To the editor,
There are hundreds of young people, middle schoolers and high schoolers, in Franklin holding up signs that say Black Lives Matter.
I wonder if they really understand what this is all about?
There have been several tragedies in which police have used excessive force against Black men. There is no excuse for what they have done, and they should be prosecuted to the highest letter of the law.
The Black Lives Matter movement wants to call attention to all of these incidents in the hopes of making America less “anti-Black” going forward. While commendable, I respectfully submit they are expending energy in the wrong direction. The movement would be much better served to preach about the structure of the family in Black homes.
There is a widespread belief that race is a major explanatory cause of crime. This belief is anchored in the large disparity in crime rates between white people and Black people. However, a closer look at the data shows that the real variable is not race, but family structure and all that it implies in commitment and love between adults.
The incidence of broken families is much higher in the Black community. Douglas Smith and G. Roger Jarjoura, in a major 1988 study of 11,000 individuals, found that “the percentage of single-parent households with children between the ages of 12 and 20 is significantly associated with rates of violent crime and burglary.”
The same study makes clear that the widespread popular assumption that there is an association between race and crime is false. Illegitimacy is the key factor. It is the absence of marriage, and the failure to form and maintain intact families, that explains the incidence of high crime in a neighborhood among white people as well as Black people. This contradicts conventional wisdom.
A ministry for college basketball coaches to assist them in being better mentors for their players found that 77% of all college basketball players came from a one-parent or no-parent family.
As long as there continues to be an absence of Black fathers in the home, there will continue to be problems between police officers and Black men. It has, in my opinion, little to do with prejudice or intentional abuse of a race.
While providing a voice toward justice and equality, men such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Rev. Al Sharpton and countless other Black ministers, have not, in my opinion, done nearly enough to convert young Black men from an early age to understand that their children’s ability to avoid crime, thus avoiding abuse, and some might deem that “obtaining equality,” is in their ability to be fathers in the home.
Getting married, staying married, showing up every day in every facet of a child’s development, showing tough love, dishing out punishment, helping them build character, thus building a family structure that will lead to low crime in Black communities and less need for police involvement of any kind.
Show me that movement and I’ll join you in the streets.