Archive | May, 2013

CDC reports teen pregnancy rate down, thankfully

27 May

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART:

In Talking to your teen about risky behaviors, moi said: There are no perfect people, no one has a perfect life and everyone makes mistakes. Unfortunately, children do not come with instruction manuals, which give specific instructions about how to relate to that particular child. Further, for many situations there is no one and only way to resolve a problem. What people can do is learn from their mistakes and the mistakes of others. Sharon Jayson writes in the USA Today article, More children born to unmarried parents:

A growing number of firstborns in the USA have unmarried parents, reflecting dramatic increases since 2002 in births to cohabiting women, according to government figures out today.

The percentage of first births to women living with a male partner jumped from 12% in 2002 to 22% in 2006-10 — an 83% increase. The percentage of cohabiting new fathers rose from 18% to 25%. The analysis, by the National Center for Health Statistics, is based on data collected from 2006 to 2010….

The percentage of first births to cohabiting women tripled from 9% in 1985 to 27% for births from 2003 to 2010….http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/wellness/story/2012-04-10/CDC-marriage-cohabitation-children/54186600/1#.T4Z8NWHELEQ.email

This is a demographic disaster for children as devastating as the hurricane “Katrina.”

One way to promote healthier lifestyles for children is to keep their parents in school so that they can complete their education. One overlooked aspect of Title IX is the mandate that pregnant teens have access to education.

In Teaching kids that babies are not delivered by UPS, moi said:

It is time for some speak the truth, get down discussion. An acquaintance who practices family law told me this story about paternity. A young man left Seattle one summer to fish in Alaska. He worked on a processing boat with 30 or40 others. He had sex with this young woman. He returned to Seattle and then got a call from her saying she was pregnant. He had been raised in a responsible home and wanted to do the right thing for this child. His mother intervened and demanded a paternity test. To make a long story, short. He wasn’t the father. In the process of looking out for this kid’s interests, my acquaintance had all the men on the boat tested and none of the other “partners” was the father. Any man that doesn’t have a paternity test is a fool.

If you are a slut, doesn’t matter whether you are a male or female you probably shouldn’t be a parent.

How to tell if you are a slut?

  1. If you are a woman and your sex life is like the Jack in the Box 24-hour drive through, always open and available. Girlfriend, you’re a slut.
  1. If you are a guy and you have more hoes than Swiss cheese has holes. Dude, you need to get tested for just about everything and you are a slut. 

Humans have free will and are allowed to choose how they want to live. What you do not have the right to do is to inflict your lifestyle on a child. So, the responsible thing for you to do is go to Planned Parenthood or some other outlet and get birth control for yourself and the society which will have to live with your poor choices. Many religious folks are shocked because I am mentioning birth control, but most sluts have few religious inklings or they wouldn’t be sluts. A better option for both sexes, if this lifestyle is a permanent option, is permanent birth control to lessen a contraception failure. People absolutely have the right to choose their particular lifestyle. You simply have no right to bring a child into your mess of a life. I observe people all the time and I have yet to observe a really happy slut. Seems that the lifestyle is devoid of true emotional connection and is empty. If you do find yourself pregnant, please consider adoption.

Let’s continue the discussion. Some folks may be great friends, homies, girlfriends, and dudes, but they make lousy parents. Could be they are at a point in their life where they are too selfish to think of anyone other than themselves, they could be busy with school, work, or whatever. No matter the reason, they are not ready and should not be parents. Birth control methods are not 100% effective, but the available options are 100% ineffective in people who are sexually active and not using birth control. So, if you are sexually active and you have not paid a visit to a family planning clinic, then you are not only irresponsible, you are Eeeevil. Why do I say that, you are playing Russian Roulettewith the life of another human being, the child. You should not ever put yourself in the position of bringing a child into the world that you are unprepared to parent, emotionally, financially, and with a commitment of time. So, if you find yourself in a what do I do moment and are pregnant, you should consider adoption. http://drwilda.com/2012/01/22/teaching-kids-that-babies-are-not-delivered-by-ups/

Nirvi Shah reported in the Education Week article, Teen Pregnancy Rate at Its Lowest, Again, CDC Says:

The teen pregnancy rate is at a record low, again, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. And the steady declines from 2007 to 2011 mark the most longest period in recent history for which the drop persevered.

The rate of births among girls ages 15 to 19 has been record-settingly low for the last few years, falling almost without exception since 1991. In the latest figures, the CDC said the overall rate dropped 25 percent since 2007, from 41.5 births per 1,000 teenagers to 31.3 births in 2011—and that’s about a 50 percent drop in the rate since 1991. The overall number of births also dropped to 329,797, a 26 percent decrease from 2007 to 2011.

(If this drop sounds familiar, I wrote about similar numbers from preliminary CDC teen pregnancy data in the fall.)

One highlight: Declines in birth rates among Hispanic teenagers were the largest of any group, with rates falling by at least 40 percent in 22 states and the District of Columbia. In 2007, the birth rate among Hispanic teenager was 21 percent higher than the rate for blacks, but by 2011, the rate for Hispanic teenagers was only 4 percent greater.

The teen pregnancy rates fell at least 30 percent in seven states from 2007 to 2011 with even steeper declines in Arizona and Utah—of 35 percent. There was no significant change in two states: North Dakota and West Virginia.

Giving birth as a teenager can affect a young woman’s health, economic security, and every other aspect of life.

