Man blames state of American Families on .....Men

Started by Stallywood, Jul 25, 2005, 01:17 PM

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This guy sees the problem, but has not a clue about why it is. I e-mailed him concerning his  ignorance about black families.


July 7, 2005
Dad's Empty Chair
My sister, Sandy, and I were surrounded by family-oriented men when we were growing up in suburban New Jersey. There was my father, Chester, an extremely hard-working upholsterer and slipcover cutter; my Uncle Breeze, who taught me how to box ("Quit jumping around like a grasshopper"); my Uncle William, who raised five kids (four boys and a girl) in Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, and later in East Orange, N.J.; and my Uncle Robert, who was an Essex County probation officer.

There were grandfathers who took us to baseball games, and older cousins, and a crew of boisterous characters with names like Moe, Bubby and Earl Love, who worked for my father in his upholstery shops and were as close to my sister and me as blood relatives.

Many of those men are gone now, and the rest are old. Collectively they had a profound influence on how my sister and I viewed the world, and how we've led our lives.

These thoughts came to mind as I was checking out yet another killing of a black child, this time the stabbing death in Brooklyn of a 15-year-old named Christopher Rose. He was walking toward a subway station on Saturday with a group of three friends, one of whom had an iPod. The desire for someone else's iPod (or cellphone or sneakers), in the twisted thinking of the "Lord of the Flies" street culture, is reason enough to murder somebody.

On Saturday it was Christopher Rose's turn to be sacrificed on this altar of madness. As many as a dozen teenagers closed in on Christopher and his friends, beating them and stealing the iPod and other valuables. One of the teens stabbed Christopher twice in the chest.

The attack occurred in the late afternoon on a busy street. When the attackers fled, like a school of sharks receding after a kill, they left behind only grief where a promising youngster once had been.

It was a nightmare that Christopher's father, Errol Rose, had tried for years to ward off. Mr. Rose, who is 53, had always feared that "this current of evil" - the street violence that has taken so many black youngsters - would someday claim his son.

Crime has eased in the past several years, but the toll on the young in many black communities is still horrific. And I can't think of this continuing slaughter of black youngsters without also thinking about the mass flight of black men from their family responsibilities, especially the obligation to look after their children.

Most black people are not poor, and most are law-abiding. But the vacuum left by this exodus of black men from the family scene has nevertheless been devastating, and its destructive effects are felt by entire communities.

Mr. Rose was so concerned about Christopher's safety that he had moved to a small town in Pennsylvania. But he would bring the boy back to Brooklyn to visit relatives on most weekends.

"I was trying to hide him away from all this violence," Mr. Rose said yesterday. "I knew that someday, somehow, somebody was going to approach him and try to hurt him."

There are plenty of youngsters who grow up fine without a father in the home. But that's not a good argument in favor of fatherlessness. Most of the youngsters getting into trouble and preying on others come from fatherless homes, as Mr. Rose pointed out. "There's no one out there," he said, "to tell them: 'Hello! Wake up. You guys have to stop doing what you're doing.' "

Kids who grow up without a father never experience that special sense of security and the enhanced feeling of belonging that come from having a father in the home. So they seek it elsewhere. They don't get that sweet feeling of triumph that comes from a father's approval, or the warmth of the old man's hug, or the wisdom to be drawn from his discipline.

I don't have the statistics to prove it, but black kids would be tremendously better off if the cultural winds changed and more fathers felt the need to come home.

For me, it's an easy call: Moms are crucial. Dads, too.

Mr. Rose said he hoped his son's death would help focus attention on the problems associated with children who grow up without fathers. "There's a crisis as far as the men are concerned," he said. "They've tended to neglect a lot of things. So we've been failing these kids, and I'd like to help turn that around."

E-mail: [email protected]
David Brooks is on vacation.

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A Gentleman is a man who consciously serves women. I prefer the golden rule.

Behind every great man, is a
Gentleman is a man who consciously serves women. I prefer the golden rule.

Behind every great man, is a

Women who say men won't commit, usually aren't worth committing to.

Conspiracy Theory

Good post Stally.   :wink:
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~ Mark Twain


I always take Bob Herbert with a grain of salt. Sometimes I get it, sometimes I don't. I have to keep in mind he grew up in the suburbs.I have no idea where He's been since then. I've seen a different picture in cities  than he often paints, but I have no "glorious solutions" that are any better than his.

Soooooooo. What did you write to him??


That welfare caused many black men to be absent, you know, no money if a man is in the house.
Gentleman is a man who consciously serves women. I prefer the golden rule.

Behind every great man, is a

Women who say men won't commit, usually aren't worth committing to.

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