Saturday, January 07, 2006

Milwaukee Black Columnist Eugene Kane Refuses to Mentor Black Youth

When journalist (now blogger) Jessica McBride took it upon herself to try to help a black inner city youth, one of the first things she did was to ask her colleague Eugene Kane to take over the role of mentor for the young man.

Kane turned her down flatly, with the comment that “If I wanted a kid, I’d have one of my own.”

When McBride told this story on her blog (without naming Kane), a reader inferred that Kane was likely the man in question, and e-mailed him about the incident.

Kane responded with an e-mail that the reader forwarded on to McBride, and McBride published it on her blog.

The key part of Kane’s response is as follows:
Mcbride asked me years ago, but I didn’t do it because I suspected her “prodigy” wasn’t the type of young man I could effectively help. As it turned out, I was right.

I resented her implication in her blog that because I turned her down it somehow meant I had “forfeited” my right to write about troubled black youth. In my opinion, she went on a mission to save one black male based on little more than a bleeding heart impulse that was destined to fail.
We happen to be against “bleeding heart impulses.” But is a kid who has just turned 16, is in school and has no criminal record known to be beyond help?

How is it possible to have compassion for “Tookie” Williams, but not for the kid whom McBride tried to help?

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