If you missed the explanation for what I was doing in juvi (serving kids, not time. I’m interesting, but not that interesting!), you should check out Part 1 Johnny Cash Was Right.
Today I want to talk about the uncle problem. Of all the kids I met at juvi, I can hardly think of more than a hand full who had a father in their life. And as everyone thinks they know, the solution to raising a boy without a man around is to find him alternative male role models. Because that’s all a boy needs a father for – to role model, dontchano? (Deep sarcasm here.) So. many of these kids moms had turned to their brothers to fill that role. Problem fixed, right? Yeah, except that over and over and over again as I talked to these boys I heard stories of uncles who helped them join gangs, gave them spending change for running “packages” around the neighborhood for them, given them drugs and alcohol, hooked them up with women – often females seeking intitiation into their gangs. You name it, uncles brought it. I mentioned it in my post about fatherlessness, but one of the worst stories I ever heard came from a boy who had been given drugs starting at age 5 by uncles who thought it was funny to see a little kid stoned. Continue reading