Sometimes, serious problems can be so widespread we learn not to see them. Such is the case with fatherlessness. The National Center for Fatherlessness estimates about a third of American children live absent their biological father.
The statistics are even worse for blacks. Estimates vary, but everyone agrees that somewhere between half and three quarters of black children grow up without their dads.
The epidemic of fatherlessness is so pervasive we tend to forget about it, let in blend into the background when we consider other social ills. Even so, fatherlessness lies near the bottom of our increasingly dire cultural problems.
Take, for instance, the Charlotte riots. Lay aside for a moment questions of police overreach, racism and the like and focus merely on the response we’ve seen to the recent shooting.
Watch any video clip of what is going on in Charlotte and here’s what you’ll see: young men behaving in a heinous and disgusting manner. Look deeper, and you’ll see boys who grew up without fathers or, alternatively, fathers who did little but tutor them in criminality.
We have come to so accept single motherhood and the corresponding levels of fatherlessness that it is now impolite to point out that fatherlessness is deleterious.
Our cultural blindness regarding this issue is convenient. By ignoring fatherlessness as a contributing factor in social decay, other factors can be emphasized. So, narratives about black frustration and anger over mistreatment get put forward to explain the kind of barbaric behavior we have witnessed this week.
The problem, of course, with that narrative is that even if it is true that young black men are frustrated by such situations, frustration alone does not explain the delight in violence and mayhem visibly on display in these videos.
I wrote a few weeks ago about the man in the video below. Look at how, though he is not the father of the boy he is teaching, he is fathering, teaching the young boy how to be a mature, rational, self-controlled individual. I have a hard time imagining that little boy will grow up to be a teenager who laughs wildly while kicking old men to the ground or beats a man begging for mercy. The reason is that the boy in the video has a father and other mature men teaching him how to be.
The denial of the effects of fatherlessness also supports the larger cultural narrative about the irrelevance of men. The idea that fathers are not really necessary for children is everywhere. When we laud women who choose to have a child on their own, we tell people fathers don’t matter. These days, a cat is typically considered a more crucial part of a complete family than a man.
That’s the way some people have wanted it for a long time. The entire feminist project has been devoted to unseating the father from his role in the family. Now that they have achieved their objective we see the results: social decay at every level.
In spite of what all the propaganda claims, fathers are necessary for a stable family. Authority and order in social relationships start with him. Without him, things fall apart as we are now seeing. The patriarchy has been smashed, and along with it the patriarch. And, contrary to feminist promises, once the patriarchy has been smashed, what emerges is not a peaceful world of equality and rainbow-draped unicorns, but the burned out hellscape we see on display on the streets of Charlotte and on the faces of boys and girls wherever the father is missing.
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