In general, the CDC said the drop is the result of a combination of things, including strong teen pregnancy-prevention messages. (These new Chicago ads are stunners, and a recent teen pregnancy-prevention campaign in New York has turned particularly bold, too.)

The CDC said the most recent data from the National Survey of Family Growth show that more teens are using contraception when they first have sex and using a combination of condoms and hormonal birth control. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/rulesforengagement/2013/05/teen_pregnancy_rate_at_its_lowest_again_cdc_says.html

Parents and guardians must have age-appropriate conversations with their children and communicate not only their values, but information about sex and the risks of sexual activity. http://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/teaching-kids-that-babies-are-not-delivered-by-ups/

The National Council to Prevent Teen Pregnancy has produced the report, Teen Pregnancy & High School Dropout: What Communities Can Do to Address These Issues:

In 2008, births to teens who lived in counties and cities where 25 persistently low-achieving schools are located accounted for 16 percent of all teen births in the United States, according to a new report released today by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. The report, Teen Pregnancy & High School Dropout: What Communities Can Do to Address These Issues, notes that these same 25 school districts also accounted for 20 percent of all high school dropouts in the United States and are home to many of the nation’s lowest-performing high schools, often referred to as “dropout factories,” where only 60 percent or fewer of students graduate on time.

The new report, produced in collaboration with America’s Promise Alliance, underscores the clear link between teen pregnancy and dropping out of school and highlights what a number of communities across the United States are doing to directly confront these issues. With the help of school districts, public agencies, and community-based organizations, these communities—from California to New York and Texas to Tennessee —are using innovative strategies and activities to help students avoid pregnancy and complete their high school education.

For example, some school districts, such as the New York City Public Schools, have used results from surveys of parents to overcome resistance to programs designed to prevent teen pregnancy. Other districts, such as Harris County Schools in Houston, TX have organized information sessions to educate parents, teachers, and school leaders about the connection between teen pregnancy and school completion as a way to enlist more support for school-based teen pregnancy prevention programs. And in West Virginia, the state school system has partnered with the state health department and community-based organizations to hold in-person or online professional development courses for teachers to improve the delivery of pregnancy prevention programs.

We are heartened by the work being done in communities across the U.S. to highlight the close connection between preventing teen pregnancy and educational attainment,” said Sarah Brown, CEO of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. “We encourage school leaders, policymakers, state and local officials, business leaders, and others to collaborate and develop novel strategies like those highlighted in this report to help young people avoid pregnancy and complete their high school education.”

Since its peak in 1990, the U.S. teen pregnancy rate has declined 42 percent and the teen birth rate is now at an all-time low. Despite this impressive progress, it is still the case that nearly three in 10 girls in this country will become pregnant before the age of 20. The United States has the highest rate of teen pregnancies in the developed world—approximately 750,000 pregnancies to teens each year.

The United States continues to also confront a high school dropout crisis. Each year, one in four U.S. public high school students fail to graduate with a diploma—that’s more than one million dropouts annually or one every 26 seconds. Although recent studies found the national graduation rate has increased to 75.5 percent, over the last decade less than half of all states made significant progress and only one state (Wisconsin) has achieved the Grad Nation campaign goal of a 90 percent graduation rate.

The connection between teen pregnancy and dropout rates is a no-brainer,” said John Gomperts, president and CEO, America’s Promise Alliance. “What this report does is reinforce the importance of focusing on those school districts and communities where the dropout problem is the greatest. By turning around those communities that are struggling the most we won’t just see fewer dropouts and teen parents—we’ll see a stronger economy, more vibrant communities, and a more hopeful nation.”

The report highlights other existing data linking teen pregnancy and dropping out of high school, including:

  • Parenthood is a leading cause of school dropout among teen girls. Thirty percent of teen girls who have dropped out of high school cited pregnancy or parenthood as a key reason, and the rate is higher for minority students: 36 percent of Hispanic girls and 38 percent of African American girls cited pregnancy or parenthood as a reason they dropped out;

  • One in three (34%) young women who had been teen mothers earned neither a diploma nor a GED, compared with only six percent of young women who had not had a teen birth;

  • Less than two percent of young teen mothers (those who have a baby before age 18) attain a college degree by age 30; and

  • Over the course of a lifetime, a college graduate will earn, on average, $1 million more than a high school dropout. Over the course of his or her lifetime, a single high school dropout costs the nation approximately $260,000 in lost earnings, taxes, and productivity.

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, an America’s Promise partner, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan initiative supported almost entirely by private donations. Its mission is to promote values, behavior, and policies that reduce both teen pregnancy and unplanned pregnancy among young adults. By increasing the proportion of children born into welcoming, intact families who are prepared to take on the demanding task of raising the next generation, the organization’s efforts will improve the well-being of children and strengthen the nation.

Parents must be involved in the discussion of sex with their children and discuss THEIR values long before the culture has the chance to co-op the children. Moi routinely posts information about the vacuous and troubled lives of Sex and the City aficionados and troubled pop tarts like Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton. Kids need to know that much of the life style glamorized in the media often comes at a very high personal cost. Parents not only have the right, but the duty to communicate their values to their children.

Related:

Talking to your teen about risky behaviors                                      http://drwilda.com/2012/06/07/talking-to-your-teen-about-risky-behaviors/

Many young people don’t know they are infected with HIV http://drwilda.com/tag/disproportionate-numbers-of-young-people-have-hiv-dont-know-it/

Dropout prevention: More schools offering daycare for students http://drwilda.com/2013/01/14/dropout-prevention-more-schools-offering-daycare-for-students/

Title IX also mandates access to education for pregnant students http://drwilda.com/2012/06/19/title-ix-also-mandates-access-to-education-for-pregnant-students/

Where information leads to Hope. ©                               Dr. Wilda.com

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Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                      https://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                             http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

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New Federal speech guidelines for college campuses and the U.S. Constitution

19 May

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART:

Moi wrote in Free speech on college campuses:

The U.S. Constitution should be cherished by every American. Here is information about the First Amendment from the Legal Information Institute:

first amendment: an overview

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference. See U.S. Const. amend. I. Freedom of expression consists of the rights to freedom of speech, press, assembly and to petition the government for a redress of grievances, and the implied rights of association and belief. The Supreme Court interprets the extent of the protection afforded to these rights. The First Amendment has been interpreted by the Court as applying to the entire federal government even though it is only expressly applicable to Congress. Furthermore, the Court has interpreted, the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as protecting the rights in the First Amendment from interference by state governments. See U.S. Const. amend. XIV.

Two clauses in the First Amendment guarantee freedom of religion. The establishment clause prohibits the government from passing legislation to establish an official religion or preferring one religion over another. It enforces the “separation of church and state.” Some governmental activity related to religion has been declared constitutional by the Supreme Court. For example, providing bus transportation for parochial school students and the enforcement of “blue laws” is not prohibited. The free exercise clause prohibits the government, in most instances, from interfering with a person’s practice of their religion.

The most basic component of freedom of expression is the right of freedom of speech. The right to freedom of speech allows individuals to express themselves without interference or constraint by the government. The Supreme Court requires the government to provide substantial justification for the interference with the right of free speech where it attempts to regulate the content of the speech. A less stringent test is applied for content-neutral legislation. The Supreme Court has also recognized that the government may prohibit some speech that may cause a breach of the peace or cause violence. For more on unprotected and less protected categories of speech see advocacy of illegal action, fighting words, commercial speech and obscenity. The right to free speech includes other mediums of expression that communicate a message.  The level of protection speech receives also depends on the forum in which it takes place.

Despite popular misunderstanding the right to freedom of the press guaranteed by the first amendment is not very different from the right to freedom of speech. It allows an individual to express themselves through publication and dissemination. It is part of the constitutional protection of freedom of expression. It does not afford members of the media any special rights or privileges not afforded to citizens in general.

The right to assemble allows people to gather for peaceful and lawful purposes. Implicit within this right is the right to association and belief. The Supreme Court has expressly recognized that a right to freedom of association and belief is implicit in the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments. This implicit right is limited to the right to associate for First Amendment purposes. It does not include a right of social association. The government may prohibit people from knowingly associating in groups that engage and promote illegal activities. The right to associate also prohibits the government from requiring a group to register or disclose its members or from denying government benefits on the basis of an individual’s current or past membership in a particular group. There are exceptions to this rule where the Court finds that governmental interests in disclosure/registration outweigh interference with first amendment rights. The government may also, generally, not compel individuals to express themselves, hold certain beliefs, or belong to particular associations or groups.

The right to petition the government for a redress of grievances guarantees people the right to ask the government to provide relief for a wrong through the courts (litigation) or other governmental action. It works with the right of assembly by allowing people to join together and seek change from the government. http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/first_amendment

Peter Bonilla explains why free speech rights on college campuses are important in a PolicyMic article. http://drwilda.com/tag/free-speech-on-college-campuses-a-must-especially-during-election-seasons/

InFree Speech On College Campuses a Must, Especially During Election Seasons:

As I’ve written here on PolicyMic, though, and as the case log and publications of my employer, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), make clear, colleges and universities frequently fall far short of being the bastions of free speech they should be. Further, they often come down especially hard on political expression at the very times when it’s most relevant. Part of the problem is universities’ tendency to misinterpret their obligations under the Internal Revenue Code, which prohibits nonprofit educational institutions from engaging in certain political activities, such as institutionally supporting candidates for office.

Such misinterpretations frequently lead university administrations to prohibit or restrict broad swaths of protected speech, defying both the First Amendment and common sense. The University of Oklahoma, for example, in 2008 banned “the forwarding of political humor/commentary” using university e-mail accounts. That same year, the University of Illinois system issued warnings to faculty against engaging in basic political activities — including wearing campaign buttons, attending rallies, and even placing stickers on their cars. Then in 2011, Illinois’ flagship campus in Urbana-Champaign proposed an electronic communications policy that would have banned any and all “political campaigning” by faculty and students. Fortunately, these policies were all revised or scrapped after FIRE objected. Yet such misconceptions by universities are common enough that FIRE has issued and re-issued a policy statement on political activity to guide universities in policy and practice. http://www.policymic.com/articles/3454/free-speech-on-college-campuses-a-must-especially-during-election-seasons

See, Censorship of Free Speech on College Campuses Grows http://www.educationnews.org/higher-education/censorship-of-free-speech-on-college-campuses-grows/

and Why Students Need a Guide to Free Speech on Campus More Than Ever http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2012/08/why-students-need-a-guide-to-free-speech-on-campus-more-than-ever219.html

Greg Lukianoff writes in the Wall Street Journal article, Greg Lukianoff: Feds to Students: You Can’t Say That:

The scandals roiling Washington over the past two weeks involve troubling government behavior that had been hidden—the IRS targeting of conservative groups and the Justice Department’s surveillance of the Associated Press, among others. Largely overlooked amid the histrionics has been a shocker hiding in plain sight. Last week, the Obama administration moved to dramatically undermine students’ and faculty rights at colleges across the country.

