Prentiss Smith, Shreveport Times, November 16, 2019
It is a sad situation when innocent people of this country are not safe in their homes and when babies die on their couches, or in their mother’s arms. That is what people are dealing with in Shreveport and all around this country. It is an epidemic of random violence that has left so many in a state of shock. The random murders, particularly in the black communities, are something that no one really understands, but have to deal with on a daily basis. Acts of random violence are all too real in many communities.
There are many communities in this country that are dealing with what many call, young hoodlums, who have no respect for themselves or for anyone else. The recent attacks by gangs of young men at different restaurants is particularly alarming and egregious. Many of these attacks are perpetrated by young men who have either dropped out of school, or have been involved in low level criminal activity. They seem to have no direction, no discipline, or no hope. They are more likely to be black, unemployed, and unemployable, which is a shame in a country that has so much to offer. Unfortunately, many of these individuals have become after thoughts.
The main problem has to do with home training and upbringing. Young men, especially young black men, are increasingly growing up in homes where there are no strong male influences. There are too many children, especially black children, who are being born out of wedlock, which leads to a lot of the pathologies that are seen in urban and black communities. It’s a fact that if young people, especially young men are not engaged positively, they are going to exhibit some of the behaviors that have become all too prevalent in the country today.
Young men, especially young black men are filling up jails all over this country, and there is documented evidence that a majority of them come from fatherless/broken homes. If there could be a change to this one dynamic, it could change the outcome of many of these young lives. Seventy percent of all children born in black households are born out of wedlock.
These pathologies will not change unless and until policy makers and politicians get serious about targeting the problems of poverty, crime, and the demise of the black family. Men are going to have to be men. There are just too many daddies and not enough fathers. Real men like the “OG’s” of the past have become an endangered species. They just don’t exist anymore, and that is the tragedy for many of these young men who are committing these random acts of violence that grieve us all. At the end of the day, random violence is more symptomatic of a bigger problem—no fathers, no discipline, and no direction because there is not a strong male presence in so many of these homes. That has to change in order for these problems to be solved.