Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Few Questions for Kane

So, this is what "knuckleheads" do to other people?

On Wednesday, Gene's position on the Juneteenth Day riot was that a few "knuckleheads" and "bad apples" spoiled the fun, and that mostly white people who never go to the festival over reacted about the level of danger present there.

Sounds like Gene got an interview with some of these "knuckleheads" and it appears to have left him speechless.

Q. What is it going to take to reach out to you guys in order to be hopeful about the future?

A. "Why do you want to reach us? Like you said, we're the dropouts, the ones without good parents, the ones who don't really think much about the future beyond the next day. Plus, we can get all the guns we want. What good do you think reaching out to us is going to do?"

Q. So, it's hopeless?

A. "Not as long as we're the few. When we become the many, that's when you will really have problems."

Wow, huh? Gene fails to comment on this interview. My question for Gene: Still think these guys are knuckleheads?

Sounds to me like they've got it all figured out. They have no pride, no education and basically no care for anything in the world. They live in a city that enables their lack of education, the lawlessness, the crime, the teenage pregnancy and the joblessness. What makes these kids knuckleheads?

Why get smart and work for a living when the city can foot the bill and you can rule your little corner of the universe like a king?

Sounds like these guys aren't such knuckleheads at all.

I think Gene is the knucklehead for ever defending these lazy, violent thugs and for ever calling them less than what they really are: criminals.

And if we're supposed to feel badly for them because, as Gene writes, "Usually, they are high-school dropouts with a background in the criminal justice system as juvenile or adult offenders. Many have anger management problems along with a drastic lack of self-esteem that makes them prone to be followers as opposed to leaders." well I just won't. It's because of people like Gene who write about h0w we should feel sorry for these thugs, and how we should understand how tough they have it and the lawmakers who agree that we are in the situation we are in.

The soft bigotry of low expectations has really played the inner city residents right into a corner. And they only way out is to stop making excuses for what they are or are not capable of. And that just might have to start with Eugene Kane.

But don't take it from me, take it from the kid he interviewed: "Jobs? Seriously, why would you think folks like us want jobs? Like you said, we're high school dropouts, drug addicts, gangsters. We're the troublemakers. We aren't really looking for any jobs."


At 12:15 PM, June 24, 2007, Blogger capper said...

So what's the solution? Lock'em up and throw away the key? As your hero James T. states, these kids are doing this because they lack a strong father in the home. So instead of trying to fix this, the answer is to create more homes without fathers?

Don't get me wrong, what they did was wrong and they need to be held accountable. But why should they care, when no one else does. Where were all the critics when these kids were 6, 8, 10 or 12 years old and didn't have a father figure? Just lamenting that their own fathers let them down won't fix the problem. We may have not created the problem, but we are just as guilty if we see the problem and do nothing about it, but bitch and cast aspersions.

At 8:22 PM, June 24, 2007, Blogger Cantankerous said...

Hi Capper,

I'm curious about what solution you suggest. Is it to raise taxes and create more "programs" to assist teenage mothers and dropouts?

My point is, these "solutions" have done nothing but enable the problems.

What we've got here is probably the third generation of children who were raised by children. And that equals lawlessness. All the feel good programs that liberals support have done nothing but add fuel to the fire. The current system allows for fatherless homes. What good has come of it?

The system needs to be done away with. Rip the band-aid off and see how fast it takes people to figure out a way to support themselves.

These kids are able to get away without an education, roaming the streets and creating havoc because we have a system of government that supports them (in the fundamental sense) and writers like Kane who expect nothing more from them.

When the black leaders and the political leaders in this community decide to expect more from the inner city residents, instead of making excuses for them and creating "programs" that enable people to do nothing, then maybe we'll see some change.

As for now, it's my tax dollars that enable the system that results in this situation. And as a tax payer, I am sick of it.

At 9:59 PM, June 24, 2007, Blogger capper said...


I have seen the system from almost every angle. I have been a social worker for the foster kids that were abused and neglected by their parents, who were too focused on their next fix. I have worked in corrections and have seen the number of people that end up there because they didn't have anyone to show them the way when they were still young enough to learn. I have seen these people in courts, both children's and criminal, and have looked at what created the chaos in their lives. It was this chaos that led to the chaos that we observed Juneteenth Day.

As I said in comment #1, when people commit a crime, they need to be held responsible, no matter what race, gender, age or creed. However, if we, as a society, do nothing to break the cycle, these outrages will keep recurring. We need to give people the tools that they need to get themselves out of the cycle.

Sometimes, it can be give them an education, sometimes drug and alcohol counseling, sometimes a safe place, like a shelter for battered women. Sometimes, it only takes the time and patience to talk to them, and more importantly, let them talk to us. Anyone can do it by being a foster parent, a mentor, a big brother/sister, or part of a church group.

This can be done without tax dollars, for the most part. If extra tax dollars would be needed, which is more important-a triple mocha grande latte or a life? But before taxes would be raised, how about spending the money they have more wisely.

And after this, if they still want to be idiots, that is what the correctional system is for.

Sorry if this sounds Pollyanna-ish, but I have found it to be true.

At 7:28 PM, June 25, 2007, Blogger David Casper said...

Capper, I think you make great points, but I have to ask: At what point do you "cut the cord?"

I honestly believe that in the course of history no subset of any civilization has been a greater recipient of social programs than the inner city in the United States today. It now appears that we are now at a point where society, from a broad perspective, has done all it can.

The core values and beliefs within this subsection of our culture are lacking. How can this be changed? Can it?

I'm a person who hates a situation in which the only course of action is responsive. But it seems to me that's the point we're at. Can we fix it anymore? Or are we left only with option of containing it, hoping that in a generation or so, at the familial level (where I believe many of the problems begin) it will finally start to fix itself?

At 11:47 PM, June 25, 2007, Blogger capper said...


I wish I had some pithy answers for you, but it is too complex of a problem, and I am too tired right now. But briefly, there may seem to be an extraordinary amount of money spent on social programs, and if looked at by the dollar amount alone, it is staggering. Compare that number to what is needed, and it is a fraction. Compare the amount spent on social services to the amount spent on Miller Park, or on the same stretch of road being torn up and paved every other year, it is laughably small.

Another problem is how the money is spent. There are numerous agencies out there vying for the same limited funding, so they have to spend money on adminsitration, advertising, etc. and not on the client. Their needs to be better oversight on the fund distribution to eliminate the waste.

I don't believe you "cut the cord" on an entire culture. I don't care what race, religion, or socioeconomic background you talk about, there are always going to be people that are trouble. To make the best use of the limited money for these programs, I have found the best solution (albeit imperfect) is to just go down the list and try to help each individual. If they are not ready to be helped, or don't want the help, then let'em go and move on to the next person who may put the services to better use. The person who refused services made their choice, and will have to pay the consequences. Unfortunately, so will society. But this has been the case since Abel had to suffer for Cain's decisons on how to act.

Lastly David, I have to point out that your comment about core values to be rather condescending. I have spent a lot of time with families in the inner city, and have found many of them to be honest, caring and spiritual. It is simply that these people go about their lives peacefully, trying to survive and make their corner of the world a better place. But that doesn't get the same air time on ten o'clock news or on talk radio has a video of a guy getting jumped by some dumb asses.


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