Discover more from Courageous Police Leadership with Travis Yates
While the talking heads in the media and politics spend their time moaning over racist policing, over policing and the disparities in the criminal justice system, they oddly ignore the one factor that causes much of that disparity and the crime issues in our country.
Early in my law enforcement career I saw this as a major factor. I would find a kid in the middle of the night doing bad things and when I questioned where he lived, he never said dad. It was either mom or grandparents. I remember thinking at the time what this country would be like when the now absent parents (with grandparents raising kids) turned into the grandparents.
Three decades later our country is experiencing exactly what happens when family and fathers are absent in the lives of children.
To be clear, speaking about absent fathers makes those that make a living off of blaming cops very, very upset. The National Chapter of Black Lives Matter has blatantly lamented against the traditional family structure.Their agenda boldly claims to "disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure."
I cannot emphasize enough the destruction that sick mantra causes so let me begin with what Senator Barack Obama said at the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago when he was running for President.
Of all the rocks upon which we build our lives, we are reminded today that family is the most important. And we are called to recognize and honor how critical every father is to that foundation. They are teachers and coaches. They are mentors and role models. They are examples of success and the men who constantly push us toward it.
But if we are honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that what too many fathers also are is missing — missing from too many lives and too many homes. They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it.
You and I know how true this is in the African-American community. We know that more than half of all black children live in single-parent households, a number that has doubled — doubled — since we were children. We know the statistics — that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and 20 times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.
How many times in the last year has this city lost a child at the hands of another child? How many times have our hearts stopped in the middle of the night with the sound of a gunshot or a siren? How many teenagers have we seen hanging around on street corners when they should be sitting in a classroom? How many are sitting in prison when they should be working, or at least looking for a job? How many in this generation are we willing to lose to poverty or violence or addiction? How many?
Yes, we need more cops on the street. Yes, we need fewer guns in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. Yes, we need more money for our schools, and more outstanding teachers in the classroom, and more after-school programs for our children. Yes, we need more jobs and more job training and more opportunity in our communities.
But we also need families to raise our children. We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception. We need them to realize that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child — it’s the courage to raise one.
The future President never mentioned this again but it rings even more true today. The National Center for Fathering lists these sobering statistics:
63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (U.S. Dept. Of Health/Census) – 5 times the average.
90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes – 32 times the average.
85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average. (Center for Disease Control)
80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes –14 times the average. (Justice & Behavior, Vol. 14, p. 403-26)
71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average. (National Principals Association Report)
Father Factor in Education – Fatherless children are twice as likely to drop out of school.
Children with Fathers who are involved are 40% less likely to repeat a grade in school.
Children with Fathers who are involved are 70% less likely to drop out of school.
Children with Fathers who are involved are more likely to get A’s in school.
75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes – 10 times the average.
70% of youths in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average. (U.S. Dept. of Justice, Sept. 1988)
85% of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average. (Fulton Co. Georgia, Texas Dept. of Correction)
Moms Are Special
While it's Fathers Day, I don't want to ignore the importance of mothers. In my career, I can honestly say that some of the bravest and most hardworking people I ever met were mothers doing all they could to raise their children. They often did it in abject poverty, working multiple jobs, and knowing that they had no help from the former man in their life.
There are many great stories about kids being raised by single parents that beat the odds and do great things but there are just as many tragedies that could have been avoided if only a man would have done what a man should do.
This is the great dilemma in our country and when you look at the violent crime in any city, take a look at the number of absent fathers in that same area and you can only come to one conclusion.
Dr. Travis Yates is a commander with a large municipal police department and author of “The Courageous Police Leader: A Survival Guide for Combating Cowards, Chaos & Lies.” His risk management and leadership seminars have been taught to thousands of professionals across the world. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy with a Doctorate Degree in Strategic Leadership and the CEO of the Courageous Police Leadership Alliance.