The new policy was announced in a joint letter from the Education Department and Justice Department to the University of Montana. The May 9 letter addressed the results of a year-long joint investigation by the departments into the school’s mishandling of several serious sexual-assault cases. The investigation determined that the university’s policies addressing sexual assault failed to comply with Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

But the joint letter, which announced a “resolution agreement” with the university, didn’t stop there. It then proceeded to rewrite the federal government’s rules about sexual harassment and free speech on campus….

This attack on campus free speech follows the Education Department’s directive two years ago requiring every college in the country that receives federal funds to lower the standard of evidence in sexual-harassment cases. The “preponderance of the evidence,” the judiciary’s lowest standard of proof, became the required standard. (Many institutions had previously used the “clear and convincing” standard.) As former Dean of Harvard CollegeHarry Lewis has noted, the “preponderance of evidence” mandate means “more convictions—of both guilty and innocent individuals,” which is a troubling result “in a society that values individual rights.”

Last week’s letter is part of a decades-long effort by anti-“hate speech” professors, students, activists and administrators to classify any offensive speech as harassment unprotected by the First Amendment. Such speech codes reached their height in the 1980s and 1990s, but they were defeated in federal and state court and came in for public ridicule.

Despite these setbacks, harassment-based speech codes have become the de facto rule. Earlier this year, my organization, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, published a study that looked at 409 colleges and found that 62% maintain codes that violate First Amendment standards. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323582904578485041304763554.html?mod=hp_opinion

Lukianoff goes on to state in Federal Government Mandates Unconstitutional Speech Codes at Colleges and Universities Nationwide:

Among the forms of expression now punishable on America’s campuses by order of the federal government are:

  • Any expression related to sexual topics that offends any person. This leaves a wide range of expressive activity—a campus performance of “The Vagina Monologues,” a presentation on safe sex practices, a debate about sexual morality, a discussion of gay marriage, or a classroom lecture on Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita—subject to discipline.
  • Any sexually themed joke overheard by any person who finds that joke offensive for any reason.
  • Any request for dates or any flirtation that is not welcomed by the recipient of such a request or flirtation.

There is likely no student on any campus anywhere who is not guilty of at least one of these “offenses.” Any attempt to enforce this rule evenhandedly and comprehensively will be impossible.

“The federal government has put colleges and universities in an impossible position with this mandate,” said Lukianoff. “With this unwise and unconstitutional decision, the DOJ and DOE have doomed American campuses to years of confusion and expensive lawsuits, while students’ fundamental rights twist in the wind.”

“The Departments of Education and Justice are out of control,” continued Lukianoff. “Banning everyday speech on campus? Eliminating fundamental due process protections? Ignoring its own previous statements? They even misquoted the Supreme Court. This cannot be allowed to continue. FIRE will use all of its resources to oppose this menace to our constitutional freedoms and to free speech and academic freedom on campus.” http://thefire.org/article/15767.html

Ben Franklin states it best:

AUTHOR:

Benjamin Franklin (1706–90)

QUOTATION:

“Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”“A Republic, if you can keep it.”

See, http://constitutioncenter.org/learn/educational-resources/historical-documents/perspectives-on-the-constitution-a-republic-if-you-can-keep-it

Resources:

Center for Campus Free Speech                               http://www.campusspeech.org/

Free Speech Off Campus Must Be Protected                           http://chronicle.com/article/Free-Speech-Off-Campus-Must-Be/130660/

Column: Free speech sacks ban on college-athlete tweets http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/story/2012-04-15/twitter-social-media-college-sports-coaches-ban/54301178/1

Student Press Law Center                                                             http://www.splc.org/wordpress/?cat=26

Free Speech, Social Media and Community Colleges: Let the Clash Begin                                                                 http://www.communitycollegereview.com/articles/401

Where information leads to Hope. ©                               Dr. Wilda.com

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Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                      https://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

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Black people MUST develop a culture of success: Michigan State revokes a football scholarship because of raunchy rap video

16 May

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: Moi hopes that Jay Harris the young man who inspired this post does not reach the age of forty-five or fifty and have the words of Lerner and Loewe’s I Remember It Well racing through his head as he recalls the fact that he threw away a full ride to Michigan State. Of course, Mr. Harris may not live long enough to remember anything well. According to Wiki Answers, the question of the life expectancy of a rapper is anwsered as follows:

What is the average life expectancy of a rapper?

Answer:

About 27 years. See David Cloud’s Way of Life Ministries.

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_average_life_expectancy_of_a_rapper

Ron Dicker reports in the Huffington Post article, Jay Harris Football Scholarship Reportedly Revoked By Michigan State After His Rap Videos Appear:

Jay Harris, a hotshot receiver from Downingtown High School East in Exton, Pa., saw his football scholarship revoked by Michigan State University after his explicit rap videos appeared on YouTube, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Despite the excitement he once expressed on Facebook about becoming a Spartan, Harris told the Inquirer that he wanted out of the full ride to pursue a rap career, but that he hadn’t had the courage to tell his parents. A Michigan State spokesman told the outlet that the decision was “mutual.”

Harris, aka Jay DatBull, recently posted nine obscenity-laced hip-hop videos on YouTube. One in particular (watch above), titled “Datbull 4 Life,” might have most influenced Michigan State. In addition to celebrating his female conquests, he is shown twice smoking what appears to be marijuana. The second time is in a car.

