The Right Opinion

Dorner -- Another Angry Fatherless Black Man With a Gun

By Larry Elder · Feb. 14, 2013

My new book, “Dear Father, Dear Son,” talks about the No. 1 social problem in America – children growing up without fathers.

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.



Chris in London said:

Dorner wrote a lengthy manifesto stating his grievances so it was clear why he did what he did. He came across as a man who tried to live a decent life and, somewhere along the line, became disillusioned with the LAPD and his life went on a downward spiral. Nothing to do with being 'fatherless', as you put it.

Having a father in the home is a good thing but you can't blame all black people's problems on the lack of a father in the home.

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 12:35 AM

HardThought in Kansas said:

To Chris in London:
Most murders in the United States are committed by the very people Mr. Elder talks about, the people from single parent families.

Over 80% of the violent crime in the US is committed by the same people, yet you think it can't be blamed on the disintegration of the family unit.

When you live near a big city and see what is going on you will notice that race is never mentioned in the story but the pictures of the suspects does not lie.

I am not rascist, I am a realist. As Burt Perlutsky stated "Murder is where the black community truly excels." And it is doubly sad that most of those murders are black on black.

The liberal policies are directly responsible for endorsing, condoning and rewarding the disintigration of the family unit.

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 2:37 AM

Chris in London replied:

Hi Hard Thought (Vincenza, Italy)

My comment was directly related to the Dorner case. Seeing as Dorner's father died when he was young, I fail to see how it bears any relevance to Dorner's actions.

Mr Dorner's manifesto was quite clear - it was the LAPD he was annoyed at, not the absence of his father. Mr Dorner also stated that he developed severe depression as a direct result of his experience with the LAPD. Whether he received treatment for it is not clear. Mental health disorders are a problem within the black community and it's one that is often not acknowledged and goes untreated. I consider that to be a bigger problem than the family unit because people who are sound in mind and body make more responsible decisions and are not influenced by policies, be they liberal or conservative.

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 5:18 AM

wjm in Colorado replied:

The LAPD is a convienient excuse for a warped mind. His problems were the result of a life long indoctrination and liberal education (indoctrination). This mentally deranged miscreant didn't get his trophy from the LAPD, and so he went over the edge. The manifesto made it clear this imbecile had a chip on his shoulder and expected to be rewarded even in failure.

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 10:20 AM

HardThought in Kansas said:

That is Burt Prelutsky, not Perlutsky.

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 2:39 AM

eagle67 in Tallinn, Estonia said:

Chris in London, I understand what you're trying to get across, but how can you possibly say that "mental health" is a bigger problem than the family unit? When the family, which is the fundamental building block of a stable society, is weakened or destroyed, chaos and vice result. Was Dorner a life-long mental health case? I think not. He himself claimed that his depression (which you apparently equate with bad mental health) stemmed from his alleged treatment by the LAPD. There are numerous studies showing that depression and other mental and societal issues are a direct result of poor training and/or bad family relationships. The breakdown of the family unit is the primary cause of today's mental and social issues.

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 10:34 AM

ToddMac in The Great Northwest said:

Folks, I think Chris is probably in London, CT or KY...not England...and writes like a well-read American...and I agree with him/her?...on certain points. I think the actual percentages of babies born out of wedlock is 29 % White, 53 % Latinos and 73 % of Black children. Studies have shown direct correlation between these percentages and educational and economic factors. Mr. Dorner may have been raised in a fatherless household, but he sought positive role models in his life, as a police officer, and as a military officer in the US Navy; both organizations built on hierarchy, chain of command and strong positive male role models. I find it curious that Mr Dorner's descent into madness came so soon after his contract as a Reserve Naval Officer with the US Navy ended. What has he been doing since he was let go from the LAPD? There are years missing from his story. He felt betrayed by his fellow officers, but to wait that long to exact revenge? Was it his military affiliation that kept him under control and feeling like a part of the whole for the greater good? Mr Elder does make his point about the media not identifying the crime with the race, unless the perpetrator is white. Ever read about the daily murders in Chicago? The liberal media under the thumb of the Democrat political machine never report the race(s) involved, at least in news stories I see. Who is getting shot in Chicago? Mostly fatherless Black kids shooting other fatherless Black kids. Isn't Obama in Chicago right now? He'll go fix it, won't he? Not a snowball's chance in Hades...

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 3:34 PM

rippedchef in sc said:

I think Mr Elder is simply stating the obvious-that a society without strong men is doomed.Men were designed to be the heads of homes and leaders of families-not that everything can be blamed on the lack thereof,only that there is a clear correlation between out of control youths and fatherlessness

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 5:19 PM