Letters to the Editor

Fully invested in parenting

Baltimore, a city predominantly navigated by a black administration, has done something the Chamber of Commerce in Ferguson could not do for itself. Baltimore has assisted Ferguson in jumping off the front pages of the newspaper.

Unrelenting demonstrations, rioting, looting and buildings set ablaze following the death of Freddie Gray have done just that. Surprisingly, the initial rioting came from children as they were released from school.

At some juncture isn’t it time for the parents of many of these pre-adolescent/adolescent black males/females, especially in urban America, to seize control and actually begin to parent? Rearing a child should not be conveniently left up to relatives (i.e. often times the aging grandmother) or the infamous village-at-large.

A single-parent black mother of six became an iconic figure overnight for aggressively admonishing her lone son in the streets. This mother was not looking for notoriety. Saving her son was her simple objective. Perhaps, not textbook discipline, but her passion was certainly admirable, nonetheless.

That being said, where are the biological fathers in many of these homes? Too many appear oblivious to their responsibilities. As a result, kids not only fail to self-actualize, but society (i.e. certainly inclusive of teachers/social workers/police) is also placed in a precarious position.

I’ve had the distinct privilege or working with some extraordinary young African-American males in my clinical practice. Not surprisingly, like Caucasian families, nearly all of them have come from homes fully invested in the parenting process.

Steve Frazier