Monday, August 31, 2009
In Miami, The Numbers Don't Add Up.
I was recently touched by a radio commentator bragging about the number of pro football players coming out of Miami Dade county: I ponder, on the other hand, why he failed to mention a more telling statistic: the amount of young African American males from Miami Dade county going to prison: about one out of three. The sum just doesn't add up. For every black male making it to the National Football League, there are hundreds more being shackled. On the flip side,there are no men in the NFL from New York's heavily Jewish Westchester county, yet they have plenty of guys in law school, Med School, and Ivy League graduate schools. So you tell me, what's wrong with this picture? Perhaps one explanation comes from the U.S. Census Department showing 40% of African American males are unemployed; well I can see why when the leading employer is the NFL and NBA; sure, they're just begging for job applicants. The trouble is some black fathers excoriate their sons when they fumble a football or miss a layup, but they could care less when the kid doesn't turn in his homework, or cusses out his teacher. At least these dads, nevertheless, are showing up for something beyond a prison work detail. Still, this disparity may explain why New York's graduation rate for blacks is a paltry 26%. You know what else is the pits; according to a recent study, the financial plight of African Americans is nothing short of abysmal; consider this: 1/200,000 have a chance of playing in the NBA. 1/3,000 will earn a Ph.D 1/400 will become a doctor, while 1/20 will be incarcerated. So what is the NFL doing to turn these numbers around, absolutely nothing. Oh occassionaly, a player may visit an inner city school while reading to a few kids during a swank photo shoot, but that's extent of it. While we look on with pride at all the players from football producing states like Florida, California, also Texas, Rome is burning, and one day, we may all end up choking on the smoke.