College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

Dr. Renford Reese releases his new book, The Failed Experiment, available for download now

Congratulations to Dr. Renford Reese who has published his ninth book, The Failed Experiment. The book is currently available for download at, follow this link

The Failed Experiment, Renford Reese

Synposis: The story of Sisyphus in Greek mythology is about a man who repeatedly pushes a boulder up a hill only to get very close to the top and then have this boulder roll back down. This book is a modern-day equivalent of the futile exercise of Sisyphus. 

The author enrolled 13 young black men from South Central Los Angeles into community college trying to transform their lives. His experiment with these young men failed. He failed because he underestimated what it would take to transform broken young men from the inner city. He failed because he overestimated the concern that people would have for young black men who were trying to change.

This experiment also failed because biological evolution, history, and society have failed young black men from the inner city. This book critiques the plight of this population in the context of Charles Darwin’s theory on natural selection. The author examines the societal consequences derived from flaws in a “too efficient” human reproductive system. The manifestation of these flaws has had a devastating impact on inner-city communities. The author believes that some 80% of societal problems are derived from children being born to parents who do not have the mental, emotional, or financial capacity to raised them properly. Consequently, the author advocates giving a $10,000 incentive for permanent birth control for those who have a child out-of-wedlock. The government should then assist them with the resources to make this one child successful. 

Brought into this world without preparation, plans or intentionality, they have been set up to fail. Unless they are on the athletic field or in the entertainment industry, they are often perceived as a menace to society. Socialized to be defiant and rebellious, intensely enamored with the concept of the gansta-thug, no one can reach them. The lack of impulse control has undermined their capacity to consistently follow rules. Constant chaos inside and outside the home has caused them to have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), yet, contrary to many others in traumatic situations who get treated for this condition, people have accepted these circumstances as a way of life for troubled black youth. 

Feared by the police, and others, they have become a liability and America does not want to invest the resources to help transform their plight. The chants of “No Justice—No Peace” resonate anytime there is a police shooting of a young black man in America. But, the truth is, no one cares. The police shoot young black men because they inherently understand that American society does not care about young black men. The district attorneys lock them up with disproportionate sentences because of the same reason. Employers will not hire them. The black church has given up on trying to outreach to them while nonprofit organizations consistently exploit them. No one is interested in properly raising young black men in the inner city and no one is interested in properly educating them in our schools. The convergence of these factors has led to the young black male crisis that everyone discusses but few people want to personally take responsibility for. It is the collective lack of compassion that has inspired young black men not to care. And, when a person does not care, their behavior becomes counterproductive in a myriad of ways. 

This is a candid story about failure. 

Renford Reese is a professor of political science at Cal Poly Pomona. To learn more about Dr. Renford Reese, visit his faculty page.