May 04, 2007
I came across an editorial in The Detroit News, addressing the appalling fact that city schools graduate less than 22 percent of Detroit's boys. This is why, the authors conclude, there has been an epidemic of crime by young males in Detroit, because the schools are failing them.
My wife taught for several years in Detroit's public schools, and it's hard to imagine a more corrupt, jaded, morally and intellectually bankrupt system. At the same time, it's shortsighted to blame the implosion of inner-city civil society on schools. A better place to start would be with the reality that a vast majority of children born in our largest cities have no father in the home.
Boys need fathers, or men who can serve as role-models. Detroit has very few of either. Go to Detroit, stand up in a school board meeting, and state those two facts, and see what it gets you. It's much easier to blame a faceless government entity. There isn't enough money. Classrooms are too big. [Insert your favorite argument for ignoring common sense in favor of government growth here]. We've heard it all before.
When will public officials and opinion leaders have the courage to address a fundamental root cause of this crisis in inner cities, which is the abject failure of most males to behave like real men? When will we turn a harsh eye on the pathetic performance of so many urban churches in this regard, many of which favor preaching a Health and Wealth fantasy, rather than the plain truth that men who do not support their children are less than men, and accursed, and in dire need of a beating? There was a time when The Detroit News editors would have had such courage, but perhaps no more.
Meanwhile, each year sees a new cohort of young thugs hit the streets, to destroy what remains of the local legal economy, and to inseminate the next generation of single mothers. But by all means, let's keep telling ourselves that computers and after-school programs will end this shameful cycle. At least then we won't hurt anyone's feelings.
Posted by Woodlief on May 04, 2007 at 02:02 PM
It's not just the minority inner-city folks who are not getting married. My husband has a lot of patients who come to the hospital ready to deliver, accompanied by the sperm donor--these couples never seem to get married, and the sperm donor quickly disappears. They're all races, all social classes. And many of them go to church--this is the South--where they apparently never hear that sex outside of marriage is wrong. It looks like the only people who want to get married nowadays are the gays.
Posted by: Julia P at May 4, 2007 6:37 PM
I hear you and agree wholeheartedly. But boys AND girls need a father--and a mother. Being married does not make mothers and fathers good role models. It's more about the breakdown of responsibility.
Posted by: mizmell at May 5, 2007 8:10 AM
Birth control would be a good start-- along with Planned Parenthood for both sexes...
Posted by: mizmell at May 5, 2007 8:11 AM
Planned Parenthood???!!?? Aaack. That is not the answer. A good swift ,kick in the behind about 30 years ago would have been more appropriate. My generation, yes mine, is responsible for this mess. We were all about the "question authority", "trust no one over thirty" and "if it feels good, do it" mentality back then and it has back fired on us big time. People, no matter how educated, need structure and moral values instilled in them as young children. They need to be able to trust and know they can rely on specific individuals as loving role models of stability and caring.
No one likes being told they've done a poor job. Too bad, truth is truth. We've done a poor job by simply turning our backs on morals, God and being completely and utterly self-indulgent. It may have worked for a small percentage of the population, but by far, it has sold a bill of goods to a generation. We have sold them a bowl of pottage and they don't even know it because we also took away their foundation of God along with the sale.
Hot button? Yep. And I'm not that popular when I speak my mind. Sigh. Thanks, Tony for the forum.
Posted by: chronicler at May 7, 2007 9:54 AM
The last time I posted here, I had no children, and I was trying a new profession in search of a gloriously large paycheck.
Now, I'm the father of an eight week old son, and I am trying to wedge back into my previous profession. The paycheck will be smaller, but I get to be *home*. Alas, my comfortable middle class neighborhood also suffers, to a different degree, the absence of fathers as the men pursue 15 hour days and long trips out of state to "provide".
This is shamefully misguided. Nobody will talk about the father's paychecks when they are throwing dirt on the crate. All that will be remembered are the things Dad taught you, the nobility he imparted to you, and that he was there.
Posted by: hbchrist at May 8, 2007 4:21 PM
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