adjective 1. absent, not found, or lost: a missing person.With this in mind we can look at the wording of the NYT article:
In New York, almost 120,000 black men between the ages of 25 and 54 are missing from everyday life.The problem I have with this statement is the use of the term "missing". Certainly one can take it to mean "absent" which I believe to be more appropriate but the NY Times has gone out of it's way to use the term missing rather than absent. I believe that the reason for the use of the term is to once again deny agency to the subject of the article. If I am absent from work it implies that through my own actions I am not at where I should be. But "missing", as shown above, has other meanings, "not found" or "lost". One can lose your keys. People say "I lost my keys". This is because we recognize that keys are inanimate objects and therefore if we cannot "find" them it is because of something we did with them or due to some fault in our own memory. Imagine saying that the "keys got lost". That would imply that they keys have some kind of agency. We'd look at the person saying this oddly because we know keys cannot "get lost". Similarly if and when we find our keys we say that "I found my keys". Again this is to show that the agent (the person) acted in such a way to find the inanimate object. So returning to the quotation. While black men may be "absent" from everyday life in NY. They are certainly not "lost" as in we have no idea where they are. Nor is it the case that wherever they may be the got there through no action of their own. In fact it may be proper to say that the quote should read:
In New York, almost 120,000 black men between the ages of 25 and 54 have absented themselves from everyday life.Now admittedly that would not be entirely correct because there are those missing due to being dead through no fault of their own. But it would humanize and acknowledge agency on the part of said men.
They are missing, largely because of early deaths or because they are behind bars. Remarkably, black women who are 25 to 54 and not in jail outnumber black men in that category by 1.5 million, according to an Upshot analysis. For every 100 black women in this age group living outside of jail, there are only 83 black men. Among whites, the equivalent number is 99, nearly parity. [my underlines]The 7x rate of murders among African-Americans would explain that. On a side note, given the exploding rate of interracial marriages by black men and non-black women, this "missing" phenomenon has a, shall we say "genocidal" tone to it. Of course it's not polite to mention the dating behaviors persons as it regards race.
African-American men have long been more likely to be locked up and more likely to die young, but the scale of the combined toll is nonetheless jarring.Here is a perfect example of denying agency. Black men are just happen to become locked up and die young. They are like cars on the side of the road that happen to be broken into. Police just run up on them and haul them off for no reason whatsoever. The ones who are dead just happened to die for reasons we just cannot explain.
Shit just happens!If the NY Times was at all serious about addressing the issue they could have written:
African-American men have long been more likely to commit crimes that result in prison time and young deaths than every other American population. The scale of the combined toll is jarring to say the least.Notice how the revised sentence makes it clear why African-Americans are dying young and going to jail.
Perhaps the starkest description of the situation is this: More than one out of every six black men who today should be between 25 and 54 years old have disappeared from daily life.You mean they have generally absented themselves or to put it artfully, exited stage left.
And what is the city with at least 10,000 black residents that has the single largest proportion of missing black men? Ferguson, Mo., where a fatal police shooting last year led to nationwide protests and a Justice Department investigation that found widespread discrimination against black residents. Ferguson has 60 men for every 100 black women in the age group, Stephen Bronars, an economist, has noted.You'd think by reading the article that it is the police that are the cause of this great imbalance rather than the criminal behavior of the population. As to the underlined portion of the quote we should ask how many of the 60 men are actually useful as potential mates and fathers? VERY familiar. Now the meat of the data:
Incarceration and early deaths are the overwhelming drivers of the gap. Of the 1.5 million missing black men from 25 to 54 — which demographers call the prime-age years — higher imprisonment rates account for almost 600,000. Almost 1 in 12 black men in this age group are behind bars, compared with 1 in 60 nonblack men in the age group, 1 in 200 black women and 1 in 500 nonblack women. Higher mortality is the other main cause. About 900,000 fewer prime-age black men than women live in the United States, according to the census. It’s impossible to know precisely how much of the difference is the result of mortality, but it appears to account for a big part. Homicide, the leading cause of death for young African-American men, plays a large role, and they also die from heart disease, respiratory disease and accidents more often than other demographic groups, including black women.I was saying....
The gender gap does not exist in childhood: There are roughly as many African-American boys as girls. But an imbalance begins to appear among teenagers, continues to widen through the 20s and peaks in the 30s. It persists through adulthood.So the problem "begins" just when black boys are turning into men and have no male role models other than those they see on YouTube, the streets and TV (in that order). Of course The Ghost is from the Old School where it is believed that you have from ages 0 to 5 to shape your child's behavior. Messing up then (TV watching, disrespect of elders, lack of anger management, lack of discipline, "adult" language usage, not reading...etc.) will almost certainly lead to problems later.
The black women left behind find that potential partners of the same race are scarce, while men, who face an abundant supply of potential mates, don’t need to compete as hard to find one. As a result, Mr. Charles said, “men seem less likely to commit to romantic relationships, or to work hard to maintain them.” The imbalance has also forced women to rely on themselves — often alone — to support a household. In those states hit hardest by the high incarceration rates, African-American women have become more likely to work and more likely to pursue their education further than they are elsewhere.I think the proverbial cart has been put before the horse. The rates of single parenthood started climbing before the mass incarceration push of the 1980s. Furthermore; I'm quite certain the "I don't need a man" attitude prevalent in said community puts off not a few men who would otherwise be good family material. Did I mention the climbing numbers of black men who have voluntarily left black women for women of other races? Lastly, even though data has suggested that such claims are not quantifiable, the idea that welfare being predicated on the absence of a father (after all it's called Women, Infants and Children, not Parents, Infants and Children), there has been some perverse incentive to remove the father and replace him with a [stable?] government cheque. Anyway, continuing:
Both homicides and H.I.V.-related deaths, which disproportionately afflict black men, have dropped. Yet the prison population has soared since 1980. In many communities, rising numbers of black men spared an early death have been offset by rising numbers behind bars."H.I.V.- related deaths..."afflict" black men." again with the agency-less commentary. H.I.V. infections generally occur because of the behavior of the infected. H.I.V is not something like Malaria in which you could be minding your business and have a mosquito take bite of you. Also the whole "prison population soared". Again no real mention as to why. Why not simply point out that enforcement of drug laws, as asked for, no, pleaded for by black residents of communities afflicted by the violent crime that came along with the crack trade, meant a lot of black men were sent to prison. It is important that we stop talking about black men, women and people in general as if they were keys, vehicles or other inanimate objects. We need to stop talking about black folks as if they are collectively children with no responsibility for their failures as well as successes. Once we recognize that the men aren't "missing" like a set of keys, so much as they have generally absented themselves via their decisions we can make the great leap forward and change how we socialize our men to not make these debilitating decisions.