Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Please Come Home, Dad

From the weekly e-mail update of the World Congress of Families comes the following item. It was written by Bob Herbert in an article entitled "Dad's Empty Chair," published in the New York Times, July 7, 2005.

"Crime has eased in the past several years, but the toll on the young in many black communities is still horrific. And I can't think of this continuing slaughter of black youngsters without also thinking about the mass flight of black men from their family responsibilities, especially the obligation to look after their children.

Most black people are not poor, and most are law-abiding. But the vacuum left by this exodus of black men from the family scene has nevertheless been devastating, and its destructive effects are felt by entire communities.

...Kids who grow up without a father never experience that special sense of security and the enhanced feeling of belonging that come from having a father in the home. So they seek it elsewhere. They don't get that sweet feeling of triumph that comes from a father's approval, or the warmth of the old man's hug, or the wisdom to be drawn from his discipline.

I don't have the statistics to prove it, but black kids would be tremendously better off if the cultural winds changed and more fathers felt the need to come home.

For me, it's an easy call: Moms are crucial. Dads, too."