Sunday, November 2, 2008

Some Mother Didn't Do Her Job

You know I am so tired of mothers being maligned. I see it on almost daily basis. Very few times do we stop and ask where was the father or consider the social conditions that children are raised in. 

When I entered the echo chamber of assent, and read the following, which is in reference to the recent tragedy experienced by the Hudson family. I was naturally upset.

William Balfour’s father apparently is serving 30 years on murder charges and William’s brother is serving drug dealing charges. So CLEARLY Michelle you are in no position to judge the criminal proclivities of the men you procreate with and give birth to. So be quiet. Your son, even if he is innocent was clearly trifling and maybe if you had been a better parent you wouldn’t have chosen a murder as your mate and produced two criminals.

Here is the deal, we don't know whether this man is guilty or innocent.  Even though he was raised primarily by his mother, she was not the sole influence on him.  We have a little thing called the agents of socialization, that are often not factored in when we speak about criminality.

It is so easy to say that some manchild went wrong because his mother didn't do her damn job, yet none of us lives in isolation.  The media continually presents black masculinity as thug like criminals.  The education system routinely redirects young black children into non academic streams.  The disparity in the education system is also evident to anyone with eyes.  Compare the schools in any ghetto to any suburban area, clearly class and race reflect not only who gets taught what, but what equipment they are given to learn with.

If every where you look you are presented with an image of negativity and then told that your value as a person is dependent on your ability to consume and or display items connected with wealth, is it any wonder that criminality is so high?

What about the prison industrial complex that is built upon housing and exploiting young black men.? What sense does it make to incarcerate a generation of young men for drug crimes when treatment would not only be cheaper, but have a longer lasting result?  It makes sense only if you are aware of the communities that are dependent upon prisons  to support their local economies.

Of course I am way off base. The queen of the echo chamber believes:

Recidivism rates are so high because we have normalized jail culture. Its not shameful or embarrassing, but a right of passage.

Yeah the justice system is so fair...why don't these trifling young black men learn?  It's very simple really, prison is not about reform it is about punishment. When these men leave they might as well have a scarlet letter tattooed to their forehead that says criminal.  Each one of them emerges with the name Jean Valjean.  Oui ils ont  les miserables.

With all of the ways in which we know that racism and classism work together to maintain hierarchy in this society, it is ridiculous to blame the mother.  This is not to say that all mothers care about their children, but every single child that does not fulfill their end of the social contract is not necessarily a reflection on their parents. 

In this particular case  there are many facts that still have not been released to the public and a rush to judgement based on inflammatory media reports does not serve the common good.

What we need to be doing as women is supporting mothers.  Motherhood is a difficult task to undertake even under the best of circumstances.  I have a very supporting partner in the "unhusband" and yet the boys as beautiful as they are give me grey hair. I cannot imagine the Herculean task it is to raise children as a single mother with a limited income.  I tell you my heroes are the single mothers of this world. Who knows more about sacrifice, hard work and love than these women?  Before I jump on some bandwagon and convict one of not doing her damn job, I want some concrete evidence of that fact.

As for Ms.Echo Chamber, this post is in existence because freedom of expression is clearly something you do not support, so I have taken your advice and had my say on my own blog. I will say this, part of blogging is hearing voices that you don't necessarily agree with.  It happens here at Womanist Musings on a daily basis; however I believe in freedom of expression and never allow my personal views to block someone from having the right to express themselves. If one is to quick to hit the ban button you loose the opportunity to engage in real and honest conversations which is what blogging should be about, not just didactic preaching from on high.



White Trash Academic said...

Aye, yet another person who does not understand criminal behavior or the impact of social structural variables, many of which you mentioned like schools, lack of/blocked opportunity, differential treatment in the cj system.

Alas, this explanation is simply too complicated as it would require to make massive changes...much easier to blame the mother or the "normalizing of jail culture?!" WTF?

Rj said...

Black men can often escape the results of their actions (or inactions) partially because some of White society is afraid to be accused of playing the race card--so the result is to blame Black women, because our voices aren't loud enough, or rather, we continue to be silenced due to the self-conflict between our race and gender allegiances. So, simultaneously, everything is our fault and yet we survive because of us.

Ebony Intuition said...

I was reading that post also and saw the foolishness being written, it amazes me that people don't know anything about laws etc. And always want to put blame on the mother. Maybe when people start realizing that the police are suppose to arrest criminals and the judges and lawyers who make thousands of dollars are suppose to sentence them. Then maybe they will understand why so much people who should be locked up aren't

Ebony Intuition said...

Also have you noticed that when someone who is non black commits a crime, their is nothing wrong with their community. Just last week a female and 3 other people were shoot randomly outside a bar in Toronto. The female died. The male suspect was a white male, they caught him. But yet the news never says "oh the white community" has an issue with guns or crime etc. But when a black man commits a crime every black person is to blame for it. The media is so racist and bias. Men of all races commit and take part in the same crimes but only black men are to blame and their mothers are to blame.

Anonymous said...

"But yet the news never says "oh the white community" has an issue with guns or crime etc."
Unless video games are even vaguely involved, at least.

Martin Swash said...
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