The video had collected more than 90,000 hits by early Wednesday afternoon — and lots of visitor response. Some applauded Harris; others warned he was throwing his life away.   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/15/jay-harris-football-scholarship-michigan-hip-hop-rap-videos_n_3279859.html?utm_hp_ref=@education123

So, what is missing from this picture –  a young man who is steeped in hip-hop culture and not a culture of success.

The question must be asked, who is responsible for MY or YOUR life choices? Let’s get real, certain Asian cultures kick the collective butts of the rest of Americans. Why? It’s not rocket science. These cultures embrace success traits of hard work, respect for education, strong families, and a reverence for success and successful people. Contrast the culture of success with the norms of hip-hop and rap oppositional culture. See, Hip-hop’s Dangerous Valueshttp://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1107107/posts and Hip-Hop and rap represent destructive life choices: How low can this genre sink? http://drwilda.com/2013/05/01/hip-hop-and-rap-represent-destructive-life-choices-how-low-can-this-genre-sink/

One person does not speaks for a group, but members of a group can often provide useful insight about the group.

Here is Arthur Hu’s take on  INTRODUCTION TO BASIC ASIAN VALUES

One of the most central features of a culture are its values. Values are the standards by which one may judge the difference between good and bad, and the right and wrong things to do. Though some values are universally shared among all cultures, it is the contrast and differences in values of different cultures that can account for the interactions and perceptions that occur between different cultures.

Traditional values are a common thread among individuals in a culture. Stereotyping comes about because of common behavior patterns that are based on common values, and distortion and misperception can come about as a result of misunderstandings of those values. Stereotyping can also be dangerous because people are individuals with their own values which may vary a great deal from the traditional ideal. Values can vary quite a bit depending upon one’s generation, class, education, origin, among other factors. For example, there is considerable difference in what might be called “traditional” and “modern” American values.

Although each distinct Asian culture actually has its own set of values, they all share a common core, which is probably best documented in the Japanese and Chinese traditions, and by philosophers such as Confucius, whose writings had considerable influence throughout Asia. In the Asian American experience, these values interact with what might be called simply “western” or “Caucasian” values, but if one contrasts the values of America with those of Europe, it can be seen that these are really “Modern American” values that provide the best contrasts.

Asian values are very much inter-related. They all support the view of the individual as being a part of a much larger group or family, and place great importance on the well-being of the group, even at the expense of the individual. American values, on the other hand emphasize the importance of the well-being of the individual, and stresses independence and individual initiative. Although it may seem that values such as education, family, and hard work are shared between cultures, these values manifest themselves quite differently in the two cultures.

Some Asian values are so important that some of the cultures, especially the Japanese have given them names of their own, and are used commonly. Here is a list of some of the most outstanding values:

Ie (japanese) – The family as a basic unit of social organization, and as a pattern for the structure of society as a whole.

Education – The whole process of child rearing and education as a means of perpetuating society, and of attaining position within society.

Enyo (japanese) – The conscious use of silence, reserve in manner.

Han (chinese) Conformity, and the suppression of individual attriputes such as talen, anger, or wealth which might disrupt group harmony. (Chinese)

Amae (japanese) – To depend and presume upon the benevolence of others. A deep bonding in human relationships between one who is responsible for another, and one who must depend on another.

Giri (japanese) – Indebtedness, obligation and duty to others, reciprocity.

Gaman (japanese) – Endurance, sticking it out at all costs. Self-sacrifice for the sake of others.

Tui Lien (chinese) – Loss face, shame. The final standard as to how well one lives up to these values.

Family and Education

Probaly the most notable aspect of the modern “Asian Model Minority”­stereotype is that of the academic overachiever. A number of asian students have done conspicuously well in  terms of test scores, gifted student programs, admissions to prestigious schools, academic awards, and in classical music. Though obviously not all Asians fit this pattern, this trend can be attributed primarily to the basic notion of the family, and the central role that education plays in the family.

Great importance is placed on child rearing, and education is a funda­mental aspect of this. Asian parents are more likely to spend much more time with their children, and drive them harder, sometimes even at the expense of their personal time and ambitions of the parents themselves. Though Americans might consider Asian parents to be dominating, parents in turn are expected to give children all the support they can.

While it would no be unusual for an American parent to hire a babysitter to watch the kids while they go out, or expect their children to put them­selves through college lest the parents sacrifice their own stand of living, this is much less likely in an Asian family. Living in an extended family is not unusual, and filial piety, respect for parents is a very important principle.

Unlike the youth orientation in American culture, age and position are most highly respected. The Asian family has within it a heirarchy which is a mirror of the structure of society as whole. For example, the parent child relationship is carried further on to ruler and ruled, employer and employee. Education is the most valued way of achieving position, an success in education is viewed as an act of filial piety. In imperial times, examinations were the only way to achieve position in China. Even in America, education is seen as a key to social mobility, and economic opportunity. Education for their children was a major reason why many immigrants came to America from Asia. http://www.asianweek.com/2012/04/28/introduction-to-basic-asian-values/

There is no such thing as a “model minority” and getting rid of this myth will allow educators to focus on the needs of the individual student. Still, the choice of Jay Harris to pursue a rap career should have folk asking the question of what values are being transmitted and absorbed by Black children.

