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May 8 2015

A Tough Piece on Fatherlessness in the Inner City . . .

Charlotte Hays

Quote of the Day:

The rage of Baltimore's ghetto boys against cops is not due to an epidemic of police killing black men. That's a big lie of the left wing. It is mainly caused by brainwashing black youth to hate the only effective discipline they have had in their lives.

--Deborah C. Tyler in the American Thinker

Deborah Tyler’s must-read piece headlined “Po-Po and the Missing Papas” is about the absence of fathers in places like the Baltimore neighborhood that went up in flames in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray. She writes:

The recent image of Baltimore's “heroine” mother ineffectually flailing against her hoodied teenage son reminds us of the natural limitations women face trying to control boys. What spirited boy would retreat to a fatherless, airless crib with five noisy sisters running the show when all the males he admires have taken over the streets? …

It is a healthy impulse for a boy to want to associate himself with masculine energy and escape the world of distaff drama and hair-obsessionality. Fathers have a special authority that instills pride and honor in their sons, and also a natural willingness to relinquish the governing aspects of that authority as the boy achieves his own honorable manhood. The closest absent father ghetto experience you have of masculine authority on a daily basis is invested in men whom everyone despises and trash-talks. You call him po-po, a term of derision of the police, but everybody sleeps better at night because they know he is out there watching.

Even though you don't like the way he looks you over, po-po has always been the only reliable male authority in your life who upholds rules and answers his phone. You can't deny he is the only one with the physical courage to take down out-of-control people with his own hands. Above all, po-po has been the only one who acts as if you're not the helpless victim of your life. He alone says, “Man, you don't have to do this mess.”

I would not put "heroine" in quotes because I regard the Baltimore mother who got her son off the streets as a genuine heroine. She didn't do it quite like Lord Chesterfield might have prescribed, but the young man went home safely. Brava, heroine mother!

But otherwise Tyler makes some important observations and points.

She writes about neighborhoods like the ones we've seen erupting lately (she argues that “inner city” is the wrong term, as a variety of people, including some rich ones, live there, and prefers ghetto) as places where the economy is controlled by two kinds of dependencies—government dependency and dependence on drugs. The left, which derives power from growing government dependence, blames the police for the state of affairs in the ghetto and encourage residents to do the same.

Some of the language in Tyler’s piece is tough and may be a bit over-the-top—she portrays people she regards as enablers as mothers who encourage their children to run wild and blame others and singles out Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and prosecutor Marilyn Mosby as two such enablers. Strong stuff, and I have some misgivings about this language. Nevertheless, I do want to quote this:

No healing for the black, Asian and Jewish fathers who lost their means to support their children in the destruction that Rawlings-Blake promoted. The racism that butters her brioche says black fathers don't need to work to support their own children, they need even more programs funded by their white oppressors.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch also comes in for criticism:

Momma #3, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, went to Baltimore on May 5 and said, “We're here to hold your hands.” Another healer. If you have broken bones or a destroyed business you worked years to build, the offer of Loretta Lynch's hand is an insult. What a dereliction for the nation's top law enforcement officer to offer emotional support for lawbreakers at a massive crime scene. It sets the stage for her department to fail to prosecute crimes committed by black people, just like Eric Holder's dereliction. Lynch visited the deceased heroin dealer's family. His is the only name that suits her politics. Nobody knows how he died. Everybody knows what caused the death of the NYC cop the same day as Lynch's healing. But Momma #3 didn't think he was worth mentioning by name.

Mothers are more likely to try to excuse the bad behavior of their children. Fathers are less given to hand holding and healing when their sons behave badly. It is in the nature of men who are not respected in their home to leave. It was essential that fatherhood be destroyed for ghetto life to sink to its current level of crime and dependency.

Okay, I disagree that mothers are more likely to excuse bad behavior than fathers. Or that mothers are more given to hand-holding. Ms. Tyler never met my mother, if she believes this. However, she makes the point that it takes two dedicated parents to raise a son (or daughter) to become a disciplined adult, and this is especially the case in a crime-ridden neighborhood where temptation is rampant.

The young men—and women—who grow up in the inner city—or ghetto, as Tyler prefers—deserve a chance and they will get it only when adults (are you listening, President Obama and Al Sharpton?) tell them to stop blaming others. They also need positive masculine influences, and this is not easy when government and drug-dependency create a difficult environments for families.

But if Baltimore forces us to think about the plight of young men without fathers, then we can redeem something from this terrible episode and perhaps even eventually reverse destructive policies.



Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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