Elder: Father’s Day: Fatherlessness Is America’s Top Domestic Problem

Poverty and crime, drug issues, dropout rates, slums have all grown in the black community since the Great Society created by President Johnson.  It took fathers out of black homes, it took real jobs from the community, forcing folks to sell drugs to survive—and use drugs to get rid of the pain.

Fathers are important in the life of sons and daughters—it can not be made up by an more energetic Mother, a series of drop in Dads, or a school system that is geared to demeaning and failing black kids.

End the government programs that force men out of their children’s lives and schools will be more successful, less crime, less drug use—and much more respect.

“A powerful new documentary called “The Streets Were My Father” features three Chicago men, two Hispanics and one Black, who grew up without fathers. All three did hard time for serious offenses, including murder.

The film, with no narrator, just lets the men talk. None blames “systemic racism.” All concede they made bad choices, but choices nonetheless. All talked about the pain they felt growing up without a father figure to instruct, scold, guide, motivate and instill confidence and direction. I highly recommend it.

In Barack Obama’s first book, “Dreams From My Father,” he talked about the hole in his soul, having last seen his father, briefly, when Obama was 10: “There was only one problem: my father was missing. He had left paradise (Hawaii), and nothing that my mother or grandparents told me could obviate that single, unassailable fact. Their stories didn’t tell me why he had left. They couldn’t describe what it might have been like had he stayed.”

HAPPY FATHERS DAY!!!

Father’s Day: Fatherlessness Is America’s Top Domestic Problem

By Larry Elder, PJ Media,  6/17/21 

A powerful new documentary called “The Streets Were My Father” features three Chicago men, two Hispanics and one Black, who grew up without fathers. All three did hard time for serious offenses, including murder.

The film, with no narrator, just lets the men talk. None blames “systemic racism.” All concede they made bad choices, but choices nonetheless. All talked about the pain they felt growing up without a father figure to instruct, scold, guide, motivate and instill confidence and direction. I highly recommend it.

In Barack Obama’s first book, “Dreams From My Father,” he talked about the hole in his soul, having last seen his father, briefly, when Obama was 10: “There was only one problem: my father was missing. He had left paradise (Hawaii), and nothing that my mother or grandparents told me could obviate that single, unassailable fact. Their stories didn’t tell me why he had left. They couldn’t describe what it might have been like had he stayed.”

My brothers and I were fortunate. We grew up with two strong, hardworking parents, both born in the Jim Crow South. But when I grow up, most kids came from two-parent households. My father, on the other hand, never knew his biological father. A man named Elder was in his life longer than most of his mother’s boyfriends. He was an alcoholic, who routinely beat my father’s mother and would beat my father when he tried to intervene. Dad’s illiterate mother sided with her boyfriend during a quarrel with my dad and threw him out of the house at the age of 13. He never returned. This was in Athens, Georgia, deep in the Jim Crow South, at the beginning of the Great Depression.

He took a series of menial jobs before becoming a Pullman porter for the railroads. As a porter, he traveled all over the country and was amazed when he traveled to California, where he eventually relocated, and could actually walk in the front door of a restaurant and get served. My father joined the Marines, did duty in Guam during World War II and became a staff sergeant in charge of making sure the “colored” troops were fed. When he returned, he sought a job as a cook but was told, “We don’t hire (N-word)s.” So, he worked two jobs as a janitor and cooked for a white family on the weekends. After a grueling day of work, he attended night school two or three times each week to get his GED. He took courses on restaurant management and then started a small cafe when he was 47 years old, an ancient age for a first-time entrepreneur. The cafe was successful. He owned the property and bought some rental property before retiring in his early 80s.

He tolerated no excuses and always gave my brothers and me the following advice: “Hard work wins. You get out of life what you put into it. You cannot control the outcome, but you are 100% in control of the effort. Before you complain about what somebody said or did to you, go to the nearest mirror and ask yourself, ‘What could I have done to change the outcome?’ And, no matter how hard you work, how good you are, bad things will happen. How you respond to those bad things will tell your mother and me if we raised a man.”

I wrote a book about the eight-hour conversation I had with this crusty old Marine, whose old-school discipline my brothers and I did not appreciate at the time. The hardback is called “Dear Father, Dear Son,” and the paperback is called “A Lot Like Me.”

Several readers who, like my dad, grew up without a father, wrote to me and said that the book “changed their lives.” Many readers who, like my brothers and me, grew up with tough Depression-era World War II dads said the book changed how they saw their fathers.

Fathers matter.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

Comments

  1. Tracker 1 says

    Having had a career in education of over 30 years that involved grades K-12 I saw first hand the power of the family as a unit – and the loss of that power in single parent homes, whether it was divorce, child out side of marriage, death, or other reasons. There were essentially NO situations where a single parent would have or did better than both parents there and working together. Yes, the Great Society destroyed families by the millions in all races, cultures, economic levels – continues today. Schools have had to pick up the parenting responsibility in almost all areas from how to dress, breakfast, lunch and dinner, behavior training, discipline, hygiene, being responsible. As the government picked up these responsibilities the single parent turned them over almost totally. Now we have multiple generations of “parents” that have no concept of what that means. Kind of a continuation of the children being raised by the village that existed in the past. The difference is that there were consequences for behavior then, and not today. Tough love is more real and functional than most other forms of love. One of these days it will become an accepted form of parenting/society expectation – likely for all of us regardless of whether it is good or bad.

  2. Marcy Berry says

    Families, communities of worship, guilds — all undermined by goverment action in the last few decades. As these sources of support fade, goverment steps in to fill the void. Nobody is surprised. Happy Fathers Day.

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