Resources:

Culture of Success                                                                      http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/culture-success

How Do Asian Students Get to the Top of the Class? http://www.greatschools.org/parenting/teaching-values/481-parenting-students-to-the-top.gs

Related:

Is there a model minority?

http://drwilda.com/2012/06/23/is-there-a-model-minority/

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Spend more time with your child than your IPhone, Blackberry, Droid or Windows phone

13 May

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART:  Some folk view pets and children as accessories like Prada bags. James R. Hagerty writes in the Wall Street Journal article, This North Dakota Mom, 77, Reared 69 Kids: Mrs. Dumont Reared Kids Over Six Decades; ‘I’m Child No. 23’:

As a parent, Mrs. Dumont’s style is to demonstrate rather than shout. When she found one boy’s stash of marijuana, she flushed it down a toilet. Her tears could stop a sibling squabble. When a daughter sneaked out of middle school, Mrs. Dumont took her hand and silently led her back, then sat next to her all through typing class. It was so embarrassing that “I never skipped school again,” says that daughter, Marilyn Ruberry, now a bookkeeper in Raymond, Alberta.

Mrs. Dumont’s advice on parenting is simple: “All children want is something stable. They want to know that you love them. It doesn’t have to be love with big computers and fancy clothes and all of that. Just that you care.”

As for rules, “I’d insist that they have to do something with their lives—and actually they have.”

Their occupations today include teacher, nurse, welding-shop owner and plumber.

Her debut as a mom was inauspicious. When she graduated from high school, she recalled, “I was 18 years old, and I thought I was really smart, so I decided to marry this guy.” She and her late first husband had six children together and roamed the country from Illinois to California, but the marriage broke down.

While he was away for a few days, she says, she hired a moving crew to uproot the entire house and haul it to a plot in another part of Dunseith, a town of about 800 people.

When her husband returned, he found only the front steps where the family home had stood. Divorce ensued.

As a newly single mom in the late 1960s, she worked as a teacher’s aide by day and restaurant cook by night. “Sometimes, boy, it got really slim,” she said of the family budget. Her eldest son, Rocky Davis, helped care for his brothers and sisters. “We learned how to cook early,” said Mr. Davis, who remembers being “basically the dad of the house.”

Mrs. Dumont obtained a state grant to pay for nursing school. Around that time, she met Jim Fandrick, a divorced truck driver who was raising two children. At first she was reluctant to date him. He won her over by saying, “Let’s go to the movies with the kids.” They married in 1970 and were together till he died of cancer 32 years later.

In 2003, she married Mr. Dumont, who had three kids and was taking care of a grandchild.

Mrs. Dumont now has help running the household from Lucille Vivier, 50. “I’m child No. 23,” Ms. Vivier explained as she cleared plastic plates off the table. At age 14, Ms. Vivier took refuge at Mrs. Dumont’s house after she left a troubled home. Mrs. Dumont “saved my life, both physically and spiritually,” said Ms. Vivier, an English teacher and poet.

Two years ago, Mrs. Dumont retired from her career as a nurse. She and her husband receive Social Security payments, and the three recently adopted children qualify for Medicaid insurance. Some of her grown children drop off household supplies when they see she is running short. The Dumonts occasionally dole out $5 allowances to their latest adopted children—Shaniel, Hennessey, and Adam—who call that money their “unemployment.”

Mrs. Dumont drives a 1995 Buick. She doesn’t have a cellphone or use a computer. Her one-story beige house, on a hillside surrounded by oak and birch trees, has only three small bedrooms, but there are two beds in the living room and more in the basement to handle the occasional overflow.

In one corner of her living room, rainwater has punctured a ceiling panel. “My roof busted in,” Mrs. Dumont explained. “I had a pail there.”  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324744104578471503624865878.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsFifth

Now, contrast Mrs. Dumont with many self-absorbed twits who want to claim the title “parent.”

Here are two very disturbing articles about parents who have become so obsessed with technology that they forget that they have responsibilities for parenting their real, not virtual children. In the first story published by the UK’s Guardian newspaper, Mark Tran reports about two parents who really and truly lost it. In Girl Starved to Death While Parents Raised Virtual Child in Online Game Tran reports:      

South Korean police have arrested a couple for starving their three-month-old daughter to death while they devoted hours to playing a computer game that involved raising a virtual character of a young girl.

The 41-year-old man and 25-year-old woman, who met through a chat website, reportedly left their infant unattended while they went to internet cafes. They only occasionally dropped by to feed her powdered milk.

“I am sorry for what I did and hope that my daughter does not suffer any more in heaven,” the husband is quoted as saying on the asiaone website.

According to the Yonhap news agency, South Korean police said the couple had become obsessed with raising a virtual girl called Anima in the popular role-playing game Prius Online. The game, similar to Second Life, allows players to create another existence for themselves in a virtual world, including getting a job, interacting with other users and earning an extra avatar to nurture once they reach a certain level.

The UK’s Telegraph reports these idiots were convicted in the article, ‘Internet Addict’ South Korean Couple Convicted of Abandoning Daughter for Virtual Child The fact these clowns got only two years and the woman’s sentence was suspended because she is pregnant is a real travesty.    

Sometimes the abandonment is not as physically graphic as in the Korean case. Emotional abandonment is just as harmful to the child as physically starving them. Julie Sceflo reports about a brain dead mom in the New York Times article, The Risks of Parenting While Plugged In 

WHILE waiting for an elevator at the Fair Oaks Mall near her home in Virginia recently, Janice Im, who works in early-childhood development, witnessed a troubling incident between a young boy and his mother.

