Letters to the Editor

Failed parenting on display

I don’t know whether to cry or spit.

Baltimore has been gripped by violence, which some people wish to attribute to numerous longstanding grievances held within the black community. According to some black commentators, for decades black citizens in Baltimore have been oppressed, mistreated by law enforcement officers and unfairly subjected to generalized economic and educational deprivations.

I will concede that mistreatment will produce resentments among those who have been subjected to these conditions. But having made that concession, let me ask a pertinent question: Given the fact that the looting mobs were primarily composed of teenagers, how is it possible that these very young members of the community could have sustained long-term injuries sufficient to justify looting?

There is a simple answer to this question.

The conduct of teen-age looters has nothing to do with the explanations which have been offered by black commentators. Baltimore is being looted and is going up in smoke because black adults have not bothered to instill positive values into their children. Instead of being taught that stealing is unacceptable, a large segment of these black adolescents are learning, either by adult example or otherwise, that stealing is a permissible way of life.

Youthful looting is not the byproduct of unresolved grievances. In this case, teen-age looting is the manifestation of a gross and widespread failure in parenting. Rather than manufacturing false explanations, black citizens need to begin to redeem their communities by properly and effectively parenting their children.

Chris Tabing