On Resurrection Sunday afternoon, I was sitting beside my 30 year old step son watching Avatar, as my 6 year old grandson came over and crawled up between us, putting his head on his Daddy’s chest. He was worn out from attending church with us that morning, followed by a lunch of ham, au gratin potatoes, and deviled eggs, which Grandma cooked, finished off by a dessert of all the chocolate that the Easter Bunny brought. Of course, that darn rabbit had made a stop over here.
As I watched my grandson laying there, I thought about what a difference having a father makes in a boy’s life.
My father certainly made an everlasting difference in mine. He is the one who led me to Christ, counseling and supporting me, and loving me until he passed away after Christmas in 1997.
I think of him and thank God for him often.
I have had the privilege of being the step-father of 3 very different boys, now grown into young men. The first one works as an account executive with a major company. The second one is a seminary student who is planting a church in Midtown Memphis. And the last one, who I mentioned earlier, is an over the road truck driver, who is home every weekend.
I think often about all three of these young men often and pray that I have made a difference in their lives.
What got me thinking about the role that fathers play in the lives of young men, is all of the gang-related violence that is going on in our American Cities, like Chicago, Illinois.
In today’s modern culture, the stigma of having a baby out of wedlock is quite frankly no longer a stigma. In some corners, especially the Liberal ones, It is actually considered a sign of Feminine Independence.
Among a lot of the young black male population, it is a sign of prestige to be a player, or, as we used to call it, to be a ladies man.
This practice has become so popular, that now over 75 percent of America’s black population is being born out of wedlock and being raised without a father.
Grandfathers, uncles, clergy, and school coaches and principals try to fill in the gap and help these boys as they grow up, but a boy needs a man around every day of their life.
They need a consistent role model to teach them right from wrong, how to treat women, and how to be a man.
Regardless of what all of the Liberal experts say, a male father figure is essential in building a young man’s self- image.
The gang problem that the nation is facing… or ignoring… depending on your point of view, is a direct result of this lack of traditional role models in young men’s lives.
Governments, both municipal and federal, have been throwing money at the “Gang problem” for years..that is,when cities even acknowledge that they have one.
The problem is that the desire for cities to become a tourist attraction, usually outweighs their desire to acknowledge that they do have a Gang Problem.
Look at Chicago, for example. It just came out yesterday that “the Godfather”, Rahm Emmanuel, the mayor of Chicago, and his Police Superintendent, are cooking the books to make it look like the Windy City is not as violent as it actually is.
Warner Todd Huston reports for Breitbart.com that
A loud debate about crime statistics is taking place in Chicago as 2014 gets underway. The Police Department is claiming that it has helped lower crime, as statistics are down all across the board over last year. But others claim that the ultra cold and snowy Winter weather Chicago just experienced is what held crime down, not any particular efforts by the Chicago PD. More ominously, others say the police are actually cooking the stats.
Last week, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy claimed that his department was “making progress” on defeating crime and pointed to the lower rates as proof.
Not everyone is accepting McCarthy’s claims as given.
Many say the weather was the main factor, not the police. Their case is bolstered by the fact that during the first weekend of the year favored by moderate weather, violence in Chicago exploded with 35 shootings in only 36 hours.
But others see something more nefarious in the falling crime rates than just an oppressive Winter. A new investigative report by Chicago Magazine claims that Mayor Emanuel and Superintendent McCarthy are cooking the stats to make it appear that crime is falling when in fact it is not.
The magazine says that murders and violent crimes are being reported in ways that hide them from accumulated statistics.
In one case, for instance, a woman was murdered but because her corpse had so many different injuries the coroner couldn’t determine exactly which one killed her. But instead of classifying the death as a murder, the Chicago police classified the death as a “noncriminal death.” How could a clear murder be called a “noncriminal death”? According to police, it was because they coroner didn’t specify what injury killed her.
“With the stroke of a computer key, she was airbrushed out of Chicago’s homicide statistics,” Chicago Magazine notes.
In another case a man was found severely beaten. He died a few days after being taken to the hospital. Instead of classifying his death as a result of a criminal act, police classified the cause of his death as “diabetes.”
These weren’t the only cases the magazine found, either.
“We identified 10 people… who were beaten, burned, suffocated, or shot to death in 2013 and whose cases were reclassified as death investigations, downgraded to more minor crimes, or even closed as noncriminal incidents—all for illogical or, at best, unclear reasons,” the article says.
The authors also found the same “troubling practice” in the reporting of other crimes, “including serious felonies such as robberies, burglaries, and assaults, that were misclassified, downgraded to wrist-slap offenses, or made to vanish altogether.”
It was all a “betrayal of public trust,” the authors wrote.
Superintendent McCarthy called the article “patently false” and he said the reliance on anonymous sources discredits the findings. “I’m troubled by it because it hurts our credibility while we’re trying to build our credibility,” Chicago’s top cop said.
So, what’s the answer?
A song that Elton John came out with during his comeback in the 1980s goes,
Mama don’t want you
Daddy don’t want you
Give it up baby, baby
Mama can’t buy you love
Municipal and Federal Governments can throw as much money at the problem of gang-related violence as they want to, but, until this Cycle of Irresponsibility, i.e., irresponsible parents creating irresponsible kids, somehow gets broken, through prayer, education, and community/church involvement, crime will continue to escalate in America’s Cities.
Because, if the parents do not want to love, care for, and raise their children in the way that they should go, the gangs sure will.
Until He Comes,