The boy, who Ms. Im estimates was about 2 1/2 years old, made repeated attempts to talk to his mother, but she wouldn’t look up from her BlackBerry. “He’s like: ‘Mama? Mama? Mama?’ ” Ms. Im recalled. “And then he starts tapping her leg. And she goes: ‘Just wait a second. Just wait a second.’ ”

Finally, he was so frustrated, Ms. Im said, that “he goes, ‘Ahhh!’ and tries to bite her leg.”

Much of the concern about cellphones and instant messaging and Twitter has been focused on how children who incessantly use the technology are affected by it. But parents’ use of such technology — and its effect on their offspring — is now becoming an equal source of concern to some child-development researchers.

Sherry Turkle, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Initiative on Technology and Self, has been studying how parental use of technology affects children and young adults. After five years and 300 interviews, she has found that feelings of hurt, jealousy and competition are widespread. Her findings will be published in “Alone Together” early next year by Basic Books.

In her studies, Dr. Turkle said, “Over and over, kids raised the same three examples of feeling hurt and not wanting to show it when their mom or dad would be on their devices instead of paying attention to them: at meals, during pickup after either school or an extracurricular activity, and during sports events.”

Related

Your Brain on Computers: Hooked on Gadgets, and Paying a Mental Price (June 7, 2010)

An Ugly Toll of Technology: Impatience and Forgetfulness (June 7, 2010)

Your Brain on Computers: More Americans Sense a Downside to an Always Plugged-In Existence (June 7, 2010)

Sceflo’s article cites Meaningful Experiences in the Every Day Life of Young American Children by Betty Hart and Todd R. Risley.

Major Findings

Children from all three groups of families started to speak around the same time and developed good structure and use of language.

Children in professional families heard more words per hour, associated with larger cumulative vocabularies.

In professional families, children heard an average of 2,153 words per hour, while children in working class families heard an average of 1,251 words per hour and children in welfare families heard an average of 616 words per hour. Extrapolated out, this means that in a year children in professional families heard an average of 11 million words, while children in working class families heard an average of 6 million words and children in welfare families heard an average of 3 million words. By kindergarten, a child from a welfare family could have heard 32 million words fewer than a classmate from a professional family.

By age three, the observed cumulative vocabulary for children in the professional families was about 1,100 words. For children from working class families, the observed cumulative vocabulary was about 750 words and for children from welfare families it was just above 500 words.

Children in professional families heard a higher ratio of encouragements to discouragements than their working class and welfare counterparts.

Policy Implications

Based on their research, the authors reached the following key conclusions:

“The most important aspect of children’s language experience is its amount.”

“The most important aspect to evaluate in child care settings for very young children is the amount of talk actually going on, moment by moment, between children and their caregivers.” For more information: http://www.psych-ed.org/Topics/Hart_and_Risley.htm, http://www.pbrookes.com/media/pr/100802.htm

Affluent children had an advantage in language skills because of the time their parents spent reading, talking, and interacting with them. Sceflo discusses the implications of technology use by the more affluent and asks the question whether the advantage the children of affluent and educated parents is being eroded by an attention deficit caused by the parent’s obsession with technology?

Are you forcing your child to bite your leg to get your attention?

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Hip-Hop and rap represent destructive life choices: How low can this genre sink?

1 May

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: The question must be asked, who is responsible for MY or YOUR life choices? Let’s get real, certain Asian cultures kick the collective butts of the rest of Americans. Why? It’s not rocket science. These cultures embrace success traits of hard work, respect for education, strong families, and a reverence for success and successful people. Contrast the culture of success with the norms of hip-hop and rap oppositional culture. See, Hip-hop’s Dangerous Values http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1107107/posts

The latest high-profile example of the value set of hip-hop occurred with the report that rapper Danny Brown performed oral sex on stage. Radio.com reported in the article, Rapper Danny Brown’s Onstage Antics Spark Oral Sex Controversy about an alleged oral sex incident.

Alternative rapper Danny Brown is used to performing for crowded clubs, like his sold-out Minneapolis show on Friday (April 26), but he’s answering to a much larger audience in the wake the allegedly X-rated performance.

Music fans have taken to social media, demanding answers from the rapper and posting personal accounts of the concert, where the rapper reportedly engaged in oral sex with a fan in the front of the crowd.

A Redditor who claims to have been at the show described the incident in detail, saying that Brown had been getting close to “random girls” in the front of the crowd throughout his performance, including the woman involved in the incident at hand.

Then I’m behind her and I start getting pushed against her by the crowd shifting,” the Redditor wrote. “It [was] horrible and I hope you guys will be donating to my future therapy sessions, but also I came back with a story. He rapped the entire time during [it] too.”

Brown’s Twitter followers are using the site as a platform to ask questions and voice their opinions, with fellow rapper Kendrick Lamar even chiming in.

Brown reportedly confirmed that the allegations are true, however his response has since been deleted, according to Minneapolis alt-weekly City Pages.

Meanwhile, some people are outraged at the inappropriate act, while Brown takes their comments in stride by retweeting some of them, presumably to capture some ironic humor in the midst of controversy.

