Dr. Sowell is getting older now, has given up his regular column that was widely circulated, but is still devoted to presenting truth from his position as a Fellow in the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Yesterday he was a guest on the Laura Ingraham show and in the discussion, the subject of guns and schools came up. He very thoughtfully brought up three reasons which he believes have over time led us to this point in our society. And in his comments he gave mention to another great black economist and teacher, also a Conservative, Dr. Walter Williams of George Mason University and I found myself doubly attentive because I admire both men. Williams had a somewhat similar background, growing up in urban Philadelphia, entering the Army as a young man and learning the importance of rules therefrom which allowed him to build a stellar teaching career based upon his individual merits, not expecting special favors or treatment.
Here is my take on Dr. Sowell's comments about the three reasons which are related to drugs, fathers and God, which have caused so much strife and violence. My order of discussion is based upon his delivery, not the order of importance, for I would always put the third one, God, of primary importance.
1. Drugs. If you were a child prior to the late 1960s, the drug issue, particularly as it relates to legal medication, was not such a problem. Except for the occasional aspirin or equivalent, the taking of pills were primarily related to injury and surgery recovery. But with the growth of big pharma and the growth in the illegal drug trade, children today are more likely to be on some type of medication than not. Ritalin was never heard of in those days but, of course, most of the active boys burned off their frustration with neighborhood sports, a year round event which meant falling asleep and being well rested for school the next day. When they were allowed to release their pent up energy the likelihood of problems dissipated.
Watch the ads and ask yourself a question. Why do we need so many over the counter drugs for every little ache or problem when generations lived without them? And, of course, we can't forget the illegal drug trade, which is rampant in our open borders society and so many kids are into them that they can't even think. Notice also that in most of the shootings, drugs of one form or another were involved.
In days gone by, when hunting season started, rural and many suburban high school kids drove to school with a gun in a gun rack on their truck and there was never a problem. The kids never even thought of such a thing, they were too busy with work, school, play and hunting in season and very few were taking drugs.
2. Fathers. This one is really quite simple and I'm not posing my comments just for boys, but since they are the major factor in the gun issue, it's why I address them pointedly. Boys don't need two fathers or two mothers, they need one of each. Fathers play a key role in building the character of a boy and a boy without a caring father is at a major disadvantage. I lost my dad at a young age due to illness, but there were wonderful men in the neighborhood who were especially kind to me and were available to talk with about manly things. That's not as commonplace due to the pace of life today.
Think about all of those from broken families where the father has disappeared. And then, of course, there are millions of children who don't even know who there father is as they suffer the consequence of bad choices by their mother. The children did nothing stupid. Disciplinary problems, anger and violence are much more likely by children who come from such a setting and it's easy to understand. Sometimes a gang or equivalent is the closest thing to a family that they have.
But there is something even bigger that is missing and it has created a void in life for many which is at the foundation of the problems above and even more. And that brings me to Dr. Sowell's final point.
3. God. When a society founded upon God falls away from the very force which created it and which created all of the people who are a part of it, things go the wrong way real fast. Drug problems, lack of fathers and mothers staying together, ignoring the laws of nature and thinking that man can do all things is where the void leads us. And we are right in the middle of it today. And since God gave us free will, he allows us to swallow this bitter pill if we choose to do so, but if we change and realize the error of our ways, He's more than happy to return us to the fold. He is strict but he is forgiving.
And isn't it interesting that two learned and well-spoken black men, men who grew up in the very environments that were ripe for crime, violence and promiscuity which is now rampant elsewhere as well, have been so outspoken in bringing the truth to power? Doctors Sowell and Williams, two highly successful black men who have been tagged as "Uncle Toms" by some of the so-called leaders of the black community, offer sound advice that would serve all of us well, regardless of our race or creed. Sadly, those same miguided leaders who called them names actively keep their communities on a road to continued violence and poverty. For change to take hold, they must be willing to sacrifice their power and riches. I won't hold my breath waiting for that to happen.
Just think what violent cities with high rates of crime such as Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Detroit would be like today if they were governed by black men like these two gentlemen. Policies that support eliminating drug abuse, reestablish the value of the traditional family and encouragement for the individual belief in Providence above all of us would likely be the direction they would follow. What a glorious day that would be.
TOMORROW: Back to Holy Week (Maundy Thursday)