Wilmington: to Fix Black Men & Fatherhood, Fix the Welfare System to be two parent friendly.

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There have been various news items and magazine articles on the new to fix men & fatherhood among the Black American community. The latest is the Newsweek article entitled Murder Town USA (AKA Wilmington DE).
Whereas this article has some truth in it, it concentrated on the 20% of the area of the city that has the 80% of the issues. Highlighting the challenges without pointing in the direction of a viable solution is not helpful, it will just continue encouraging more migration of the able to the suburbs worsening the self-selection and leaving the renovated Market Street and Riverfront without customers.Wilmington Riverfront
I concur that violence in Wilmington DE or any other city will only be fixed when young black men have role models in their lives who provide guidance and discipline with love and understanding. Currently that part is broken, the greater society need to step in not to saturate the streets with officers to humiliate them by control and contain tactics but counsel and guide. All teenagers kind of rebel but we only understand the rebellion if we can relate to them, not if we are afraid of them or despise them.
The census reported that 17.10% of the Wilmington population are young people between the ages of 5 years to 18 years. The total population stands at 71,525 hence the K12 population is 12,231, considering that 52.50% of the population is females and 58% of the total population is black, the number of K12 age black males is 3370 say. Taking into account the drop-out rate of 60%, there is potentially 2,020 black males concentrated in about four blocks competing for space, attention and recognition who have no structure, no guidance and who feel hunted.
The 2010 census reported 23.9% people in Wilmington are below the poverty line. The majority of these are black young men. Taking into account that although only 12.5% of business firms are black-owned these business owners work in Wilmington but live in the suburbs, the city young black men have few people to look up to.
Secondly, to tackle the conflict resolution issues in Wilmington, the challenge of the 2020 black young men sitting on porches in the limited city blocks need to be addressed. Telling them to move off the streets and stay inside will just make close contact situations more explosive. They will continue to hatch plans to rob stores which any self-respecting person should know does not keep a lots of cash or mugging people for five dollars.
Saturating the streets with police officers with instructions to prevent and control crime will not solve the issue. The community need to find ways to get these young black men engaged in society. Looking at them as potential customers of the prison complex will not help. Asking their parents to be there for them is unreasonable ,because they are already in the prison system, to break the cycle, business, schools, police, churches and politicians will have to play dad and mum for the majority until they are mature and parenting their children. Whereas it no consolation to victims, In the large scheme of things 2% fatality from an explosive group of 2020 preteen or teenage young men confined into a small space feeling under siege is horrible but could be worse, instead of calling it murder city USA, we need to find ways of occupying them remembering that they are like any other preteen or teen Americans.
Remember that the good hardworking parents are working minimum wage three jobs to feed and take care of the kids and the bad ones are in jail, therefore holding our noses and asking parents to take care of these young men is not an option.
Not everyone needs to go to a church or Mosque for help, besides the Latino community Center which seems to be that specific, there is no community center in city that could occupy these group and from where other services or needs could be assessed. There then is the Wilmington problem, instead of looking for fast food kind of solutions we need to put in time and thought to find a way to ensure that enough social investment is placed into these group of Americans. Name calling, finger pointing, disrespectful use of brute force and humiliation tactics will not yield long-term dividends.
Lastly a change in the requirement that if you are poor and married you get less benefits is urgently necessary because it encourages families to break apart, I wonder which smart Alek came up with the condition that women with children should be treated better than a conventional two parent family. I have had a counselor tell a lady seeking help that it would be better if she were not married and we wonder why poor boys have no fathers in their lives?! I am all for making sure women have equal rights and independence, however although the law cannot legislate ethics and moral standards, some rules and regulations can encourage unintended immoral and unethical behavior.
It’s common to hear the refrain, “I do not need a man in my life” and “I am free to pick and choose my baby daddy” amongst women particularly those on the lower end of the economic spectrum. Combining these two altitudes with the power of States to enforce child support payments hence acting as collection agencies for those who would abuse the system, you have a recipe for many young men without father figures in their lives and mothers who think of them like income streams.
Like any symptom, fixing men and fatherhood among the poor black Americans will involve fixing the welfare system to make it two parent family friendly. If a lady has five children from five men, the state may want to take a pose and wonder whether it should be used as a collection agency! Here are factors that we may want to consider in tackling inner city gun violence:
A. Morality – “I do not need a man in my life” altitude then you will have young men without father figures
B. Ethics – “I can choose the baby daddy, I want” altitude, ok too much men turnover will not instill discipline and structure in the lives of your young men.
C. The System – “Women and Children” altitude, men are legitimately poor too. How about Family Assistance Program?
D. The State and the FEDS – “Child Support payment collection Agency” altitude. Combine this with the inherent systematic need to put away black men makes an unholy alliance between baby mums and the state to put black men in a state of siege.
E. Law and Order – “Prevent and Contain using pain and humiliation” the icing on the cake, the cycle goes on.
To fix black men and fatherhood in US communities, the men have a small part to play but the large part starts with adjusting the social support system that is administered by both the states and the FEDS to be two parent friendly, to discourage ladies who would abuse it while protecting those that would be abused and the men to have patience and restrain in cases of constant provocation. It’s not possible not want men in “Your lives” and to want “Fathers in the lives of children”, it does not work. Black women and men with large platforms have to emphasis the importance of both parents not to constantly say they succeeded in spite of their fathers and then turn up to match every time there is a shooting.
The video below circa 1990 has some very useful ideas, the fact that it was ignored brought us to this point

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