Johnny answers the critics

Geez Louise. Only in Philadelphia do you try to do good for the community one minute and then have to answer for it the next. There is apparently a misconception here. Some people seem to think that Big Brothers Big Sisters in Philly is a babysitting service for kids on the Main Line.

“It would seem that the moral here is that if you don’t do drugs…and don’t hang out with violent or criminally inclined people…your chances of getting murdered…are fairly small.” -ee

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that you grew up in a place where there weren’t drug dealers on the corner closest to your home. When the majority of the people in your neighborhood do or deal drugs and are violent, it’s a lot easier said than done than to get a young child or teen to “Just Say No.”
“Like the compelling idea of big brothers, but those kids aren’t shooting anybody.” -Anonymous
Again, I don’t think you understand what kids we are trying to help here. Most of these children are at-risk. Part of the point of Big Brothers Big Sisters is to make these kids realize that their problems can’t be solved by shooting somebody. I assure you that there are a lot of children on the BBBS waiting list whose current male “role models” tell them that the way to settle their disputes is by grabbing a gun, or that the only way out of the ghetto is by dealing drugs.
All that seems to matter now is the naked corruption of guys like Fumo—how many street cops would that PECO settlement he got for his fraudulent foundation have paid for? I tend to look at this from a macro view Johnny….I think that is where we need to do things to make a real difference…spending a few hours a week with kids who must live in an environment that makes heroes of criminals is smoothing over the tip of the iceberg. -Jon
It’s hard enough to recruit people to this cause w/o having someone telling them that their efforts will just be “smoothing over the tip of the iceberg.” The macro view is terrific, Jon. Why don’t you make us some bar graphs so we can understand the problem better? And 1,000 more officers would be great too. Could you make that a reality for us?

Joining Big Brothers Big Sisters won’t change the world for everybody. But it will dramatically change the world of the child you are paired with, for the better. It will lessen the chances they fight in school, and will lower the chances they do drugs. It will build their self confidence and make them want to get better grades. It will make them think twice about joining a gang or picking up a gun. If that’s the tip of the iceberg, well then, dammit, let’s smooth it over.