• Manhood •
April 27, 2006
China now finds itself looking a social crisis right in the face. The nation’s “one child only” limitation, coupled with that culture’s traditional preference for boys, has led to a huge demographic imbalance.
April 6, 2006
Leonard Sax, author of the forthcoming book, Boys Adrift, argues in The Washington Post that boys and young men are falling far behind young women in terms of achievement and motivation. The article deserves attention.
March 31, 2006
March 31, 2006
In 2004, Richmond, Virginia was host to the national denominational meetings of the Presbyterian Church USA, the Pentecostal Church International, and the American Baptist Churches USA. In 2012, the United Methodist Church was to hold its General Conference in the same city. It’s not going to happen. The Methodists aren’t going to Richmond.
March 26, 2006
Harvard sociology professor Orlando Patterson, author of Rituals of Blood: Consequences of Slavery in Two American Centuries, offers another interesting analysis of why young black men are falling so far behind other American demographic groups in terms of economic and social advancement.
March 24, 2006
Matt Dubay wants to level the playing field between men and women when it comes to having babies — unwanted babies, that is. This sad excuse for manhood from Michigan wants a male equivalent to Roe v. Wade — a determination that men should not have to pay child support for children they do not want to be born.
March 20, 2006
The New York Times reports that black men are becoming more and more alienated from the mainstream culture. The trends related to black men are moving downward even as other groups are moving more into the mainstream.
There’s something very different happening with young black men, and it’s something we can no longer ignore,” said Ronald B. Mincy, professor of social work at Columbia University and editor of “Black Males Left Behind” (Urban Institute Press, 2006).
“Over the last two decades, the economy did great,” Mr. Mincy said, “and low-skilled women, helped by public policy, latched onto it. But young black men were falling farther back.”
Many of the new studies go beyond the traditional approaches to looking at the plight of black men, especially when it comes to determining the scope of joblessness. For example, official unemployment rates can be misleading because they do not include those not seeking work or incarcerated.
“If you look at the numbers, the 1990′s was a bad decade for young black men, even though it had the best labor market in 30 years,” said Harry J. Holzer, an economist at Georgetown University and co-author, with Peter Edelman and Paul Offner, of “Reconnecting Disadvantaged Young Men” (Urban Institute Press, 2006).
A very important section of the article addresses root causes of this problem:
According to census data, there are about five million black men ages 20 to 39 in the United States. Terrible schools, absent parents, racism, the decline in blue collar jobs and a subculture that glorifies swagger over work have all been cited as causes of the deepening ruin of black youths. Scholars — and the young men themselves — agree that all of these issues must be addressed.
Joseph T. Jones, director of the fatherhood and work skills center here, puts the breakdown of families at the core. “Many of these men grew up fatherless, and they never had good role models,” said Mr. Jones, who overcame addiction and prison time. “No one around them knows how to navigate the mainstream society.”
No responsible consideration of these issues can ignore the work of John McWhorter, author of Winning the Race: Beyond the Crisis in Black America.
In a recent interview, McWhorter went right to the core of modern perceptions about the reality of race in America:
Since I started commenting on race, I have found that it is considered a mark of enlightenment in thought about race to propose — or, as I think most such people are doing deep down, pretend — that black America’s problems will sit unsolvable until there is no racism or discrimination at all in American society. For a certain sort — concentrated more in academia and the journalism world than elsewhere — no matter how logical your arguments are, they cannot get beyond an almost ritualistic incantation of the fact that “America remains a racist country.” For many of these people, the guiding purpose of ALL discussion of race is to reveal, again and again, that “racism is not dead,” despite all evidence that it nearly is.
March 17, 2006
I was so glad to welcome my good friend C. J. Mahaney to the radio program yesterday as we talked about the meaning and significance of sports in the life of Christian believers. As always, the conversation was exciting, unpredictable, and fun. Beyond this, the conversation with C.J. touched on some of the big questions many of us are asking as the nation is now fixated on March Madness [see Wednesday's commentary].
March 1, 2006
Will the world soon experience a return of patriarchy? That is the question raised by Phillip Longman in the current issue of Foreign Policy. The magazine's cover features a rather stunning headline: “Why Men Rule–and Conservatives Will Inherit the Earth.” That headline would be surprising in almost any contemporary periodical, but it is especially significant that this article should appear in the pages of Foreign Policy, published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The publication of this article is likely to set a good many heads to spinning.
February 21, 2006