Thursday, April 20, 2006

Tackling Truancy at the Source et al

Tackling Truancy at the Source - Washington Post

Black Farmers Rally Outside Ag. Dept. - AP

Everyone might not recognize it by name, but most people know of Black people’s penchant for lateness, highlighted in the article, and internally referred to as Colored People’s Time (“CPT”). Lateness is arguably the single most thwarting behavior Blacks exhibit.

Sure, there are other behaviors that gain greater notice; crime, drugs, and violence to start, but their influence pales relative to pervasive lateness. While it is seemingly harmless, it cuts across all lines, and all situations, with the impact of shifting the entire group signficantly downward from the average American.

Now to be fair, other groups have their own versions of CPT – including the Jews, Hispanics, and also Asians, but with an important distinction that Blacks have yet to embrace, that being tolerable social lateness and required business timeliness.

America is a ‘monochronic’ society where, linearity dictates, and events move as trains on a single track. Much of the third world, including Africa, is ‘polychronic’, where events are seen as less interdependent, with many things happening at once.

Lateness, in America, regardless of personal preference, disrupts the efficient and effective flow upon which the country’s competitiveness is based. Inasmuch, the penalty meted out for it is severe - disenfranchisement. This penalty occurs much less frequently in polychronic countries.

Lastly, the association of timeliness and preparedness is unavoidable. It can be presented as, ‘how can a person be prepared, in full, if they are not prepared, in part, to arrive at the appointed time? This seemed to be what the DC Superior Court judge was thinking regarding the truants and their guardians, as he looked out into that empty room - their last chance.

James C. Collier

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