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Monthly Archives: June 2015

I live in a predominantly white suburb in Kansas – the “Sunflower State”.  We are fairly new to this neighborhood.  I have met a few of our neighbors.  We have Nebraska Cornhusker lovers to our right; KU Jayhawk lovers to our left (my favorite neighbors thus far). Directly across from our house is an elderly white couple who are grandparents to a handsome, outgoing and athletic bi-racial kid.  One day while mowing my lawn, I noticed this bi-racial little boy and a white little boy playing with a toy guns.  From where I was standing, the toy guns were of the Nerf Tommy, Nerf Zombie and Nerf Sniper variety. They hid behind trees and cars dodging what appeared to be soft tipped rounds. When one depleted his rounds, the other little boy took advantage and rushed and depleted his rounds on the other boy. Watching these little boys playing, instantly sent me down memory lane to my life as a little boy where we played ‘Cowboys and Indians’ and ‘Cops and Robbers’ on 60th street (just West of Swope Parkway in Kansas City, MO).  My family nor my friends had the money to buy Nerf guns or anything comparable; rather, we used our imaginations to build forts, to make our ‘make shift prisons’ and to make our own weapons.  We played in what might be considered the city (certainly not the suburbs). Today, I wonder – could me and my friends play ‘Cowboys and Indians’ and ‘Cops and Robbers’ in the old neighborhood? When I am a grandpa will I pass up the aisle in my local Wal-Mart store with the toy guns?  Will I discourage my grandson or granddaughter from playing imaginative games like Cowboys and Indians or Cops and Robbers? Times are really different today.

Many African-American churches in the urban core are filled; filled with more women than men. I am not surprised at this because many moms are single parents and men have abandoned and abdicated their roles.  And many sermonic messages are ‘slanted’ and appeal to women; thus, men conclude, “he (the preacher) is not speaking to me, so why attend?” Is this ‘feminization of churches’ true of other non-African-American churches or contexts? At many colleges, the female students outnumber the male students on average 2 to 1 (this was certainly the case at Lindenwood University, St. Charles, MO where I formerly taught). I know quite a few men are incarcerated; many men enlist into the armed services.  Yet, there seems to be a shortage of men.  Am I the only one to observe this? Is there a shortage of men? Are women having more female babies versus male babies? Have men sequestered themselves away to hide behind computer screens?  Could it be that men are so mesmerized with pornography that they have opted out of society? Or maybe being enthralled with video games is the culprit for what appears to be ‘a virtual no show of men folk’ in our society? Perhaps, they are socially awkward and have removed themselves from society, making occasional cameo appearances, so says psychologist Philip Zimbardo (listen to http://www.ted.com/talks/zimchallenge?language=en).  Again, I ask, where are the men?