Sunday, November 20, 2011

What's up, pops?


  I am no expert on urban America, in fact I am not an expert about anything. I have lived in inner city Chicago for a little more than five months now. This blog is a breathing Ethnography (from Greek ἔθνος ethnos = folk/people and γράφω grapho = to write.. Thanks Mr. Z) directed at giving some insight on things that are in an inner city neighborhood, I hope I do it justice.

    I really enjoy culture and history of neighborhoods. Being an aspiring historian living in Chicago is like being a kid in a candy store. There is so much history and manifestations of human intellectual achievement, culture. I specifically live in West Garfield Park, which is a historically poor part of town.This is a small neighborhood in comparison to other Chicago neighborhoods. It is neighbored by North Lawndale to the south, Austin to the North and West and East Garfield to the East. All of these neighborhoods are not just majority African American, but predominantly. For some perspective, there are a little over 69,000 African Americans in the state of Oregon. There is over 1 million African Americans in the city of Chicago. I would dare to say the West Side of the Chi, has a higher African American population then the whole state of Oregon. Chicago has a rich and a proud African American culture. This is a tough people, whose will is hard to break. Chicago's West side is a gritty, punch...shoot, first ask questions later part of town. Blow, rocks, and dro would be my block's number one commodity. Illegal drug sales are the life blood of my neighborhood, and I assume have been for a while. The biggest employer on my immediate block would be the illegal sale of drugs. These employee's of the streets are in fact people. People who work 12 hour shifts through the scorching Chicago sun, to the piercing wind in the winter. So many times when you hear about drug operations being busted on the news, it is distant, and so are the people. For me, that world is next door, and across the street. Is this a problem? Yes. Is there a solution? Hard to say. You can get into the whole... it's the capitalistic system, it's welfare, it's the man! I would agree it does have to do with the man, or rather the absence of him. The systematic reform that needs to take place in American is not occupy wall street, but actually being occupied by being a dad.
      The epidemic of Fatherless-ness is staggering. This is the number one problem in the American Inner city. Those hard working drug dealers, would be hard working aldermen, principals, teachers, engineers, or actual fathers to their kids, if they had a dad at home. Children need both a mother and a father. If you want to know what a society is like where Mothers, and Grandmothers raise their kids, come to inner city America. A child who is a victim of being fatherless is 15 times more likely to have behavioral disorders. 15.3 times more likely to end up in prison while a teenage, and is 6.6 times more likely to become teenaged mothers.73% of adolescent murderers come from mother only homes.
      As Americans, when we see a problem we try and fix it, right? If it's caner, lets find a cure. But what about fatherless-ness? Are we trying to find a cure? Our system of relativism is leading us to destruction. When lawmakers no longer believe in a moral truth where will that lead us? We have bought into a lie, that there is no such thing as an absolute truth when it comes to God. If that were the case, then there is no absolute truth when it comes to law making, and if that were true there would be no true guide on how to raise children. Fatherless-ness is a problem. The solution is MEN being dads. But if we live in a world where two moms can be a dad, are we solving the problem? God instituted marriage for a reason. Children need a mom and dad. If we continue in this pattern, we will look less and less like the world we were intended to be.If we continue disregarding truth, we will continue to raise our children the wrong way. Statistically speaking, that really is a problem. The best cure for crime is not the electric chair, but the high chair. We need fathers in America.

7 comments:

  1. Thanks for the shout out, Mitch. And, as a teacher for 27 plus years, I cannot be more certain of quality parenting making most of the difference in school readiness and school achievement potential of children. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Mitch, all I can say is Wow! I was really curious to know what the tone of this blog is, and am excited to read more. You have an amazing maturity and depth of perspective on this social issue. It's easy for one to suffer the "victim" mentality, where as you put it "the man keeps us down." To recognize that the root of the issue is much closer to home (literally) and addressable through personal accountability shows wisdom beyond your years. I'm thoroughly impressed!

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  3. Well written, Mitch. A nice perspective on a place I've never been and likely will never be, but I can't help feeling that some of your worldview, though well thought out, is missing one key element. We live in a society where anyone can throw away their moral obligations and not be denied rewards.

    My own now-estranged father committed acts that blatantly defy any conceptualization of what is good, and it's 'okay,' because he prays and gates of Heaven will open to him when he dies. While OWS and ranting against how shitty men can be sheds some light on overlapping issues, humanity needs to wake up and realize we, mankind, scripted our own end.

    I know this may be a poor subject to approach in most company, but the inclusion of Revelations and other apocalyptic apocrypha in the Bible turned the leading religion of the ruling empires for the past two thousand years into nothing but moral-distorting doomsday cults. ("So it is written, so it shall be done," anyone?) This perpetuates fathers leaving mothers, military-industry complexes dominating the finance and liberties of their populace, and the condemnation of everyone-and-thing that is different, that is so omnipresent in our daily life.

    Kudos to whoever stomachs that.

    Wishin' for peace,
    Zac

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  4. And if you have been reading the headlines across the nation, we could use better mothers as well.

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  5. I like the mind of Mitch. Well said!!

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  6. Mitch, I needed that punch in the gut and the eye-opening. I doubt I'll ever make it to Chicago, and my kids are grown and on their own...I don't often feel that I'm a big influence anymore. But your passionate plea for men to be fathers is right on, and I needed it.

    Zacreed, I can add only one other thing to your comment, with which I see lots that makes sense. I think there is, however, something deeper and more powerful than mis-use of the Book of Revelations and shallow religion: the depravity of the natural man. Without God's intervention, none of us are righteous and everything we attempt is blighted and violent.

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  7. We could just try being good, instead of leaning on the crutch of the age (God) to give the ultimate reward(s) to a people that likened themselves to a herd of sheep that follow a shepherd that only cares about dat wool. All religion is silly; it is and always has been slapping a brand name on why-shit-happens.

    If any form of divinity were to cast their gaze at our absurdly unimportant planet, I'm guessing they would annihilate mankind for being so cruel, gullible, idiotic, and pathetic. Feel free to attribute those things to the involvement of whatever personification of good and evil, but until one loses their faith in The Lie, one will be nothing but the desired demographic of those with the strength to dominate.

    Thank you for your counterpoint, Milt.

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