The Common Denominator of Violence: Fathers Who Abandon Children
In virtually every case of violence in America, the assailant had no present or functional father, and the strongest link between every social and cultural problem is, irrefutably, absentee fathers.
“The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families. … In vain are schools, academies, and universities instituted, if loose principles and licentious habits are impressed upon children in their earliest years.” —John Adams (1778)
Rhetorical question: “Why is our culture suddenly producing so many young men who want to murder innocent people? Could things like fatherlessness, the breakdown of families, isolation from civil society, or the glorification of violence be contributing factors?” —Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)
In advance of Father’s Day each year, I am reminded, first and foremost, of the role I’m called to be by God the Father — a father to my children. But when I think about “fatherhood,” the word invokes my relationship with the person who indelibly imprinted my own life as a father. My “Old Man,” as I affectionately called him (and as my sons call me today), was the “founding father” in our home. My father was always a devoted husband to my mom, and he was always there for my siblings and me. He was a real man, a man’s man in every sense of the word, and I thank God for his influence in my life.
My father had flaws, as do I. In fact, I may have perfected some of his flaws. But these he always endeavored to make right, as do I. I’ve said it many times: It is my objective to avoid repeating generational mistakes, but inevitably that means I will make “new and improved” mistakes.
But my father was always there — loving, providing, leading, and disciplining.
Unfortunately today, intact families are becoming the exception rather than the long standard rule.
Looking at the data of the past decade, our Thomas Gallatin noted last year, “In 2014, data showed that over 40% of babies were born out of wedlock, with that number jumping to an upsetting 70% of black babies.” He added, “Furthermore, for women under the age of 30 bearing children, 65.7% of babies were born out of wedlock.” And children growing up in fractured homes are more likely to repeat the same destructive patterns.
Family researcher Tim Goeglin notes: “When politicians, activists, and social commentators talk about inequality, they often leave out the critical role married parents play in keeping children above the poverty line. There is evidence that the breakdown of the nuclear family in American society is, in fact, the primary reason why the gulf between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ has widened over the past fifty years.”
Our culture analyst Willie Richardson quotes actor and family advocate Denzel Washington: “If a father is not in the home, the boy will find one in the streets.” Willie, who has spent years working with troubled juveniles, has documented the consequences of fatherless homes. According to the latest data on the importance of fathers:
- 90% of all homeless and runaways come from fatherless homes
- 85% of all fatherless children exhibit behavioral disorders
- 85% of youth in prison come from fatherless homes
- 75% of adolescents being treated for drug abuse are from fatherless homes
- 75% of adolescent patients in substance abuse centers don’t have involved dads
- 75% of rapists motivated by misplaced anger don’t have a dad while growing up
- 71% of all high school dropouts don’t have a dad
- 70% of juveniles in state-regulated institutions come from fatherless homes
- 63% of youth who commit suicide do not have a father in the home
- 57% of the fatherless homes are black households, 31% are Hispanic, and 20% are white.
He concludes: “Working with juveniles in detention over the years has confirmed what I knew statistically, that dads are critical to the well-being of the next generation. Without exception, 99% of black juveniles I work with have no involved fathers. Fathers provoke their children to wrath and discouragement when they exit stage right and leave them behind.”
Moreover, in light of all the political lip service from Joe Biden and his ilk in recent weeks devoted, ostensibly, to stopping violence, the connection between the surge in violence, which they call a “gun problem,” is irrefutably linked, at its core, to the absence of fathers in families. And the absence of fathers is irrefutably linked to disastrous social policies and failed government programs supported primarily by suburban white leftists, which are responsible for keeping generations of poor, mostly black Americans ensnared and enslaved on urban poverty plantations.
The Democrat Party has both seeded and institutionalized poverty over the last half-century. Democrats are, simultaneously, the historical author and political beneficiary of keeping poor people in bondage to the welfare state — the most enduring racial exploitation architecture in America. But they will never connect the dots on policy cause and social effect because they have built their political empire on subservience and dependence.
As Thomas Sowell observed: “Many successful political careers have been built on giving blacks ‘favors’ that look good on the surface but do lasting damage in the long run. One of these ‘favors’ was the welfare state. A vastly expanded welfare state in the 1960s destroyed the black family, which had survived centuries of slavery and generations of racial oppression.”
There was a time not too long ago when a Democrat president, Barack Obama, acknowledged the importance of fathers: “Of all the rocks upon which we build our lives … family is the most important. And we are called to recognize and honor how critical every father is to that foundation. They are teachers and coaches. They are mentors and role models. They are examples of success and the men who constantly push us toward it. … But if we are honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that what too many fathers are is missing — missing from too many lives and too many homes. They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it. You and I know how true this is in the African-American community. We know that more than half of all black children live in single-parent households, a number that has doubled — doubled — since we were children. We know the statistics — that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and 20 times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.”
Obama stated further, “Yes, we need more cops on the street.” But he insisted, “We also need families to raise our children.” He concluded: “We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception. We need them to realize that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child — it’s the courage to raise one.”
The understanding that intact families are the foundation of society is time honored. In the words of Marcus Tullius Cicero (circa 50 BC): “The first principle of society consists in the marriage tie, the next in children, the next in a family within one roof, where everything is in common. This society gives rise to the city, and is, as it were, the nursery of the commonwealth.”
