Thursday letters: Change culture to end misdeeds

September 26, 2013 

Mailbox with flag

VINCENT GIORDANO

— Warren Bolton has written several columns about the face of crime not being black and vice versa. For 50 years I’ve worked for and with and supervised Caucasians, African-Americans, Filipinos, Mexicans, American Indians, Asian Indians and an Eskimo. I know that skin pigmentation has no role in deciding or predicting behavior, achievement or intellect of a person.

What absolutely affects people is the culture in which they were raised and in which they currently live. If someone rejects education, because of peer pressure against “acting white,” that person’s culture doesn’t embrace education. If someone feels a need to join a criminal group to find an element of self esteem, that’s cultural. Economic circumstances play a role, but are not a determinant. The quality, determination, drive, insistence of two parents and interaction of family and friends constitute the culture.

Cultural backgrounds have changed since I was young. Recently The State reported on a shooting death of a man in Columbia that grew out of two middle school gangs yapping at one another. Instead of grabbing her child by the ear and dragging his little heinie into the house, the mother of one of the gang members called in an adult man who brought two others with him: a culture of violence.

Until cultures change back to something more socially acceptable, we’re going to continue having these events. Can cultures be changed? Absolutely. But not by prayer breakfasts, awareness raising sessions, government programs or “a village.” It has to be one at a time, adult by adult.

James M. Holloway Jr.

Columbia

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