Thursday, August 06, 2009

Acting White: Life In The Crosswalk - Part III

Today I met with the Oakland HS teacher of the class in which I volunteered, this past spring. I wanted to re-enlist for the fall, if she is game (and she is). Discussing current events, blog topics, and teenager stuff with these kids was very enlightening to me. She said she thought they looked forward to the discussions and got a lot out of them.

We talked about the black young man who was the subject of Part II (here) of this serial posting saga. As she feared, he failed the year and will now attend (hopefully) a continuation school with a GED curriculum. When I mentioned that I recently saw him walking downtown she interrupted me (politely) by saying “I bet he was walking slow”. I shot back, ‘how did you know?’ wherein she replied that the behavior goes hand-in-hand with under performance and the fifty-five percent black male HS dropout rate.

We are both concerned that this kid is headed for a life of depression, self-medication, un/under-employment, continuing lost of self-esteem, and a bad ending. He has admitted to his teacher that he lacks motivation for doing the things he needs to get ahead. There is really very little to be done, within the current education framework. In earlier days, I would have suggested that a stint in the military might buck him up, but that option is not available, as the intellectual and social requirements of the military have risen greatly with the use of technology and the demands of the urban battle theaters, in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

The teacher went on to describe another HS-age black young man she is trying to mentor, who recently revealed that his girlfriend is now pregnant with their second child, even as he just barely graduated, through extraordinary intervention. As she described the problems facing this young unmarried couple, all I could do is shake my head with her in wonderment, while thinking that this is what dedicated teachers across the country deal with every teaching day. One thing is sure; we can’t just keep building more prisons.

We need to place a bounty on reaching these youngsters before they enter the revolving door of the vocational prison complex. And whatever this desperately needed approach to the young black male may be, the 'forgotten-fifty-five%', it is guaranteed to look very different than our current affirming programs for boosting the ranks of WEB Dubois’ talented-tenth.

James C. Collier

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34 comments:

Anonymous said...

There's no reaching them. It is pointless to fret about the fate of these hopeless young men. The behavior and personality issues you describe are the result of a low IQ, a gift from their genetically sub-par parents. We need to pay people, based on how far below below 100 IQ they fall, money for sterilization. And pay individuals higher than 100 IQ a corresponding reward for reproducing. Then these knuckle-draggers will be bred out of the population rather quickly.

James C. Collier said...

Anon 12:26, Your response is not only morally, but also intellectually offensive. There is absolutely no practicality to it, but to reveal the very worse that the unimaginative can come up with, in the face of adversity.

Jimmy said...

James,

I volunteered with a HS mentoring program for 3 years, and am now on the second year of serving on the board. I feel your pain. It is frustrating when you can't send the kids into the Army, not because they will get killed, but because they don't have the grades for the Army.

Regarding self esteem: there have been some studies showing African American teens have the highest self esteem of any racial group and Asians have the lowest self esteem.
Here is an article on that:
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/03/magazine/the-trouble-with-self-esteem.html?sec=health&spon=&pagewanted=print

Anonymous said...

The young man just found out his girl friend was pregnant with their second child. Doesn't he know how it happened the first time??
And the cycle continues....

If every, white, black, whatever girl was implanted with birth control at age 13 and kept on it until able to care for a child properly the cycle could be interrupted and young people would have a much better chance at improving their lives.

I don't like it and I understand the issues the average citizen would take with a plan like this but it's beyond time for something like this to be done.

The pros vastly outweigh the cons.
There's no telling how much money would be saved in welfare, food stamps, and other entitlement programs but the best gains would be in human advancement contribution to society.

I told this to a friend and he said, " I don't want the government telling me what to do."

I said "wouldn't you like knowing that your daughter would not get pregnant until she was ready and able to take care of a child?"

Of course he said yes. He didn't like saying it but he did.
But then he said again," but I don't want the government telling me what to do."

sigh............

ReadMe said...

"Anon 12:26, Your response is not only morally, but also intellectually offensive. There is absolutely no practicality to it, but to reveal the very worse that the unimaginative can come up with, in the face of adversity."

