Our Mission Is to Reawaken the Genuine American Spirit . . .In Defense of the American Family
Barry MacDonald - Editorial
Stories have power to make us stronger or weaker.
We've witnessed the creation of a fable this year: a black youth was shot in the back while his arms were raised in surrender. Supposedly, Michael Brown's death in Ferguson, Missouri, is yet another instance of racial oppression. Darren Wilson, the policeman who shot him, is presented as a symbol, much like a whip-wielding slave driver or a robed Ku Klux Klansman: he represents historical grievance.
The fable drives emotions. It's a morality tale with a sharp image: Michael Brown is kneeling while shot in the back. Another black man is down (really, Michael was just a big kid with no direction).
President Obama took the opportunity to reinforce the fable. He said that racism:
. . . is part of our DNA . . . Racism, we are not cured of it. And it's not just a matter of it not being polite to say n_____ in public. That's not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. It's not just a matter of overt discrimination. Societies don't, overnight, completely erase everything that happened two to three hundred years prior.
According to the President, whites have been forced to hide their racism, but we are who we are, and the killings of blacks by American police officers reveals the truth about white people, especially white men, as they are the shooters.
If you were black and you believed the President's poisonous message, if all your friends and role models supported the President's disheartening message, if you had heard all your life from fellow blacks that the system was against black people, if you felt hopeless and helpless, if the music you listened to inflamed you, if you didn't have a caring father in your home to guide you, what would you do?
Never mind that Michael Brown was 6-foot-4-inches, 300 pounds, had just robbed a convenience store, was high on drugs, grabbed for Darren Wilson's gun, was not surrendering, and did not have his arms raised, but was in fact charging the policeman who shot him to save his own life.
Never mind that 90 percent of the blacks who are being gunned down in America are being killed by fellow blacks, and that innocent children are dying in the crossfire.
Never mind that 70 percent of black families have holes in their centers: there are too few fathers serving as decent role models who teach the boys to get up in the morning and go to work every day, who provide the girls with a righteous and loving example of what a man should be.
I believe that people who see racism in the encounter between Michael Brown and Darren Wilson have jumped to a faulty conclusion. The question should not be why Darren Wilson acted as he did, but why Michael Brown did as he did. Michael Brown was eighteen years old. He had a stepdad, not a dad. I really don't know how he was raised, but somehow he came to believe that it was OK to behave like a thug, and it got him killed.
The black family has been blown to smithereens and all President Obama can do is to play to a narrative of grievance. But it's not just black families that are falling apart in America; each family is at risk.
It is much more common now for couples not to marry but to cohabit while having children. I believe that when couples choose not to take the solemn and consecrated path of marriage they are less committed to the discipline of raising children together. The vows of marriage are sacred. Perhaps taking vows is becoming less serious.
Our summer's battles over gay marriage have been revealing. All the concern has been focused on the legality of marriage when what's vital is the commitment couples bring to marriage. We over-lawyer marriage and deemphasize its sacredness.
Spiritual commitment is central, even for childless couples, because spouses hold each other's emotional well-being in their hands.
The Left is fond of changing the definitions of words in furtherance of agendas, so they have expanded the word "marriage" to mean same-sex couples. Given our momentum, perhaps marriage will come to mean a union of three or more.
Who is concerned about the definition of commitment? How may we promote loving commitments? A divorce judge may rule on the distribution of property when a marriage fails, but he can't minister to the needs of souls. Religious faith is necessary. An everyday sense of the sacred sustains us.
The experience of a family may be terrible and oppressive. If the mother or the father is cruel and selfish, great damage may be inflicted on children. If there is alcoholism or drug abuse involved, the family may become insular and secretive and the malady may be transmitted through generations. But in such cases it's not the fault of marriage and family. The spiritual failings of the parents are to blame.
We come into the world with two eyes, two arms, two legs each, and two genders - this is natural. It takes a man and woman to produce a child - this is natural. Men and women think, feel, and behave differently - this is natural, not the result of an oppressive patriarchy foisted upon society.
So how could we believe that the proliferation of single-parent families, with an absent father - or with a cohabitating man of questionable commitment who plays the role of father for a while - is good for the welfare of our children?
Isn't it natural and reasonable to believe that a loving father brings something irreplaceable to a family, and when he is lost the children lose half the sustenance they need?
What America needs is a system for instilling in children a moral compass so that children may appreciate the value of love, loyalty, cooperation, hard work, self-respect, kindness, courtesy, respect for others, et cetera - this is the natural purpose of a family.
The Left believes that schools with specially designed curricula can instill values in children - with its view of propriety. The Left believes that supplemental government money and services can replace the father's hard-earned income and his presence.
I am afraid that too many men in America are becoming habituated to diminished roles. We aren't taking fatherhood seriously anymore and our society is crumbling. I believe fatherhood civilizes men as it gives us worthy purposes. Families require discipline and focus, and if men aren't being fathers in a family men become lost in selfish pursuits.
This issue of The St. Croix Review is dedicated to a defense of the traditional American family. We will be distributing this issue to an expanded readership, so there will be a re-publication of a few essays that are especially on target. I ask for the indulgence of our current readership.
There are three points we would like to emphasize: 1) The family is the foundational institution of society; 2) the Left is attempting to replace the traditional family with the state; 3) we may see the consequences in the rioting and looting of Baltimore. *
Editor's Note: we have learned that John A. Howard, the former President of Rockford College and veteran of W.W. II, passed away this August at the age of ninety-three. John Howard was a long-time supporter of and a greatly appreciated author for The St. Croix Review. We will publish a tribute to him in the December/January issue of The St. Croix Review.