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« Brain food from the heartland

Pa'ko: Tipping Point ?

By Louie b. Free (Contact)


Published May 22, 2012

Y'all may not have read, but have certainly heard of Malcom Gladwell (Tipping Point,Blink,etc). One of Malcom's quotes:"We have, as human beings, a storytelling problem. We're a bit too quick to come up with explanations for things we really don't have an explanation for."

After Pa'Ko Lacey and Juanetta Franklin were murdered last week in South Youngstown, a number of folks quickly offered up explanations(note: not excuses)

I'm not certain why the deaths of the young black men in the city bother me so much, but they do. Maybe it's the reflection in the mirror assessing societal responsibility , maybe I've listened to Tom Waits' The Fall of Troy too many times, but I cannot get their faces out of my head.

Look, I know well that I'm not going to solve the problem of boys without men in this blog, but we know well, all to well,  that there are WAY too many boys trying to mature in communities  lacking real men. I certainly don't know Pa'Ko's 'story' but from his Vindicator obituary "Mr Lacey was born April 18,1992 in Youngstown, a son of Charles and Vicky "Pie" Alexander Lacey. He was raised by his aunt,Helen P. Lacey."(I added the bold type). Raised, not by his dad and  mom, but by his aunt.

Lest we forget Suadonte Wright, the 14 year old that we still don't, well, I still don't know what happened to him . Last report was that he may have accidentally shot himself to death on a North Youngstown street earlier this year. FOURTEEN years old! Yeah, he had a troubled history, a troubled history for a 14 year old which should have been the warning sign......but warning signs for whom? The community's men? Men? His father wasn't around. His father was killed attempting to rob Galaxy Seafood last year.

Oh wait, some men stepped up recently:

"Dozens of motorcyclists and motorcycle clubs will join in a national ride honoring the memory of a Florida boy...." ....ok, maybe they thought the murdered boy was from South Youngstown's Florida Avenue .

Yeah, too many one deposit, no return, so-called "men".

As an insomniac, I've had plenty of 3 am time to see Maury Povich help girls find the 'father's' of their children . Maury, inevitably asks the father's if they're going to "man up" and be dads for their kids....and of course, the boy's says "yeah,Maury" But what's THEIR definition of a father? "a man that knock's a girl up and stops by for sex and  a steak once in awhile" ?

NO ONE wants to address THIS problem in OUR community .

I was told today that segregation is the problem and the government needs to do more. Looking for Uncle Sam to be a real man? 'Segregation' doesn't stop men from MENtoring. 'Segregation' doesn't stop males from being men. 

I still cannot get the picture of Pa'Ko Lacey out of my head......

I don't know, maybe it's Wait's On the Nickel...





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