Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Fatherhood and the Hood

In cities like Hartford, the hood has replaced fatherhood and some people, notably state Sen. Gary LeBeau of East Hartford and Chris Powell, the Managing Editor of the Journal Inquirer, have taken notice that the lack of fathers in families is the primary cause of urban pathologies.

In an eye-opening column, Swiftian in spirit, “A city boy's chances may be better in prison,” Mr. Powell quotes former New York Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan on the subject of disordered fatherless cultures: “"From the wild Irish slums of the 19th-century Eastern seaboard to the riot-torn suburbs of Los Angeles, there is one unmistakable lesson in American history: A community that allows a large number of men to grow up in broken families, dominated by women, never acquiring any stable relationship to male authority, never acquiring any set of rational expectations about the future -- that community asks for and gets chaos. Crime, violence, unrest, disorder -- most particularly the furious, unrestrained lashing out at the whole social structure -- that is not only to be expected; it is very near to inevitable. And it is richly deserved."

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