Many great ideas are considered offensive at first. I don't see anything wrong with eugenics if it is voluntary.

IQ is the dark horse here, yet it is very real and as studies have proved it to be as heritable as height, athletic ability, and other genetic traits. It makes sense to have social policies to promote population IQ improvement.

Anon's solution may be "unimaginative", but it would certainly work a hell of a lot better than your prescription: "reaching these youngsters before they enter the revolving door of the vocational prison complex"

That's already been tried, to no avail. Black kids adopted by rich white parents still typically end up with the very low average black IQ.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnesota_Transracial_Adoption_Study

As a black man you probably don't want to hear it, but that doesn't change the validity of the importance of IQ. Low IQ correlates strongly to all the things your blog explores, namely: "Why are African Americans on the bottom?" yet you do not address it. Understandable, because there is not much to address, much less write another book about. Some ethnic groups quite simply tend to not be blessed with a large number of high-IQ genes. Genes linked to higher IQ are rare in people of African descent.

James C. Collier said...

ReadMe: You espouse the same arrogance of intellect spewed forth in defense of our justice system about its accuracy to ferret out guilty men, prior to the introduction of DNA evidence. There is proper suspicion that relative IQ differences are not so permanent as some believe, across the expanse of the different societies of the test makers and test takers, so as to make the permanent solutions of the eugenics crowd abominable, still.

Anonymous said...

These kids would probably have a better shot at life if we stopped importing legions of Mexicans willing to do their jobs for half the pay. Not everyone is cut out to be a doctor or an engineer, but there could be dignity and opportunity for working-class folks if we got the labor market under control.

Dan said...

I am not American, but for what I understand, trade schools do not exist in the USA. I think that would be your best option.

In Europe and many other places, students who are not academy-oriented go to trade school and learn a profession with hands-on training. And sometimes they end up making more money than those who graduate from high school and even those who did from college.

Just some food for thought.

Diogenes said...

If "Anon" and "ReadMe" actually have IQs over 100, they stand as testimony that their theory wouldn't work: their reproducing would do little to improve society.

Anonymous said...

"There is proper suspicion that relative IQ differences are not so permanent as some believe"


Suspicion on one side, social and genetic evidence on the other. Such a tough choice!

James C. Collier said...

Anon 5:20, One such proper suspicion - the malleability of IQ http://www.cscs.umich.edu/~crshalizi/weblog/520.html for the unimaginative.

Anonymous said...

That was mostly a critique of methodology, similar to creationists pointing out and exaggerating the flaws in Carbon-14 dating and holes in the fossil record, ignoring the fact that it is good enough for the job and highly corroborated. Likewise liberal creationists (everyone is equal at everything blank slatists) will never stop their God of the Gaps egalitarian mythology until every protein pathway is explored by nanobots.

Perhaps next you could post a link to a technical explanation of how IQ is utterly malleable and an analysis of the success of various programs to increase IQ through education.

Oh, wait...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnesota_Transracial_Adoption

Environment doesn't count for much.

Sure, through heavy training / 5 hours of charter school homework one can reach their genetic limits, but these are often just levels of achievement that others can reach without any training.

The fact is that some groups just don't have gene variants of MCPH1, DAB1, etc corrollated with higher cognitive function. I suggest you find another topic for brain munchies Collier. You probably won't like what you find here.

James C. Collier said...

Anon 11:26, Even if I though you (and your similar ilk) correct (and I don't), your sheer arrogance and smug wittiness, with thinking that for one moment anyone would willingly let you near them with your self-serving argument and a scalpel, describes you to be one equally challenged, if not greater.

Jimmy said...

James, these are trolls who are baiting you! As moderator, can't you delete these comments?

Anonymous: have you ever even kissed a girl? Move out of your mom's basement and get a life.

James C. Collier said...

Not to worry Jimmy, the leap from genetics and heritability to voluntary/forced sterilization is minor for too many high-scoring folks. For me, the difference between my youthful IQ and my adult IQ is too great and unexplained (2 std. deviations) to give me the confidence (in either measure) I would require to think sterilizing people on this basis is anything less than barbaric, and akin to the final solution.

