Saturday, July 28, 2007

This just in from Canada

End the blather


Another murder in a Canadian black community, this time the victim being 11-years old. And it took only moments for white liberal politicians to blame law-abiding handgun owners and, yes, the United States of America.

Handguns have to be banned, they cried, and American gun laws are too soft. This has to be a first. Canadian leftists blaming a murder in Toronto on President George W. Bush. Orders of Canada and CBC T-shirts all round.

Such drivel does not, however, explain how Norway, with one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the world, manages to have one of the lowest crime rates.

Or how Israel, a society where guns are extraordinarily common, has so few criminal shootings.

Or how Britain with some of the most stringent gun control laws in the world has a violent crime rate that is virtually out of control.

It's too late to play silly games any more. If handguns are the cause of all this we have to ask why there are so few shootings in, for example, the Dutch, Ukrainian, Irish, Portuguese, Korean, Hindu or African communities. Why, in fact, there are so few shootings in any community outside of the West Indian and specifically Jamaican.

Oh Lord, the man must be mad. Silence him, stop him, call in a Human Rights Commission before it's too late!

Yet there is nothing racist about seeking answers that might save the lives of young black men and much that is racist about refusing to ask basic questions for fear that politically correct credentials be damaged.

If our leaders were braver they might admit that matriarchy is a fundamental theme of Jamaican society and the levels of fatherless families in the country's urban centres are staggering. This culture has been transferred to Canada. Just as it has to other Jamaican diaspora communities, which experience similar rates of violent crime.

It might be comforting to see every young single mom as a saint who works three jobs and is devoted to her children, but positive caricatures are just as unhelpful as are negative ones.

There are such mothers of course, but also young women who party late and work little. Who find themselves pregnant as teenagers and mothers of several children, perhaps from different fathers, by the time they are adults.

Such problems occur to various extents in all communities, but when the only male role model is the gangster on the street corner with the loud car, loud clothes and loud gun, the chances of leading a law-abiding life are minimal.

Made even harder by a dysfunctional obsession with disrespect.

A gesture or a harmless comment can indicate lack of respect and the need to shoot. Just last week in London, England, three young black men shot a doorman point blank in the face three times because he politely asked them not to smoke. Hard to believe that this was the result of oppression, racism and lack of government programs. Especially as the victim was himself black.

Poverty? Spare me. It is deeply insulting to assume that the poor are criminals.

Also ridiculous to assume that there is genuine, crippling poverty in a country with free education, health care and subsidized housing.

If we care we will halt the platitudes and try to help. No more patronizing blather, no more false scapegoats. If we care we will risk being called names. If we care.

Thanks to Irons in the Fire!