Sociologists have, at least to date, failed to grasp what lies behind this problem. This is largely because of their foolish contention that there are no inherent differences between men and women. They continue to believe, or pretend to believe, that gender differences are merely “socially constructed.” I believe otherwise.
A man has as an inherent component of his being a need to be useful in some form of occupation. He also needs to provide for his children if he has any. The man who is able-bodied and does not work does not need to be taught to feel worthless. He feels that way without instruction. That is why a man is less likely to be driven to unemployment by drink than to drink by unemployment. That feeling of worthlessness similarly accompanies the man who does not care for his children. And it need not be taught to him by others. He imagines what people should be saying to him long before the first aspersions are cast.
For some forty years now the government has been providing incentives for (predominantly minority) men not to work and for women not to keep them around to care for their children. This idea that they are not needed as workers or as fathers cuts against their nature as men. It is a very dangerous pair of ideas with a very dangerous pair of consequences – only one of which has been addressed in this short essay.
The violence that is committed in an act of looting is not born of some idea that a man is entitled to the things kept from him by historical oppression. The violence against another man’s place of work is born of his own sense of worthlessness for having not fulfilled his responsibilities as an able-bodied man. This non-sense about oppression is merely an afterthought – a form of rationalization in the Freudian sense. If used often enough it becomes more than an individual malady. It becomes a cultural malady as well.
But the personal violence exhibited by minority men against other minority men is not so easily explained by economic oppression. Enlightened minds can easily grasp the effect of illegitimacy - and I speak here of illegitimate fathers because there are no illegitimate children – on minorities raised in single parent homes. But I believe the separation of fathers from their children explains, not just the transmission, but the genesis of violence in minority communities.
Sociologists write volumes on the scores of black men executed annually in the criminal justice system. But they are silent regarding the thousands of minorities killed at the hands of other minorities annually. Such a thing would not be possible unless black males had come to hold other black males in such low regard. And that is something that, in turn, would not be possible unless they also held themselves in very low regard.
So I am not at all impressed that, on Father’s Day, Barack Obama chose to chastise black men for failing to take care of their children. It takes little courage to state the obvious fact that their absence will make things tougher on the current generation of children raised in single parent homes.
I would be far more impressed were there any indication that Barack Obama understood the impact the War on Poverty has had on the current generation of fathers who have been displaced by government programs. Of course, if he did understand that he might be tempted to admit that he, too, is contributing to a very complex problem. And there is every indication that, if elected president, he will continue to contribute to the problem and force the rest of us to contribute our “fair share” too.
Jeremiah Wright recently found himself embroiled in controversy for suggesting that the government invented the AIDS virus to kill black people. It would have been closer to the truth to say that was the reason they have injected the virus of government aid into minority communities.