Fatherless households are the root cause of Chicago’s violence

By John Ruberry

Last weekend was particularly violent in Chicago, 52 people were shot–ten fatally. So far this weekend 30 people have been shot–with a rash of 22 people were wounded during the weekend’s first 12 hours.

Why? Blame usually goes to “guns from Indiana,” poverty, lack of economic opportunity, and police hamstrung by the city’s ACLU consent decree that has led to a dramatic decline in stop-and-frisks.

To an extent there are varying levels of truth with all of these, but there ultimate problem is based on the plethora of fatherless households in Chicago, particularly in the African American community. 

It is subject that is rarely brought up by politicians or the media, although Joe Walsh, a former Illinois Republican congressman who now hosts a talk radio show, did point his finger at the lack of dads at home in Chicago the Monday after that bloody weekend.

“More than half of all black children live in single-parent households, a number that has doubled — doubled — since we were children.” Who said that? Not Walsh, but another Illinoisan, back in 2008, Barack Obama.

And way back in 1995, Patrick Fagan wrote for the Heritage Foundation:

  • Over the past thirty years, the rise in violent crime parallels the rise in families abandoned by fathers.
  • High-crime neighborhoods are characterized by high concentrations of families abandoned by fathers.
  • State-by-state analysis by Heritage scholars indicates that a 10 percent increase in the percentage of children living in single-parent homes leads typically to a 17 percent increase in juvenile crime.
  • The rate of violent teenage crime corresponds with the number of families abandoned by fathers.
  • The type of aggression and hostility demonstrated by a future criminal often is foreshadowed in unusual aggressiveness as early as age five or six.
  • The future criminal tends to be an individual rejected by other children as early as the first grade who goes on to form his own group of friends, often the future delinquent gang.

Babies born in 1995 are now having their own children. 

Apologists for fatherless households point out, rightly, that some mothers and extended families perform a stupendous job in defying the odds and raising children who end up as successes. They also mention that it has been a long time since it was relatively easy for two-parent families to raise children on a single income. True. But that betrays another fact: The black community has been especially hurt by the driving down of wages by illegal immigrants.

Father’s Day is next Sunday. You’ll have something to ponder that day.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.