Richard Lynn said...

There's nothing wrong with a strictly voluntary eugenics program. IQ is well over 50% hereditary. IQ is the best predictor of success. Societies with high IQs will be successful. Societies with low IQs? Well, look at Mexico, Africa, etc.

To quote a great man, eugenics is the answer because 3 generations of imbeciles IS enough. It really is.

Dan said...

If the IQ thing was true, Asia would have colonized Europe long ago, as Asians have higher IQs. Am I wrong? But it happened the other way around. How could that be, according to the IQ theories? How can Europeans and Americans, peoples of lower IQs compared to Asians, be leading the world right now?

Besides, even if the IQ theories were true (which I don't believe they are), their defenders here show a clear lack of emotional intelligence, compassion and basic empathy for the pain of others. If that's the meaning of a high IQ society, I honestly don't want anything to do with it.

Anonymous said...

http://stuffblackpeopledontlike.blogspot.com/2009/08/991-going-back-to-school-in-louisville.html

IQ aside, this story and video on the site is incredible and will change peoples mind about sterilization.

ronnie brown said...

the anonymity of the internet is the perfect refuge for fools. they imagine their "facts" to be unimpeachable, and yet they can't even use their own name.

Anonymous said...

Not supporting any post but what information would a name give you?

No one would know who the person is any better than if they sign anon.

Impeach their so called facts and the signature becomes irrelevant.

As long as Mr. Collier allows posters to sign anon it is a non-issue.

The real issues are the ideas behind the topics and the posts that follow, not the signatures.

ronnie brown said...

The I.Q. of an individual/collective is subject to all the variables that shape human existence...even yours! Instead of being thankful that your intellectual development wasn't stunted or hindered, your vanity has convinced you that you are actually in a position to judge the fitness or worthiness of your fellow human beings.

Fortunately, for the rest of us, your declarations are confined to the vastness that is the world wide web.

Anonymous said...

To avoid confusion I am the anon that made the post, and only the post, about complaints of people signing anon.
Nothing more.

I do not agree with the posts that equate IQ with race......

ronnie brown said...

all the more reason to use your name...any name.

ronnie brown said...

Anonymous,
you failed to realize that the "law of diminishing returns" kicked in as soon as you thought you were going to engage in a debate armed only with your "scientific study"...you forgot that it takes two to tango...so, if no one wants to engage you...this might be the time to find a more profitable means of entertainment...kissing a girl just might do it...

chemist said...

Dan is correct, we need more trade schools for the non-academically oriented. We nee to have more respect for the trades, which provide important and well-paying jobs.
Black boys have been horribly damaged by “overhyping”. Their self esteem has been pumped up to grandiosity, which they may spend the rest of their lives defending from reality.
If you are not academically oriented, and everyone is telling you to be a scientist or engineer, the only way you can protect your self-esteem is to drop out.
If the young man comes back to school, tell him that the object of life is to be a useful, honest, kind, and contributing member of his country, community, and family.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Brown it's entirely too enjoyable to see your dismay as you can't tell anons apart.

When Mr. Collier requests signatures then I will comply but until then it is none of your concern and if you continue to allow us anons to rent space in your head we will surely do so.

Anonymous said...

This is the last chapter of the Bell Curve in action. 5 trillion plus has been spent on these problems and look where it has gotten us. Progessive solutions seem to be to force people to breed together that way we are all the same. Of course 'they' the leaders will keep 'their' lines as pure as possible.

Dan said...

As far as I understand, in America you need to graduate from high school in order to attend trade school. In other countries, however, students can choose to go to trade school after graduating from middle school. And when they graduate, their diploma tends to be as valid as a high school degree.

This way people who do not want to pursue theory-based studies can leave them at an earlier age and are not forced to drop out. And those who decide to keep studying through high school are usually more motivated to do so.

Jael said...

"If the IQ thing was true, Asia would have colonized Europe long ago, as Asians have higher IQs. Am I wrong? But it happened the other way around."

I don't think this had anything to do with IQ, as the Asian mindset and view of the world, their philosophy has evolved differently, and their needs and geography were different. IQ measures problem solving ability.

