A video of an angry mother beating her son for participating in Baltimore riots has been shown across the world. One television news station quipped: “Send in the moms!” as the solution to the rioting.
This raises a pertinent question: Where are the dads?
This is not just an African-American problem. School shootings are often the work of young white males.When young African-American males are killed by white policemen, too often it’s the mothers who are interviewed. If there is a male in the room, it’s likely a stepfather.
But it’s African-American families that suffer most from absentee fathers, though whites are not far behind.
In 2011, 72 percent of black children were born to unwed mothers.
In 2005, 39 percent of African-American children did not live with their biological father and a further 28 percent had no substitute father in the home. This means that two-thirds of African-American teenage boys have no father figure in their lives.
The strongest single predictor of whether a person will spend time in prison is lack of a father in the home. So it shouldn’t be surprising that a disproportionate percentage of our prison population is made up of black males. Without a strong father figure at home, boys are more likely to get into trouble, regardless of race.
Media coverage of this year’s riots gives the world the impression that America is an inherently racist society. How can this be, when Indians, all fairly recent immigrants from India, now have a per capita income higher than whites? They are dark-skinned but do well. Chinese and Japanese Americans are also more successful than whites.
The difference is the family structure. These three ethnic groups have a strong family structure. As one Indian told me when I was visiting India, “It’s unthinkable for an Indian man to desert his family!”
But we shouldn’t blame all of this on African-American adult males. They must take their share of the blame–babies born out of wedlock are the result of fornication, which the Bible condemns as sin (1 Corinthians 6:18 1 Corinthians 6:18Flee fornication. Every sin that a man does is without the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body.
American King James Version×).
But blame also falls elsewhere.
Although the numbers of black couples living together in a traditional family had been falling gradually with every census from 1880 to 1960, the numbers took a dramatic dive with the 1970 census.
The reason for this lies at least partially in a well-intentioned government program.
In 1965, LBJ’s “War on Poverty” set out to improve the lot of mothers, who soon found they were better off being taken care of by Uncle Sam than their husbands.
It wasn’t long before fathers and husbands disappeared from millions of households, if the couples had even bothered to marry at all.
The end result is the level of violence we see in our inner cities, including the recent rioting.
God warned us of this: “For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one’s garment with violence” (Malachi 2:16 Malachi 2:16For the LORD, the God of Israel, said that he hates putting away: for one covers violence with his garment, said the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that you deal not treacherously.
American King James Version×).
There’s a connection between broken homes and violence in the streets. The solution to the street problems begins in the homes of America.