In 1965, Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote "The Negro Family: A Case for National Action." At the time, 25 percent of blacks were born outside of wedlock, a number that the future Democratic senator from New York said was catastrophic to the black community.
Moynihan wrote: "A community that allows a large number of young men to grow up in broken homes, dominated by women, never acquiring any stable relationship to male authority, never acquiring any rational expectations about the future -- that community asks for and gets chaos. Crime, violence, unrest, unrestrained lashing out at the whole social structure -- that is not only to be expected, it is very near to inevitable."
Today, 75 percent of black children enter a world without a father in the home.
Divorce is one thing, where, for the most part, fathers remain involved both financially and as a parent. When I pressed the point of murdering ex-cop Christopher Dorner's father, one local news source told me his father apparently died when Dorner was small. He was reportedly raised, along with his sister, by a single mom. Little else is known.
In the documentary "Resurrection," rapper Tupac Shakur, who was raised without a father, said: "I hate saying this cuz white people love hearing black people talking about this. I know for a fact that had I had a father, I'd have some discipline. I'd have more confidence."
He said he started running with gangs because he wanted to belong, wanted structure and wanted protection -- none of which he found in his fatherless home. "Your mother cannot calm you down the way a man can," he said. "Your mother can't reassure you the way a man can. My mother couldn't show me where my manhood was. You need a man to teach you how to be a man."
Why is it when white murderers go on a rampage, the media quickly delve into the relationship or lack thereof with the killer's father? They want to know what went wrong with that relationship -- and when and how and why.
After Adam Lanza massacred 26 people and his mother in Newtown, Conn., NBC News reported: "A source close to the family said that in 2001, (father Peter) separated from Adam's mother, Nancy, but he still saw Adam every week. In 2009, the Lanzas officially divorced, when Adam was 17. ... But the source close to the Lanza family said that by 2010, Peter Lanza was dating a new woman, whom he later married, and Adam suddenly cut his dad off."
After Jared Lee Loughner murdered six and wounded 13 people in Tucson, Ariz., The Associated Press wrote that Loughner's "relationship with his parents was strained." Newsweek quoted a Loughner neighbor who described the father as "very aggressive, very angry all the time about petty things -- like if the trash is out because the trash guys didn't pick it up, he yells at us for it."
After Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 13 at Columbine High, one did not have to search long to read about their fathers. One such piece began: "The father of one of the boys was asked some years ago to jot down his life's goals in the memory book for his 20th high school reunion. His answer was succinct, straightforward and, it seemed, not unrealistically ambitious: 'Raise two good sons.'
"The other father prided himself on being his son's soul mate. They had just spent five days visiting the Arizona campus where the teenager planned to enroll in the fall, and recently discussed their shared opposition to a bill in the state legislature that would have made it easier to carry concealed weapons."
Five days after James Holmes killed 12 in the movie theater in Aurora, Colo., we learned from the Daily Mail all "about the glittering career of James Holmes' father, Robert, who has degrees from Stanford, UCLA and Berkeley and currently works as a senior scientist at FICO in San Diego." The article's headline was, "Did Colorado maniac snap after failing to meet expectations of brilliant academic father?"
But what about Christopher Dorner? The media seemingly imposed a no-fly zone of silence over even writing or talking about his father.
The Los Angeles Times, for example, wrote: "Dorner grew up in Southern California with his mother and at least one sister, according to public records and claims in (his) manifesto." Not one word about the father. We soon learn the mother's name and whereabouts. But the media are apparently incurious about Dorner's father. Why? Is it that the media expect a certain level of appropriate behavior from whites -- that when a white person commits a heinous act, we must necessarily explore what kind of relationship he had with his father?
But when it comes to black miscreants and their fathers ... crickets. Why? To ask raises uncomfortable questions about the perverse incentives of the welfare state, which hurt the very formation of stable, intact families -- the ones more likely to produce stable, non-paranoid children.
Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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