Mea Culpa – Admitting When You’re Wrong

Thanks to my numerous critics, I have had to go back and reevaluate some of my statements and positions resulting in some uncomfortable admissions.

My last piece was way over the top and I had some things that were blatantly wrong. In the first place; the Male White Majority doesn’t really exist as I described. As my critics pointed out, the old dominant power structure has been instrumental in removing the obstacles to self-fulfillment. I have been caught up in the struggle for 50 years to remove social injustice in our society and have lost sight of what has been actually accomplished. But that doesn’t negate the fact that there is still more to do to finally remove all the societal obstacles that are still in place.

Our society, as well as the global society, is under tremendous pressures to make adaptations that will enhance everyone’s ability to handle what the future has to offer. This ranges from economics to education and social structures. In looking at the big picture, I failed to recognize what was happening on my own doorstep.

One of the first challenges that I have had to reevaluate is my position on women. I have long been an advocate, that women could “have it all.” In this, I have forgotten one critical variable; women’s biology. Our evolutionary development has accounted for the social organization required to accommodate the differences in the genders and the obvious roles that have developed. Even though women are as capable as men and are open to pursue whatever choices they desire, for many their own biology becomes self limiting. As a father of three daughters, I am fully aware of this thing they call a “biological clock” that ticks away reducing their fecundity. As focused as they are on their education and careers, the clock is always ticking in the background. At some point for women who are focused on achieving success, there comes a instance where they must make a tough choice. This is a choice that males don’t encounter in quite the same manner as women.

The “Gordian Knot” facing women can have only three choices; the “I can have it all choice,” the traditional choice of mother, or the choice of an interrupted career path. For many women they have no choice and they are thrust into the role of single parenthood whether that is what they desired or not. That is an issue for a separate discussion. However, biology will always be a permanent obstacle that women must deal with. Social policies can help ease the financial burdens to some extent for those who make the Motherhood Choice, but it can’t eliminate it. Therefore, I must admit that the position of “I can have it all” is pretty much mythical.

The next item that I have readdressed is that of underclass socialization. With the African American Minority, they have not been fully assimilated into mainstream American society. Many of the community have become part of the permanent underclass or the culture of poverty. The question centers around why other minorities have been able to advance themselves in spite of the obstacles set before them and African Americans are still facing the challenges of obstruction to advancement. Luke has been instrumental in my revisiting this question and I have to admit that we have been addressing the issue incorrectly. Changing the socialization of the community is the area to focus our efforts. We have removed many of the barriers to advancement, but we haven’t done a good job of teaching how to advance. This begins wirh early socialization through the education process and must be reinforced all through childhood into adulthood. No ethnic minority is expected to give up their cultural identity, but there is a proven path to assimilation and upward mobility. Now I am not so idealistic to think that this will occur overnight, but finally approaching the problem in the correct manner will eventually result in the full sovereignty of this significant minority.

The final issue that I readdressed was the progressive means of achievement. In our efforts to correct the social injustices of our society, we often have not done a good job in limiting change and understanding the consequences. What comes to mind is the issue of affordable housing and the pathway to home ownership. We all are aware that “red lining” had been going on for decades. It was a particular egregious covert means of maintaining racial segregation. The progressives pushed to curtail this practice through legislation, but didn’t see the downside of the opening up of the system. This allowed for the unscrupulous to take advantage of it. Based on the ideal of all Americans should participate in home ownership, regulations and policies were adopted as to allow for abuse. The result has been a collapse of the real estate market, fueling the Great Recession. In hindsight we now know that even a good thing must be properly regulated and adapted as time goes on. The statement made by conservatives that progressives led to the real estate bubble, is partially correct. Our sin was initiating change, but not monitoring it.

As issues come up and I am forced to reevaluate my positions, I will take the time to share. The ability to count critics input is an important means of seeking the truth and participating in the critical thought process. Once again — a thank you to my critics.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

J. B. Schmidt November 16, 2012 at 09:58 PM
@Lyle Are you saying that the citizens of the US are less mature then citizens of the 50 years ago? They must be since divorce in on the increase and marriage is on the decrease. Then can we grade ones maturity based on their marriage record? As for folkways and mores, you can only make that claim with the assumption that moral has a constant core. Up till this point you have made the point that it is fluid. Just because one society has accepted that certain actions are wrong, why can't a branch of that society determine it those actions should be considered appropriate. Wouldn't that be how culture with differing views originated? If morality is a product of social cohesion, then within the inner city, they feel their actions are keeping their society together. Which explains why very few inner city leaders ever speak out against those actions. You are expecting them to engage in something they don't want because of your beliefs.
CowDung November 16, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Actually JB, I would almost argue that society is less mature than it was 50 years ago. Those in 'the greatest generation' seemed to all have their stuff together, while today, we seem to have a bunch of whiners and complainers. Back then, people would take the initiative to find work to support themselves, now it seems that everyone would rather have a handout rather than take a crappy job that they deem to be 'beneath' them.
Michael McClusky November 18, 2012 at 02:56 PM
@J.B. Schmidt Please read this morning's on-line Wall Street Journal article concerning colllege campus censorship. Although the author and investigator is a Democrat, he readily admits that universities are silencing conservative ideas. Now you know what we are up against.
Lyle Ruble November 18, 2012 at 03:16 PM
@J.B. Schmidt....How do you know what the leadership is speaking out against? You're making some very wrong assumptions about some very complex issues. As far as people being more mature 50 years ago, what do you mean by maturity? People have a great more freedom today than they did 50 years ago and as such have more choices. Marriage and divorce is not a good overall measure of the health of a society. There are other measures that function better as indicators. Since we are freer now than before, wouldn't you as a conservative cheer less government intervention in our personal lives?
Randy1949 November 18, 2012 at 06:16 PM
When it comes to 'maturity' some people can comprehend a morality that comes from within -- I will treat others fairly and kindly in all areas of my life, especially my spouse -- as opposed to one legislated from without -- there are laws against theft and murder and rulesagainst non-marital sex, so i will obey them. I saw people of the Greatest Generation having a hard time with marital fidelity and marriage commitment once the old rules were relaxed back in the 70s, just as much as we see it today. Maybe we should begin to pay more attention to the larger principle of 'Thou Shalt' rather than the thous shalt nots.


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