As a 58-year old resident of the Memphis Area, I have borne witness to the governmental mismanagement and resulting decay and degeneration of what was once of the friendliest places in the country to live.
There are still friendly people in Memphis, but, chances are, they work in Memphis and are living in the suburbs, like I do.
The mass exodus of Memphis taxpayers started during the reign of “King” Willie Herenton, whom while Mayor from 1991 – 2008, told taxpayers of the Caucasian persuasion, if they did not like the way he was running the city, they could leave.
So, they did.
Since then, violent crime in Memphis has steadily risen, to the point where some suburban husbands will not allow their families to enter Memphis during the day or night.
The most recent Mayor, Jim Strickland, seems to be working hard to revitalize Memphis.
However, as this past Monday Night demonstrated, Memphis still has far to go to be considered to be the “City of Good Abode”, again.
WREG.com reports that
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Where were the parents?
It was a question Shelby County District Attorney Investigator Jimmy Chambers wanted to know after seeing an all out brawl recorded at Wolfchase Galleria and Oak Court Mall the day after Christmas.
“We as adults need to put our foot down and let these kids know — you all ain’t taking over nothing,” Chambers said.
Chambers told WREG the teen flash mob-style attacks are nothing new to Memphis.
They have occurred at gas stations, grocery stores, and other public places over the years.
Memphis police said the latest incident was promoted on social media with a picture of guns that read: “GANG SHOOTOUT TODAY AT WOLFCHASE MALL. BE READY TO BANG OR DIE.”
“This Facebook, this social media network stuff — it has taken our children. It’s like it’s taken our children to hell,” Chambers explained.
While there were no shots fired or serious injuries, Chambers said parents need to start asking their children questions.
“Where you going? Who you with? What’s his name? What’s her name? You got to do that now,” he said.
The long-time investigator and community mentor said adults cannot be soft with children — you have to know how to talk to them.
“You can’t be fake with these children. If you fake with them, they going to find you out sooner or later,” Chambers explained.
Ten people were arrested following the Memphis-area mall incidents — including eight children.
On Resurrection Sunday Afternoon, back in 2014, I was sitting beside my then-30-year old step son, watching “Avatar”, as my then-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, black-on-black homicides, and “flash mobs” that are going on in our American Cities, like my Hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.
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, a “ladies’ man”.
This practice has become so popular, that now 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.
So, what’s the answer?
A song that Elton John came out with during his comeback in the 1980’s 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 and the other criminals in the ‘Hood sure will.
Until He Comes,