Police officers take notes at a crime scene following a shooting in Scarborough, a suburb in east Toronto, July 17, 2012. Reports say at least two people are dead while 19 others have been injured including an infant following a shooting in Scarborough on Monday night. REUTERS/Mark Blinch (C
Credits: REUTERS/MARK BLINCH
- Words from a friend of 14-year old Shyanne Charles who was getting ready to start Grade 10 in a couple of months.
Why did she have to lose her life? Why did more than 20 others require ambulance rides to the hospital?
Many people will come on TV and radio or speak to the newspapers about how complex it all is. How difficult it is to deal with the reality of thugs and drugs and gangs and guns, and how a crossfire at a shootout at a community barbecue claimed two lives and wounded more than 20 others. Some people claim this stuff is difficult to understand, difficult to deal with.
All of us have feelings about innocent victims of violence. But some of us are just getting tired. Tired of the excuses. Tired of the words complicated and complex. Tired of the avoidance of the F word: Fatherhood.
Fatherhood took a bullet in Canada a long time ago. And in some Canadian communities, it has taken many bullets. I'm tired of the avoidance of the D word. Where the hell is dad? Who is dad? Leaving these young men with nothing in their lives but a tricked-up car, an iPod loaded with gangsta rap, and a gun loaded with shells.
The answer coming from many is they've got everything they need. But these kids don't know what it's like to have the kind of dad most of us grew up with. A father with high expectations of us.
For many years now there have been those in society who have said it shouldn't matter whether a kid has a dad in his life, it shouldn't matter whether he has a strong male role model. Government programs can make up for the gap. Well, the truth is that the only social program worth a damn is a good dad. All the others fall short.
I defer now to the great comedian Bill Cosby, father of five. A man who's made a career out of finding the funny in fatherhood. In 2004 Bill Cosby said the following words to the NAACP. This time he wasn't joking.
"... In our cities and public schools we have 50% drop out. No longer is a person embarrassed because they're pregnant without a husband. No longer is a boy considered an embarrassment if he tries to run away from being the father of the unmarried child.
"... The lower economic and lower middle economic people are (not) holding their end in this deal. In the neighbourhood that most of us grew up in, parenting is not going on. I'm talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit.
Where were you when he was two? Where were you when he was 12? Where were you when he was 18, and how come you don't know he had a pistol?"
Is there any part of what you have read here that is truly too complicated, sophisticated or hard to understand? Please don't let the politically correct crowd make you think that a gun battle at a Canadian barbecue happened for reasons that we cannot comprehend. You've read my words and Bill Cosby's words. They're not complicated. They're Canadian Common Sense.