"There's no reaching them. It is pointless to fret about the fate of these hopeless young men. The behavior and personality issues you describe are the result of a low IQ, a gift from their genetically sub-par parents."

"We need to place a bounty on reaching these youngsters before they enter the revolving door of the vocational prison complex."

I believe the majority of this behavior does not come from low IQ (I could be wrong I'm not a scientist), it comes from low quality of love. There is no putting a value on lack of a father's love as mentor, teacher, role model and guide.

I read somewhere "Give me a child for the first seven years and I'll show you the man." I don't believe this is set in stone, but I do believe in the principle.

It is extremely difficult to change a young man's (or woman's) path who has grown up without a dad, with dysfunction in the home and in the community. Children are born pretty much an empty slate (although I believe they sense things in the womb). The ones who do not get what they need will seek to fill the hole inside of them in useless and destructive ways until perhaps one day, when they are decades older, they will look back and begin to make sense of the havoc wreaked upon them and the havoc they wreaked upon others. Too late.

So I would say making up for the home one comes from is nearly an impossible task. It takes an intense, one-on-one relationship from a caring adult (male) to make a difference. And even then, it is hard to make up for those first years of life, and then the years when a boy needs a loving male guiding him to become a proper man.

I don't think this problem will be solved until we have strong father-headed families and strong communities that support them. Reaching these youngsters is a monumental task. Many are dead inside, filled with TV, video games, music and the dysfunction around them, and only the most intense kind of love and nurturing from a man will save them.

Smile said...

PEOPLE! Um! Duh! To those who are promoting a KKK agenda, (there, I said it, to whatever 'color' ya are) WE Do have TRADE SCHOOLS all over this country. Copious trade schools, pretend you're lookin' for one, you'll find a bunch. I'm all for more of them.

Dan said...

@Smile

Of course you have trade schools in the USA. My point was that they don't work to eliminate the high rates of school drop outs. This is because in order to attend trade school you need to graduate from high school in the first place.

What I said is that trade schools would be more effective if the students could attend right after middle school, just as they do in many European countries. That way they have an alternative to drop out of high school. One that can can make a difference in their lives.

Anonymous said...

I agree totally with Jael. There's an established order of things, and fathers are a big part of that. Remove the fathers from the home, and you will see some very negative consequences. The lack of fathers is what drives the attitude among many Black youngsters that no one cares about them, so why should they assert themselves in school or otherwise take life seriously. The link cannot be overstated. The question now becomes how does one reverse the tide of single parenthood? Not an easy answer, but the onus is largely on Black people to figure out.

Smile said...

@Dan

I agree. Spot on. So, do you think people would choose to utilize the trade school RATHER then drop out AND do whatever they do after choosing to D.O.?

See, the USA DOES have trade school(s) available to the students WELL BEFORE graduation, along with school counselors of myriad types at every level in every school. Also, ANYONE who doesn't have a H.S. diploma (of ANY age/for any reason) can attend these trade schools for FREE.

It seems to me that we have more then enough answers to many things. Therefore, the question now becomes: Why, when we are so fond of choices, don't people make choices to eliminate future and current problems?

We can ponder: Encouragement, co-enabling, lack of consequences, education v socialization... We could all make an endless list. Why don't we have an educational system that is purely for education, while leaving the tweaks and politics for some other entity/persons? Rather, we see the "educational" institutions polluted with copious things that have nothing to do with education. We claim education is important but refuse to focus on it purely/solely/simply. This is the hypocrisy of our offered education: Instead, one will get the should/shouldn'ts rather then the is/isn'ts.

Considering everything funded, done, tried, changed, implemented, and funded some more, it grows ever increasingly worse rather then better. Yet, we still hear that education is important, so obviously this is a myth and many don't actually believe this. When one truly believes something, it's acted on. Climb unto the roof of a building then jump off: Not gonna do that. See? That is what truly believing is, believe in the law of gravity/general relativity.

ronnie brown said...

http://www.waragainsttheweak.com

a reminder that fools who imagine themselves qualified to weed out the so-called unfit have been around for decades...