The Chicago Media reported that the rising Chicago homicide rate hit a devastating 436 with the death of a father, Carlos Alexander, caught in the cross-fire of gangs. The blame is misdirected toward the lack of available Chicago Police Officers. This isn’t the root cause of the mounting homicide epidemic. The causal connection is father absence. The correlation between fatherless children and the rate of violence is not something to be taken lightly, and will not be corrected by putting more police officers on the street to act as a band-aid for a much larger social issue.
The structure of the family unit is threatened by gender bias and parental alienation that prevent many good fathers from staying involved in their children’s lives. We must restore fatherhood as a societal norm in our community to decrease crime. Many fathers do not stand a chance against the gender perception that they lack the ability to care for their children. This flawed belief must be modified through revised social thought and legislative reform to provide them the opportunity to do so. The single strongest predictor of crime in America is father absence, not the amount of police officers on the street.
Over half of the homicides in Chicago this year were committed by members of gangs comprised of many fatherless youth. Without the presence of a biological father, a child or teen will instinctively search for guidance from someone who represents a strong leadership role. Too frequently, those children will find the guidance they desperately need in street gangs. The violent culture of gangs builds its membership by feeding off of young fatherless victims. A boy can’t be what he can’t see.
In a previous discussion on my radio show with President Barack Obama, he correctly spoke of the need of paternal support in modifying the system. The President stated:
“The government can help to make sure that we don’t have a disincentive for fathers to be involved; make sure that our welfare programs for example are designed in such a way that they don’t penalize fathers participating”.
By allowing fathers to assume their given role as providers and protectors for their children, we can encourage a positive lifestyle guided by responsible parenting. Critical studies have found that father-absent boys commit far more felonies than did the father-present groups. It is clear that the presence of a father is imperative to the emotional and safe development of a child.
According to Chicago Media, we have more police officers per capita than Los Angeles and New York City, and yet, Chicago’s homicide rate is still higher than both major cities. It is crucial that we do not pacify this problem by simply snipping at the branches by placing more officers in the field. We need to cut into the roots of the problem and end the social epidemic of father absenteeism.
Records show that this retroactive tactic of increasing the police force will not be the solution. Just five years ago, the number of Chicago homicides totaled 500. At that time, there were approximately 1,000 more police officers than there are today. As the total number of homicides continues to increase, it is time we initiate the obvious solution of restoring fatherhood in our communities.
Until all fathers and children are provided the opportunity to engage in positive relationships, other proposed remedies are just temporary solutions. The death of Alexander exceeds the total homicides from last year with two months remaining in 2012. It is crucial that we tap into the resources of responsible fatherhood and take proactive measures to eliminate gender bias that creates father absence, resulting in the horrific homicides in Chicago.
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