto are being raised by a single parent...."without strong, self-sacrificing, frugal and industrious fathers as role models, our boys go astray, never learn how to be parents (or men), and perpetuate the dismal situation of single-parent homes run by tired and overworked black women. The black family as a survival unit fails, which leads to the ever-fragile community collapsing along with it."

Poor neighbourhoods in Toronto are crying out for involved fathers. The city's deputy police chief, Keith Forde, who is black, says that invariably when he speaks to predominantly black audiences, two or three mothers approach him to be a Big Brother to their sons. "Nothing hurtsme more in all I do in policing than hav-ing to say no to these parents."

Girls' lives, too, are deeply harmed in fatherless communities. At least a decade ago, Mr. Forde heard from 13- and 14-year-old girls in Rexdale, a dangerous suburb of Toronto, that the boys were insisting: "If you want to be my girlfriend you have to get pregnant for me."...The "survival unit," the black family, is being fatally weakened by the lack of fathers. No matter how helpful social programs, additional police or tougher gun laws may be, they are not the heart of the problem. Reuniting fathers and children should be the top priority. Where are the black fathers, and where are all those who should be calling them to their duty?
50_Cent  African_Canadians  dysfunction  family  silence  JCA  editorials  Toronto  fatherhood  killings  thug_code  family_breakdown  statistics  role_models  Jamaican  violence  say_"no"  Fifty-Cent  parenting 
november 2011 by jerryking
Separating races is not the answer
Oct 12, 2005 |The Globe and Mail. pg. A.22 |

...And why does it want this? Because black youths are shooting one another in the street. Ergo, says the coalition, society is failing black people. The school system, the justice system and the police are failing them. Even multiculturalism is failing them, because it presupposes an open society of equals rather than the real world in which blacks face racism and discrimination. Multiculturalism "doesn't allow us to focus on communities that are in crisis and need a targeted approach," Margaret Parsons, the executive director of the African Canadian Legal Clinic, told a Toronto newspaper. "It does not address racism."

This is quite stunning. Agencies that have been sitting on the sidelines for years have decided within two months that they have the answer. When community activist Dudley Laws declared in the summer of 2001 that at least 94 black youths had been killed by other black youths since 1996, the silence from black community groups was deafening. Now those groups wish to pick up their ball and bat and go home.

Segregating people by race, voluntary or otherwise, is not a solution. It compounds the problems of poverty, exclusion and related pathologies, including rampant fatherlessness and its flip side, out-of-control youth. Creating separate offices and separate schools, and tearing down behavioural codes that apply to everyone, will send a destructive message to everyone: that people do not have to live together, that separate is not so bad as long as it is equal.
ProQuest  in_the_real_world  segregation  African_Canadians  violence  killings  silence  editorials  dysfunction  fatherhood  family_breakdown 
november 2011 by jerryking
Even in the city, it takes a village to raise a child space space
November 29, 2005 | The Globe and Mail – Page A21 | By WILLIAM THORSELL

It was wonderful last week to hear a pastor at another Toronto funeral for a young murdered black man demand that dysfunctional families and communities accept responsibility themselves for the trauma. Stop laying most of the blame on others, he said; face the fact that much of the pathology comes from within the home. The mourners in the church applauded. Many people who might try to help these troubled communities defer, waiting for the communities themselves to speak honestly about their own condition. At the core, it is a matter of values
William_Thorsell  Toronto  African_Canadians  funerals  murders  silence  killings  deaths  dysfunction  poverty  family_breakdown  values  face_the_facts 
november 2011 by jerryking
McGurn: A Requiem for Detroit - WSJ.com
MARCH 29, 2011 WSJ By WILLIAM MCGURN. A once-great American
city today repels people of talent and ambition.....What's left is the
city so embarrassingly exposed by the census figures, a place that
people are fleeing as fast as they can. Think of all the dysfunctional
measures you can: poverty rates, unemployment, crime, failing public
schools, falling home values. Detroit has them all, and most of its
indicators rank among the worst in the nation.
Detroit  leadership  Dave_Bing  William_McGurn  demoralization  population_trends  downward_mobility  demographic_changes  dysfunction 
april 2011 by jerryking

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