Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake made all the right noises Monday night as she discussed her city’s response to the unrest enveloping it after the unexplained death while in police custody of Freddie Gray, but she lost more than a few critics willing to give her the benefit of the doubt when she said that “anyone who wants to add to the calls for peace in our city is welcome” – including Al Sharpton.
Rawlings Blake said “anyone who wants to add to the calls for peace in our city is welcome. I would – if Reverend Sharpton wants to come, parents want to encourage their children to, you know, act within the law, I met with young people this afternoon, young people who want peace, young people who want justice, they were giving their own suggestions on how young people themselves can add a voice , and try to add a sane message, a message that says ‘we don’t – not in our name that you are doing – that you are destroying our city.’ Anybody that wants to be a part of that message, I welcome it.”
If one wants to send a sane message about justice and peace, Al Sharpton is probably among the worst to call. He is an instigator, not a peacemaker, someone who rose out of obscurity by propagating the false Tawana Brawley rape case in which New York city cops were accused of raping a black teenager. Tawana Brawley paid for her part in that big lie. Al Sharpton never has.
Sharpton embraced the “hands up, don’t shoot” mantra meant to indict racist cops and police departments after the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri after he committed a strong-armed robbery on his way to assaulting Officer Darren Wilson. Blessed are the peacemakers, but Al Sharpton is not one of them.
The Sharptons of the world don’t want to solve the real problems of the black community, preferring to exploit back unrest with clueless race-baiting such as when Sharpton and his National Action Network organized the “Justice for All” March in Washington, D.C. last December:
“You thought you’d sweep it under the rug. You thought there’d be no limelight,” he said. “We are going to keep the light on Michael Brown, on Eric Garner, on Tamir Rice, on all of these victims because the only way — I’m sorry, I come out of the 'hood — the only way you make roaches run, you got to cut the light on."
So, Reverend Al, what about the likes of Demario Bailey, the Chicago youth murdered for his Chicago Bulls jacket by other young black men in the streets of President Obama’s Chicago? Cue the chirping crickets. No one mourns the young black men despised by their peers for “acting white” when they stay in school, do their homework, learn to speak in intelligible sentences, and die walking their brother to a school basketball game.
When Mayor Blake spoke of parents wanting “to encourage their children to, you know, act within the law”, she was much closer to the truth of what ails the black community in Baltimore and the rest of America. The operative word here is “parents,” particularly fathers, the absence of which causes more harm to the black community than any rogue or racist cop.
In a late night press conference on Monday, Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts blamed much of the unrest in his city on high school students who “thought it was cute to throw cinder blocks at police” after class. “Take control of your kids,” Batts urged parents at the end of his remarks, making note of a video that went viral reportedly showing a mother rebuking her son for his participation in the rioting.
While race-baiters blame the ills of the black community on rogue cops, it is the disintegration of the black family at the hands of liberalism that has done more harm than the KKK could ever dream of. When Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote “The Negro Family: A Case For National Action” in 1965, the black illegitimacy rate was about 25%, a number that Moynihan called alarming. Today it is upwards of 70%, the legacy of a not-so-Great Society and a war on poverty that was lost a long time ago. .
We don’t need gun-free zones. We don’t need sensitivity training for police. We need to eliminate what Investor’s Business Daily called “father-free zones”:
The consequences of fatherlessness are staggering. In such homes there is no male role model who gets up every morning, shaves, gets dressed and goes to work, then comes home to have dinner with his family. There is no male role model to restrain a young man's masculine impulses and guide him into adulthood.
The situation is made worse by the staggering unemployment among young black males that soaking the rich won't alleviate. These young men find their role models in promiscuous rappers and the leaders of street gangs.
Liberalism destroyed the black family and the father with a paternalistic big government. Black youths grow up without fathers, are trapped in schools that fail to educate, and if they graduate they find no jobs waiting for them. They end up roaming the streets thinking it a good idea to throw cinder blocks at police and burn down the only pharmacy chain store serving their community.
Blacks need stable families, good schools and school choice, and an urban environment of thriving entrepreneurship that creates jobs and opportunities, not condescending and paternalistic big government.
And certainly not Al Sharpton
Danirl John Sobieski is a free lance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.