I stare numbly at my news app on my phone that announces “One wounded by apparent gunshots,” which has happened at 4 a.m., mere hours ago, on Bowser Avenue here in Fort Wayne, which is of course in the city’s southeast quadrant.
I say “of course” because this comes on the heels of the two killings that occurred mere days ago in that same part of the city. This is nothing new. This, sadly and most of all shockingly, has been going on for most of my life.
And I write this as someone who lives mere blocks from the killing zone. I live mere blocks because I am not afraid, and I am not afraid because I know the causes and conditions of why this particular area is a killing zone. I know it, the people living there know it and most shamefully, the supposed “leaders” of the people doing the killing and being killed know it.
But nobody wants to tell it. The headline in this morning’s newspaper relays the usual distraction: “Victim’s mom blames thug culture.” What exactly is this phantom, this fog, this “thug culture” that actually has the power to kill? From where did it come? Why does it exist?
I’ll tell you why. This culture comes from the last 50 years of a failed social experiment where we as a society decided that it’s OK for children to not be raised in two-parent families, and specifically it’s OK for boys to be raised without fathers.
You can laugh, you can scoff all you want at the Ward Cleaver or Dr. Huxtable image of a father, but the fact is that for human beings it’s pretty much the only model that works. And yes, I hear the instant, knee-jerk screams of “a child can be raised by a loving mother just fine, blah, blah, blah.” Well, you can shriek that cry all you want but Exhibit A is eight blocks exactly to the east of where I am sitting and composing this right this second, and it’s the sound of senseless gunfire and the sound of screaming mothers holding their dead sons.