Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Solving the Problem of "Chav Culture"

I have been seeing a lot of vitriol against "chav culture" in the UK (and similar such phenomena elsewhere), on and off and for some time.

What is a chav, you ask? Click here.

Not only do some people disapprove (as do I) of the rude, lazy, even violent nature of this latest and greatest version of yob culture, they let phrases like "shoot them all" or "put them in a ditch and burn them" slip past their lips.

Irrespective of how many people are actually serious about such views (few, I hope), I don't believe that the solution is, or can be, just hatin' on the chavs.

Rather than trying to "destroy" Chav culture, why not try to raise awareness among the Chavs and encourage them to improve their lot, as Malcolm X and the -- yes -- Nation of Islam did (and still do) for thousands in the US, who at one time or another might have been considered Chav-like?

Make no mistake -- I am no fan of Louis Farrakhan, nor of the hate he and some others in NOI have been known to espouse.

However, what NOI has done, and still does, is encourage people to stand up and regain their dignity, in both behavior and dress, to get educated, to be faithful within relationships, and hold their families together.

I think few people who've read Malcolm X's autobiography and the story of how NOI began, and the stark changes it made in many lives, can fail to be moved.

Don't want "radical" Islam in your town, you say? Well, I have nothing against Islam or Islamists (only violent sociopaths, who exist irrespective of religion), but it doesn't have to be Islam. It could just as well be Unitarianism or Buddhism, so long as the unifying principles of pride, dignity, education, family and self-improvement are preserved.

These are certainly values around which the Islamic community conspicuously gathers, and who can fault them for that?

And think of this. Do you think that immigrants from Islamic countries, of all ages, proud of their history, culture and religion, aren't sickened at the spectacle of Chavs, and even more sickened at the thought of becoming like them (or their children becoming like them) ?

Don't you think that a "radical" Islamic leader in the neighborhood, offering the local youth something of pride and dignity (and power), above the level of the goatlike Chav existence, might have a powerful effect among that set of youth, and possibly their elders as well?

Where is a more attractive alternative for them?

For some time now, I have thought what the Chavs and those like them need is someone like Malcolm X (Islamic or otherwise) to go in there and wake them up to their own pride and full potential.

After all, the Chavs didn't just spring out of the ground, and they're not made of fungus or anything else different from you and me.

They are the descendants of people who grew up in and inhabited one of the world's most powerful, most democratic, most literate and most ACCOMPLISHED countries.

Who will wake them up to their potential? We know it can be done.

We also have to consider who might not want them woken up, from neighborhood poobahs who prefer everyone ignorant and violent, or fearful and weak, to national poobahs who might want much the same.

Either way, IMO the solution is not destruction, deportation or extermination.

It is, rather, about awakening and standing up.

I'm not quite sure, either, why the use of a Bible should, in the eyes of some, be suspect in such an enterprise.

Whether you believe in God or not, it can't be denied that the book in question contains a lot of useful advice (not, perhaps, always to be taken literally), compiled over a period of 4,000 years in a place where life was generally not easy.

Handy life tips for people living in a harsh world, at any time or place.

Plus, you have the useful advice from a harsh world (Old Testament) combined with a reminder to love, forgive and "be excellent to each other" (New Testament).

Sounds like a winning combo to me.

No comments: