This week in particular I was saddened, angered and disturbed by the violent killings in Toronto, by children. If you noticed by the title of this post, I did not say I was shocked by the gang violence, but I said that the gang violence in Toronto is no shock to me. I knew we were heading for this gang banging type of behaviour for a long time now. I feel that part of the problem is that we have muddied the waters for parents of this country when it comes to what is appropriate discipline when dealing with their children, because everything where discipline is concerned is left to the discretion of a third-party outside of the family. For example the language, the tone, the words a parent uses when angry can be reason enough for a well-meaning teacher to decide to report a parent to the authorities for suspicion of child abuse and once that specter is raised most social workers and government officials will not stop until they get the response that they want from the children and from the case and that is a guilty verdict against the suspected parent. The problem is that most parents loved their children and were never abusive and used appropriate discipline, but now are afraid to do anything that could be misconstrued as child abuse by a well-meaning often prying third-party.
I also feel that we have not invested in our children enough as a nation. Oh we invest in our brightest, our most likely to succeed with scholarships that lead to the best jobs at the highest rates of pay, but there were never any real rewards for the child who just worked hard and did the right things, but was never going to be at the top of the class and so we cheapened the efforts of these children and made them fell less, because of their low academic scores and then made the work that they would end up doing seem less important to this country’s survival than that of the high scoring academics, making them ashamed to do a hard days work for a days pay. We for too long have not respected or showed respect for who I like to call, “Joe Average“. Joe Average is the backbone of this country; Joe Average is every women and every man who gets up everyday and goes to work and does work that keeps this country operating. They are not found in the air-conditioned offices giving orders, but often in the trenches doing the back-breaking work for little pay. Joe average pays his taxes, but has lost the respect of his country and his children, who will try anything even breaking the law to gain the wealth and power of the privileged class, but more importantly the respect given to the wealthy privileged class and denied to their mother and father, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Average.
When children become ashamed of their parents who are hard-working, honest citizens and see that throw no fault of their own they are heading for the same sorry existence, they look for alternative ways to better their live, even if just for a little while, for a moment and this is their first step into crime and violence. Movies, video games and the criminal element on the street will show them the way. Hunger, needing a safe place to sleep and the need to feel important to somebody anybody will cause them to join a gang where they will find other people just like them angry, frustrated with enough hatred and bitterness in them to take what they feel that have been denied by society, be it quality of life, money, or respect by committing a crime or in some cases killing for it. I was there on the street and I would have killed someone to eat, to feel safe, but I would have killed someone for respect more than anything else, because this is what we are taught means you are in control, have power and leads to success and success is measured on what we acquire in life cars, clothes, houses, jewelry, boats and rich food; success unfortunately is not measured in how hard you work, the effort you put in, to giving back, or how much help others; success is measured in how much you have that you do not need or require while others struggle to get just a fraction of what you have to just get through the day.
What has manifested itself in Toronto is what happens when the children of the poor seek to make themselves important, powerful and respected in the only avenue left to them. Oh I know every once in a while an underprivileged, poor person makes it to the top, by being exceptionally brilliant, or gifted in sports, or invents something, but this does not happen enough to make a difference in the ghetto. Drug dealers, pimps, thieves, hustlers and the gangbangers succeed if only for a little while and get the nice cars, the nice appartements, and the respect of their peers even when caught and sent to jail, or get murdered in the street, they become legends and are given respect.
This is not some new phenomenon for Toronto and so this gang violence in Toronto is no shock to me; this is survival of the fittest; this is dog eat dog; this is kill or be killed and it is all the life that they know and we as society are responsible for their creation, they are society’s waste product like the radioactive waste from a nuclear generator and society seeks to dispose of them in much the same way, but unlike nuclear waste they have brains, and strike back. The solution is a simple one, not really complicated at all. the privileged must take a lesser share and allow hope to enter back into the lives of the underprivileged classes and the hard-working guy and gal, Mr. and Mrs. Joe average and their children. Think about it a hockey player was just offered a contract to play hockey worth over 100 million dollars while children go to bed hungry every night, people sleep on the streets at minus 40 degrees and the government claims we can no longer keep up with the cost of our medicare programs, or much of any other social programming we enjoy as citizens of Canada and we as a people smile and do not see the wrong in this.
If things are to change and the hurt, violence, deaths and all of the problems that are associated street gangs are to stop then we must start by giving people back hope for a better life without the gangs, the drugs and the fast life. We must give the everyday working man and woman back their respect and the respect of their children. We must once again make a hard days work for a fair wage a good thing and a respected way of life, so that children do not see this as a suckers existence. We as nations need to practice what we preach to the children about violence never being the solution to solving problems and stop settling everything at gun point and the dropping of bombs. the children are doing domestically what the government is doing worldwide getting respect, proving their stature and sticking up for and defending allies and using fire power and the threat and in the end death itself to win the day.
All over the world young people are committing violent acts, in schools, movie houses and on the streets where they live, but it is no surprise to me, because this is what they are taught from the time they are old enough to understand is the way to handle disputes of any kind both in their fantasy world, video games, television and the like and in reality as the governments of the world kill people in the name of peace and a better life in the end. Why should the children of Toronto be any different? No the gang violence in Toronto does not shock, or surprise me, because it was inevitable.
- Helping Your Kids Steer Clear of Gangs (education.com)
- Mayor Ford says it’s ‘time to declare war’ on gangs – Toronto – CBC
- Get tough on gang violence | Editorial | Opinion | Toronto Sun
- Retaliation feared after two killed, 21 wounded in ‘Toronto’s worst incident of gun violence’ (news.nationalpost.com)