Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Motivation through empowerment

A bin that has internal dimensions of 5' x 5' x 5' is filled with wheat at $1 a bushel.  Assume a 5% cartage fee
  1. How much money will the farmer net when he sells the wheat to the elevator?  
  2. If the farmer buys the wheat back from the elevator, how much must he pay?

There is much lamentation regarding the educational attainment of black men.

One common refrain is:

More black men go to prison than go to college.

A major part of the issue involves lack of motivation during high school.  As Yogi Berra noted, "If people don't show up, you can's stop them."

The drop-out rate for young black men is higher than it is for young white men.  Presumably, physical truancy is higher.  Even when they show up, many of them are mentally disengaged.

Young, urban black men see "modern" education as a waste of time.  They see no more relevance to their universe than most readers saw in the farming problem described at the top of this essay.  IF you have the slightest interest in agriculture you know that one bushel is 1.25 cubic feet.  Knowing that, the problem is simple enough to do in your head.  The answers are $95 when selling and $105 when buying. 

Not only is the curriculum irrelevant, but vast swaths of the education delivery system is controlled by defanged, feminized Nazis whose only option is suspension. When your only tool is a hammer every problem looks like a nail.

A real life example

I once had to endure a parent-teacher conference where the instructor (a student teacher) was reduced to stuttering gibberish.  She required that students get her attention by raising their right hand, the upper arm parallel with the floor and the upper arm perpendicular to the floor, arm motionless, wrist rotating the palm of their hand tracking her like a radar dish as she waltzed around the room.  She allowed the student to talk only when she was pointing at them.

My son made the mistake of expressing his opinion of her requirements.  Frankly, his opinion closely mirrored mine.  He made the mistake of expressing them loudly enough for her to hear.  He used what are politely known as "barn words".  Hence the parent-teacher conference.


Once upon a time, sports was a major motivator.  There was glory in playing on the school team.  A career in the pros was seen as a viable career path. It was a  venue where the disenfranchised could excel and earn respect. In a word, they could be empowered.

This solution is less accessible than it used to be.  Sports have become more competitive.  Schools have become larger.  Equipment is more expensive.  The days of a junior "walking on" and starring are over.

One solution that I have never see mentioned is to start a "Shooting Club".  Kids in the inner-city see the usefulness of guns.  Guns are relevant.  Guns are empowering.

What was your reaction?

If you were horrified by the idea of starting high school shooting clubs in the inner-city, then you might be a racist.

I wonder how many folks are anti-gun because it is a politically acceptable way to manifest what is inherently a racist bias.  Black men are seen as bumbling buffoons until you put a ball or a gun in their hands.  Then they are respected as (expendable) gladiators or as world-class threats.

It is racist to perpetuate a system that guarantees that black men will remain "bumbling buffoons".  It is racist to automatically reject any proposal that might empower young black men and give them a better future...even if it is just a few of them.

Ironically, all sports are derivatives of war skills.  It is a way to hone those skills without decapitating tomorrow's foot soldiers and generals.

Shooting sports teach safety.  They teach equipment care.  They teach marksmanship.  There really is zero tolerance for unsafe behaviors....like pointing the gun anywhere near a living person.

Shooting clubs can teach physics (ballistics), metallurgy, chemistry, machinery repair.  They can teach industrial engineering and economics.  The thing is that shooting sports motivate because it shows that learning is the path to empowerment.  What is not to like?

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