Written by Marshall Frank
Thanks to the chutzpah of Bill O’Reilly who isn’t muted by political correctness, much has been reported of late about the fact that 73 percent of black children are born to single mothers, which accounts for a great deal of poverty and violent crime perpetrated in black neighborhoods. And that is a really big deal because of the impact it has on the growth of young kids, particularly young black men.
Generally speaking, male role models are valuable to the family structure in order to give stability and discipline to growing boys which too many mothers are incapable of doing.
Why? Because single mothers are often working or tending to multiple kids and often rely on public assistance and/or neighbors, baby sitters, and others to do the job parents should be doing. Another reason is that some moms simply don’t know how, because they grew up in dysfunctional homes as well, and many of them are still children as well.
For young boys living in the hood, role models are the older boys. Six year-olds play outside with the boys who are eight and nine. They become the model for young males. Boys who are eight and nine look up to the boys who are twelve and thirteen. Those same kids are mentored by the seventeen year-old boys, the boys who are old enough to go to jail. It is a self-perpetuating cycle for which there is no quick fix.
Mama cooks, works, cleans houses for money under the table, and tends to her three of four, or more other children, while living mostly on public assistance, i.e. Section 8 housing, welfare, food stamps, day care, and etc. She relies on those boys in the street to take care of her little boys, particularly when they reach the teens.
The street boys all grow up with the same family problems, no father, no money, no mentors, so they rely on each other for substitute fathers. They are kids who gain approval from others by talking filth, walking and shuffling, wearing pants below the butt, listening to hate-rap, learning swagger and attitude. They are infused with resentment and hate toward whites as though it was the white man who forced hardships upon them all. They are taught that police officers are not keepers of the peace, they are the natural enemy.
While stable kids from loving families are learning sports, music, art and literature, the boys of the hood are learning the art of stealing and robbing and getting away with it. It’s their source of praise. Eventually, they try alcohol and drugs, watch the selling and purchases of drugs, engage in early sex with “hoes” for which they – the boys and the girls – are applauded.
Gang acceptance is an honor, for which a young black male proves his worth by committing some illegal act, even if it means killing. Anyone in the hood who rats on a fellow gang member is usually found in a ditch with small caliber bullets in his head. The real heroes are those who go to prison. When they are ultimately released, they are treated like cultural icons, the rock stars of hoodlumism.
The aberrant culture is reflected in some of the rap music which openly demeans women, mothers, police officers, morals, Americans in general and glamorizes the use of illegal substances, sexual promiscuity and foul language.
The downward spiral becomes irreversible because the culture is embedded in the very persona of a child from birth. The attitude becomes part of their psychological DNA, not much different than kids in 1950′s Mississippi being born to families of the KKK, being taught white supremacies. Same with children of Jihadi parents who are praised for hating and killing infidels. They are all victims of early programming and indoctrination that teach hate through cultural aberration and declare it proper.
Why and how did this all start?
In 1966, only 25 percent of black children were born into fatherless homes. Today that number has tripled.
In 1966, the south was still segregated. Blacks were struggling for acceptance through integration, bussing, civil rights marches, demanding equality in hiring, promotions, government and many other organizations. Bigotry and discrimination was still rampant.
Today, fifty years later, blacks are part of mainstream America, as supervisors, corporate CEOs, high level politicians, wealthy actors and sports figures, and living a freer and more prosperous life than ever before. But the black boys are still shooting and killing each other in the cities while the media blames it on poverty.
President Lyndon Johnson is credited with fighting the war on poverty. But the great experiment hasn’t worked. With noble intentions, the Johnson era spawned the expansion of a welfare system so complex, extensive and abused, it became lifestyles for millions of Americans who would claim they could not find a job, nor would they if they could. Freeloading became the norm. It’s never ended.
Incentives disappeared as young men and women found ways to milk the system rather than contribute to it. Young, unmarried women having babies learned it was more lucrative to remain single, sucking off the welfare system than holding wayward fathers responsible for their end of baby-making. For each child, a mother gained more welfare. Without a marriage commitment, fathers were off the hook, begging out of relationships, knowing the government would take care of their children. They ceded their parental responsibilities to the gang lords for developing their children.
Of course, welfare assistance is needed and deserved in many parts of our poor society. Just like unions were once welcomed and needed, the greed factor and political pressures have escalated the welfare systems into political power sources, where the demands for more benefits are showered upon politicians who grovel for their votes.
Black role models like gangsta rappers, celebrities, the likes of Sharpton and Jackson and their supporters forever blame whitey for all their problems. Too bad they don’t use their fame and influence to help young blacks to breakout from the bleak, reach for opportunities, learn the high of achievement, encourage self-sufficiency, learn decency, act polite and respect others, and stand up for dignity in the Hood, not racial hatred and violence. Most of all, they can be taught that being a father is not just a sex act, it’s a grave responsibility.
Where is the president on this? The first black president has done little — or nothing — to solve any of the problems of poverty, racism, jobs, opportunities, or racial inequities in this nation. Rather, he has fueled the fires of discontent without solving any of the problems.
This is a president who could be assuming a huge leadership role. Instead of comparing himself to Trayvon Martin, he could have used his unique platform to identify the heart of the black youth problems in America. He could have said:
“Black youngsters everywhere, put down your guns and your hatred. You are hurting your cause when young blacks kill young blacks as though life means nothing. Blacks commit murder at a rate ten times higher than whites, though only 12 percent of the population. It’s no wonder that people sense fear when black teens seem suspicious. Stop blaming the white establishment for your problems.
“Put away the drugs, the guns and the attitudes, you’re only setting the stage for misery. It’s not cool to be a convict. It’s not cool to be a dope seller or a drug user. It’s not cool to steal and hurt innocent people
“I have a message for young black girls. Close those legs and start thinking more of yourself than just another ho which the boys will make use of. When I was born, 75 percent of black babies had fathers in the house. Today, only 27 percent of black babies have fathers, which leave mothers to rely on welfare, and the rearing of children to the dopers, gangs and thieves roaming the hood.
“It is not cool to be an unwed mother. It’s less cool for a kid to be born without a united family. It’s not cool to settle for a welfare life from cradle to grave.
“To fathers of kids who relinquish their role to street children, you can do better. You can make your children feel loved and worthy, otherwise they will end up just like you, running from responsibility.”
Imagine the impact of those words coming from a black president?
Yes, he had a golden opportunity, but he blew it.
Thirty years of law enforcement in Miami, Florida, including sixteen years working homicide, gives Marshall Frank a huge reservoir from which to draw insights into the problems facing America today. After retiring from the Miami-Dade P.D. in 1990, Frank went on to become a writer, now with eight published books, five fiction and three non-fiction. His book "Militant Islam In America" was published after an exhaustive research study about the inroads that radicals are making within the borders of the U.S. He is currently working on a non-fiction book about the abominable criminal justice system. Book listings, prices and availability can be accessed at his web site:www.marshallfrank.com.