Editorial

Fatherless society, not racism, is the issue

Friday, October 27, 2017

The NFL anthem protests continue without an end in sight. Itís time somebody says what needs to be said so this country can heal and move on. If youíre ready for it, this is it....

In order to understand the protests we must understand whatís being protested. Too many owners, too many Americans, are willing to blindly go along under the banner of free speech. Free speech is not the issue. Whatís at issue is a perception that America is fundamentally a racist society. Colin Kaepernick said as much when he started all of this. He said he didnít want to stand for an anthem that represented a country that oppressed black people. To understand where heís coming from is to get at the root of the problem.

Weíve been over the statistics. Kaepernick believes black people are being indiscriminately gunned down by police. The fact is white people are twice as likely to be killed by police as black people. The liberal media would have you believe thatís proof of racism just because there are more than four times as many white folks as there are black folks in this country. As Iíve explained in a prior column, the racial makeup of the country has nothing to do with it. Were that the case, one could argue that the NFL itself is racist since itís 80 percent black.

The sad fact is black people commit crimes at far above their representation in the population. For example, 52 percent of the murders are committed by black people. Itís not racist to point that out. Itís just a sad reality. Instead of looking at the number of blacks in prison or those killed by police and assuming racism, we should dig down and try to figure out why those crime stats are so out of kilter.

Thatís what leads us to the crux of the problem. Roughly 72 percent of black children born today will be born out of wedlock. That means, in all likelihood, thereís not a father in their day-to-day lives. Ninety percent of all homeless children are from fatherless homes. Same for runaway children. Eighty-five percent of children with behavior disorders come from fatherless homes. Seventy-one percent of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes. Of the kids in rehab centers, 75 percent come from fatherless homes. And the statistic that should hit us all between the eyes, 85 percent of all youths who end up in prison come from fatherless homes. This all according to research by The Fatherless Generation.

That, my friends, is the problem. Not that America is a racist country. Not that America is oppressing black people. Fatherlessness. That is the problem. And this is something the NFL is in the perfect position to help solve. These men are role models for millions of American boys, especially black boys.

The irony is Colin Kaepernickís father left his mother before he was born. He ended up being adopted by white parents. Some kinda racist society he grew up in, huh? Many in the NFL who kneel know exactly what the problem is. Marshawn Lynchís father has been convicted six times and is serving a 24-year prison sentence for burglary. He could be a shining example of how to overcome such odds. Michael Bennett of the Seahawks is raising three girls. Why not highlight that instead of protesting the anthem?

Instead of taking a knee, how about take a stand. Use your influence to end fatherless households. Thatís how you can help heal this country instead of tearing it apart.

©Philip Carr ďPhilĒ Valentine