Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Defending a Question
Apparently some prominent local individual(s?) recently asked a forbidden question, prompting Racine County supervisor and Racine Parks director Donnie Snow to respond in a JT commentary entitled "Defending a race, setting an example." The question: "Where are the African American men?"Given the disproportiate incidence of violence perpetrated by black boys and men and other pathologies in our community, I think it is a fair question and one we all should consider.Unfortunately Donnie Snow reacted far too defensively to make a meaningful contribution to this discussion. Snow is a single father and a product of a single mother. He turned out OK, he gathers with other positive black men that are part of the solution etc... and he "refuse(s) to let anyone lump all black men and bring them down to the lowest, most mean-spirited stereotypes."Of course there are positive, decent, concerned, caring, and responsible black men in Racine and elsewhere. There are also far too many who are irresponsible and inclined towards criminal activity. By the way, I think this is a problem that exists outside the black community as well. However, the problem is more pronounced and obvious in the black community.Why can't we talk about the problems facing the black community? Why is Donnie Snow so defensive? When can we have a discussion without being accused of "lumping all blacks together" or contibuting to "mean-spirited stereotypes" or in other words, without being accused of racism?