The Fatherless: Boys in the Hood

"I want to tell you a story about a herd of elephants" he continued. "During a time of great drought, many of the herd died, including all of the older bull elephants. The bull elephants had been the leaders-the teachers of the young. Over a period of time, with no example to show them how to live, the younger bull elephants started to go crazy. They tormented the rest of the herd, fighting and injuring the females and offspring. They acted like warriors who had no war and so decided to simply kill for killing's sake. Well one day these wild elephants stormed a village. Many people died in that village, stomped by the elephants or gored by their tusk. My friends, elephants do not usually act this way. While they have great power, we have lived in harmony with them for many generations. Their terror was a tragic, terrible thing.....the story of the elephants has an interesting ending. A group of scientist got together and decided there was only one thing that could be done to help the elephants. They found three bull elephants from another herd and relocated them to the out-of-control herd. An amazing thing happened. The seasoned bull elephants stood together, side by side. They watched as the younger elephants wreaked havoc. After they saw enough, the older elephants simultaneously left each others side and challenged the younger bulls in battle. The older elephants drove the younger into the ground with brute force and superior skill. They pinned them there, refusing to let them move. This went on for sixteen hours. After that time, they let the rebels up. The younger elephants cowered at the sides of the older, stronger bulls. And that was it. They never exhibited that crazy, carousing, out of control behavior again. Peace and order had been restored to the herd.


This, too, is my prayer for our people. That the older elephants would rise up and do what is good, what is moral...but where are those men?"


This story is taken from the book Scared, by Tom Davis. It is written about Swaziland Africa. The character telling this story in the book is a Swazi man who is trying to be one of the few bull elephants.

I asked Tom Davis about this story and he said he had seen this elephant situation played out on a National Geographic show. It is a true story. He felt it was a perfect illustration of the need for men to step up and Mentor, be fathers, older brothers, be the bull elephants in their communities.

Here are a few reasons this story applies to where I live in Baton Rouge Louisiana;

Of the 2008 homicide victims, 89 percent were black and 83 percent were male. 

An even greater proportion of the people arrested in those homicides fit the same description: 92 percent are black and 87 percent are male.

Black-on-black offenses in the mid-South accounted for 94 percent of homicides between 1976 and 2005, he writes. Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi make up the mid-South in the study.

In general, black males have a 29 percent chance of being incarcerated at some time during their lives, which in 2001 was six times higher than the prevalence of imprisonment for white males, Crothers says in his study.

In 2000, more black males were imprisoned in the mid-South than enrolled in higher education, he says.

In Louisiana that year, there were 4,375 more black men in prison than in college, a number greater than in Arkansas and Mississippi combined, the study shows.

Out of 147,00 black males enrolled in High school in Louisiana only 38% graduate.


I challenge EVERY Christian man in Baton Rouge to give a couple hours a month to go play basketball with some inner city teens, tutor, teach guitar lessons to them, invite them to a movie, to the park, take them fishing, take them to dinner and ask them about their life, encourage them, whatever you can do.

Men, would you consider please being a bull elephant in this city? Leading a generation out of certain death and destruction.

Contact nathan.robert@churchunited.org if you would like to mentor boys connected with the Dream Center.

Nationally contact,
 

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