Brown did respond to one question, only saying that the incident is a “rumor” without officially confirming or denying it. http://news.radio.com/2013/05/01/danny-brown-x-rated-show/

The death cult of hip-hop has been on a lot of people’s radar for the past few years. Because of artistic freedom and the romanticizing  of some hip-hop and rap stars, those sounding the alarm about this death cult have been labeled as prudes, nervous ninnies, and anti-free speech. A 2005 Nightline story by Jake Tapper and Marie Nelson looked at the links between corporate America and hip-hop

The blueprint now is an image that promotes all of the worst aspects of violent and anti-social behavior,” said Source editor Mays. “It takes those real issues of violent life that occur in our inner cities, it takes them out of context.”

Attorney Londell McMillan, who represents Lil’ Kim and many other hip-hop performers, says the record labels and radio stations push the artists toward a more violent image. “They all seek to do things that are extraordinary,” he said, “unfortunately it’s been extraordinarily in the pain of a people. They are often encouraged to take a certain kind of approach to the art form.”

Added NYPD Commissioner Kelly, “Whereas some of the other violence was sort of attendant to the business itself, now I think they’re trying to exploit it and make money off of it.”

But C-Murder says if he projected a more benign image his career would be over. “I wouldn’t sell a record because my fans would know that’s not me,” he said. “They don’t expect me to just sit in that booth and write about stuff that the news or the media want to hear about.”

Record executive Dash adds there is a double standard between predominantly black and predominantly white music. “I remember Woodstock Part II was a mess,” Dash said, referring to the 1999 rock ‘n’ roll concert festival that exploded in a mass of riots and rapes. But, Dash said, “nothing more about it than that” transpired. “There wasn’t any new laws, there wasn’t any investigations. It just was.” 

Lest you think I am anti-capitalism, the real kind, not the corporate welfare of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase, you are wrong. Most inner city neighborhoods and poor regions like Appalachia and Mississippi desperately need investment and capital to encourage entrepreneurs.  As the motto of Homeboy Industries states, the best defense against violence is a job.

Moi has been railing against the hip hop culture for years because it is destructive, produces violence, but just as important it stereotypes Blacks whether they participate in hip hop culture or not.

Does Hip-Hop Culture Affect Student Behavior?

Gosa and Young’s case study about the oppositional culture of hip-hop is a good description of the possible impact of a certain genre of music on the educational values of the young listeners.

Given the prominent, yet controversial theory of oppositional culture used to explain the poor academic achievement of black youth and recent concerns that hip-hop is leading black youth to adopt anti-school attitudes, we examine the construction of oppositional culture in hip-hop music. Through a qualitative case of song lyrics (n=250) from two of hip-hop’s most influential artists – “conscious” rapper Kanye West and “gangster” rapper Tupac Skakur, we find oppositional culture in both artist’s lyrics. However, our analysis reveals important differences in how the two artists describe the role of schooling in adult success, relationships with teachers and schools, and how education is related to authentic black male identity. Our findings suggest a need for reexamining the notion that oppositional culture means school resistance. 

The study gives a good description of oppositional culture, but it is overly optimistic about the role of the market place in promoting the basest values for a buck.

Lest one think that hip-hop culture is simply the province of thugs and low- income urban youth. Think again, there are many attempts to market a stylized version of the culture. A 1996 American Demographics article, Marketing Street Culture
Bringing Hip-Hop Style to the Mainstream, describes the marketing used to cross-over hip-hop culture into the mainstream.

Many of the hottest trends in teenage music, language, and fashion start in America’s inner cities, then quickly spread to suburbs. Targeting urban teens has put some companies on the map with the larger mainstream market. But companies need an education in hip-hop culture to avoid costly mistakes.

The Scene: Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, a bastion of the white East Coast establishment. A teenaged boy saunters down the street, his gait and attitude embodying adolescent rebellion. Baggy jeans sag atop over-designed sneakers, gold hoops adorn both ears, and a baseball cap shields his eyes. On his chest, a Tommy Hilfiger shirt sports the designer’s distinctive pairing of blue, red, and white rectangles.

Four years ago, this outfit would have been unimaginable to this cool teen; only his clean-cut, country-club peers sported Hilfiger clothes. What linked the previously preppy Hilfiger to jeans so low-slung they seem to defy gravity? To a large extent, the answer lies 200 miles southwest, in the oversized personage of Brooklyn’s Biggie Smalls, an admitted ex-drug dealer turned rapper.

Over the past few years, Smalls and other hip-hop stars have become a crucial part of Hilfiger’s open attempt to tap into the urban youth market. In exchange for giving artists free wardrobes, Hilfiger found its name mentioned in both the rhyming verses of rap songs and their “shout-out” lyrics, in which rap artists chant out thanks to friends and sponsors for their support.

For Tommy Hilfiger and other brands, the result is de facto product placement. The September 1996 issue of Rolling Stone magazine featured the rap group The Fugees, with the men prominently sporting the Tommy Hilfiger logo. In February 1996, Hilfiger even used a pair of rap stars as runway models: horror-core rapper Method Man and muscular bad-boy Treach of Naughty by Nature.

Suburban normed or middle class youth may dabble in hip-hop culture, but they have a “recovery period.” The “recovery period” for suburban youth means moving from deviant norms, which preclude success into mainstream norms, which often promote success. Suburban children often have parental and peer social pressure to move them to the mainstream. Robert Downey, Jr., the once troubled actor is not necessarily an example of hip-hop culture, but he is an example of the process of “recovery” moving an individual back into the mainstream. Children of color and low-income children often do not get the chance to “recover” and move into mainstream norms. The next movement for them after a suspension or expulsion is often the criminal justice system.

The data is shouting load and clear. Hip-hop and rap culture more often than not is a destructive life choice.

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