On the other hand, the facts are out, but the emotion is lukewarm, about the statistics regarding what happens to young men when they are raised without responsible fathers in the home. There has been generations of time to address the clear issue of fatherless homes, but nothing substantive happens at the family level. This is one of the key issues in the looting and constant confrontations with police in Ferguson.
I have never pointed out--in any of my posts—that, 72 percent of African-American children are raised in a single parent home. I only bring it up here because the situation in Ferguson calls for it. If video is a good indicator, the perpetrators of violence and looting of Ferguson, not condoned by truly concerned citizens, are 99+ percent young Blacks. In the first night of looting, reports were that only one Black looting suspect was from Ferguson.
When young people, especially young men, are brought up without fathers, they are prone to prove themselves to other immature and fatherless young men. In his book, Fatherless America, David Blankenhorn states, “For boys, the most socially acute manifestation of paternal disinvestment is juvenile violence.” This is truly being manifested in Ferguson during the violence there.
The anger is not that a young Black man was killed. It is because a white police officer was involved. Over 90 percent of Blacks are killed by other Blacks. This is common enough that only the next of kin and friends of the victim raise an eyebrow. But when we can blame someone out of that community, concerned citizens raise their voices more loudly. Those not having the same values as the more responsible protesters see this as a great opportunity for violence—for proving themselves to the people they hang out with, and it is not their fathers.
I am white and I live in the St. Louis area. I am very familiar with Ferguson. I have family and friends who live there and my in-laws had a business there a few years ago. I always knew it as a great example of a very proud mixed community. They are surrounded by other communities who are mostly black and low income. But being black or low income is not the reason a small percentage of them are looting and causing issues beyond the case itself. It’s because those young men and women have been fatherless most of their lives!
Did I interview every looter to know this is the situation? Of course not, but I am convinced that it is overwhelmingly true that most do not have involved fathers. Certainly, some single mothers can control their children. What is missing is the fact that while a young man can get love and attention from his mother, and respect her for that, he also needs to find acceptance and respect from a male. If that male is not a father or a respected mentor, that acceptance may be found in the streets. And the streets have a different code of ethics!
The facts will determine whether the white officer was guilty of excessive force and a crime, or if he was in fear of his safety and defending himself from an enraged young man. None of us know that yet. What we do know is that opportunists are making the situation much more dangerous, potentially causing more deaths than Michael Brown’s. The added tensions would likely not have occurred if restraint was shown on both sides. But when the restraint on the part of police was eased, as many agreed should happen, the opportunists moved back in.
Respect for authority is taught in the homes. Sometimes authority oversteps! More often, however, authority is challenged out of a perceived or learned distrust. If you do not trust that authority, violence will never bring trust to either side. The answer can't be solved at this level, it must be dealt with at its root cause.
When you ask why there is violence almost every time an incident like this happens--and continue asking why to the answers of the previous whys-- eventually you will get there. The real problem--the root issue--in Ferguson and America, is the failure to encourage and successfully create more structured two-parent families.