Obama’s affirmation of fatherhood and family starkly contrasts the progressive policy outcomes sought by his feckless successor, Biden, and his leftist cadres.
Today, leftists are accelerating their attack on families because they know the most effective method to erode Individual Liberty, the first pillar of Liberty, is to undermine the integrity of faith and family.
Consequently, Democrats and their failed socialist policies pose the greatest domestic threat to American Liberty.
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The implications are devastating for black families.
Typical of their deluded mindset is this from a Rutgers University radical black feminist, Brittney Cooper: “We don’t need traditional nuclear families for Black thriving. As one raised by my mother, grandmother, and aunts, I can attest.”
In response, culture analyst Delano Squires declared: “I don’t know why they are so committed to going against the natural Family unit, men and women raising their biological children, which is the bedrock of any society. People like Brittany Cooper dismiss the importance of fathers, particularly the black fathers. They mockingly refer to them as ‘the Magical black daddy myth.’ They promote the idea of individual reparations accounts for Black people that white people will pay into. And that gets at the heart of this problem. The left thinks that the biggest issues facing the black community are racism and wealth inequality. And that is why their preferred solutions are bigger government and better white people. Children need their fathers, they need strong families, and the bigger and stronger the family grows, the less need they have for government and their individual daily lives.”
So, what does the data on fatherless homes tell us about who is committing the vast majority of violent crime in America?
Sociologist Brad Wilcox at the University of Virginia affirms: “Sen. Mike Lee is right to wonder if fatherlessness and family breakdown are factors in the tidal wave of violence that has engulfed America since 2020. We know that young men who are raised without the benefit of good fathers are more likely to engage in violent behavior.”
Mary Eberstadt, one the our nation’s foremost culture analysts, notes in her study “Critical Father Theory: "America’s crime problem is a father problem. This is one of our country’s deepest and most denied family secrets. Everybody knows it, and everybody has known it for a very long time.”
This bears repeating and remembering: “America’s crime problem is a father problem.”
Lynne Marie Kohm, professor of family law at Regent University School of Law, notes that there are five family factors common to those who commit violent acts: “very little parental involvement; some kind of stress on the child; a whole lot of time alone; loss of a sense of truth; and an incredible lack of remorse.”
Our friend Tony Perkins at the Family Research Council had this to say about the next time some young sociopath is involved in a mass assault: After asking, “Where did he get a gun?” we need to be asking, “Where did he lose a father figure?”
When it comes to the propensity for sociopathic violence, the most significant red flag is missing fathers. The lack of fathers in families is irrefutably connected to criminal violence.
Today, 57.6% of black children, 31.2% of Hispanic children, and 20.7% of white children are living in homes without their biological fathers.
And the consequence of the epidemic of fatherlessness to black children?
Black people commit 90% of interracial felonies — black on white, Hispanic, or Asian — despite representing just 13% of our population, and despite the age group of the assailant profile representing just 3% of the population. That would include the commission of 21% of hate crimes, as defined by the Department of Justice. Further, 88% of the suspects who murdered black people are also black. Almost half of the 21,000 people murdered last year were black, and almost all of them were killed by other black people. Those grim statistics describe the real epidemic of violence.
But there is a glimmer of light on the horizon. In a recent report from the Institute for Family Studies, researcher Nicholas Zill writes, “A funny thing happened on the way to extinction: although not out of intensive care, the supposed corpse of the two-parent family seems to be breathing new life.”
He observed that recent data indicates the percentage of children living in two-parent homes has risen to 70%, while the percentage of children living in single-parent homes dropped from 28% to 25%. Within the black community, the number of high school seniors living in a home with their biological fathers rose from 24% to 30%. That’s still a very low number, but it indicates movement in the right direction.
However, according to the latest U.S. Census data, 18.3 million children, one in four, live without a biological, step-, or adoptive father in the home.
While Father’s Day should be a day of celebration, it urgently needs to be a call to action. An almost universal common denominator for all the manifestations of social entropy afflicting our nation today is homes without fathers.
Finally, I’ll leave you with this observation from Lieutenant Governor Winsome Sears of Virginia, a Republican woman who is also black, which is to say an imminent threat to the Demo status quo: “America is in a battle for her children. We weep for the breakdown of the family. We weep for fatherless homes. We weep for the lack of respect for fellow men. We weep over the countless Black men murdering each other. We weep at the onslaught against the Liberty of thought and expression. Indeed we have left goodness, gentleness, and kindness behind, only to be left loathing, crudeness, greed, and sloth.”
P.S. We have been on the frontlines defending Liberty for 25 years and can’t hold that line without Patriots like YOU. Please support our 2022 Independence Day Campaign today!
(Note: If you are a father, or want to support fatherhood initiatives, I encourage you to visit these good marriage and family advocacy organizations: The National Fatherhood Initiative, the National Center for Fathering, Focus on the Family, the American Family Association, and the Family Research Council. There are great mentoring organizations like the one founded by my friends John Smithbaker and Scott MacNaughton, Fathers in the Field, and great father-coaching resources at All Pro Dad.)
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Pro Deo et Libertate — 1776
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