Monday, April 16, 2012

Trayvon's Tragic Trajectory: An Ethnic Community in Trouble

The tragic shooting of teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida has exposed the sad trajectory of entire generations of African American youth. Like so many young blacks, Trayvon emerged from a broken home, in an atmosphere where gangsta rap and gangsta-ism is the most prominent influence on young and formative minds.
Here is one aspect of the US black community which is often overlooked: The epidemic of fatherlessness and lack of non-criminal role models --
• 70% of all black children are born out of wedlock.
• 65% of never-married black women have children, double that for white women.
• 22% of never-married black women with incomes over $75,000 have children, 10 times that of white women.
• 62% of black families with children are headed by a single parent.
• 85% of black children do not live in a home with their fathers.
• Only 15-20% of black children born today will grow up with 2 parents until age 16.
• Over 80% of long-term child poverty occurs in broken or never-married homes.
• 70% of [black] boys in the criminal justice system come from single-parent homes. _LaShawn Barber_quoting from _A Portrait of the Black Family 2007 (PDF)
Research has demonstrated that crime and delinquency rates among youth raised without fathers, or where the fathers' minds are elsewhere, will be significantly higher on average.

Children are not typically born gangsters. But if the conditions of child-raising push the child in that direction, the trajectory can seem inexorable in hindsight. Parents can be helpless in the undertow of dysfunctional popular and community culture, in these situations. Parental guilt, when things turn out poorly, can be turned to paradoxical and exaggerated behaviours in blaming the "other," for the failures that lie within the family and the community.

All too often, mercenary lawyers and rabble rousers step into such tragic circumstances, and attempt to tip the already unbalanced emotions of a community to their own profit. Such is the case in the Trayvon tragedy, where a fairly straightforward case of self-defense becomes twisted by lawyers, media, and professional rabble into a national cause celebre of purported "racist vigilantism."

US President Obama had hoped that this incident would play well in his ongoing campaign for re-election. As it turns out, only by twisting the facts beyond recognition can the US President fit this tragedy into his already absurdly fictional narrative, and continue to obscure the growing tragedy of the US black community under his presidency.

Why do blacks commit so much violence and mayhem?

No comments: