By Larry Elder
[ Larry Elder's ] latest book, "Dear Father,
Dear Son," focuses on the importance of fathers — and the increasing
number of children who grow up in homes without one. Fox's Juan Williams
understands this — sort of. He gets the "what," but not the "why."
Williams, in a Wall Street Journal piece called "Race and the Gun
Debate," writes: "Gun-related violence and murders are concentrated
among blacks and Latinos in big cities. Murders with guns are the No. 1
cause of death for African-American men between the ages of 15 and 34.
But talking about race in the context of guns would also mean taking on a
subject that can't be addressed by passing a law: the family-breakdown
issues that lead too many minority children to find social status and
power in guns.
Williams is, of course, right. There is a direct link between no
father in the home and an increased chance that the child will drop out
of high school, go on welfare and have a criminal record. This is
particularly acute in the black community, where over 70 percent of
black kids are born outside of wedlock. In some communities, like
Southeast Washington, D.C, a staggering 84 percent of children live in
homes without a father.
Roland Warren is the former head of National Fatherhood Initiative.
Warren, a black man, read "Dear Father, Dear Son." He called it
"powerful" and that it ought to be "required reading" in middle and high
schools in America. And Vincent DiCaro, vice president of the NFI, told
The Washington Times: "(People) look at a child in need, in poverty or
failing in school, and ask, 'What can we do to help?' But what we do is
ask, 'Why does that child need help in the first place?' And the answer
is often it's because (the child lacks) a responsible and involved
Williams gets the connection between no dads and violence. "The
statistics are staggering," he writes. "In 2009, for example, the
Centers for Disease Control reported that 54 percent of all murders
committed, overwhelmingly with guns, are murders of black people. Black
people are about 13 percent of the population. The Justice Department
reports that between 1980 and 2008, 'blacks were six times more likely
than whites to be homicide victims and seven times more likely than
whites to commit homicide.'"
This brings us the "why." Liberals like Williams need to acknowledge
the damage the welfare state — and their support of it — has done to
The rest of Mr Elders' very worthwhile article is here.