Leave it to Mike Rowe to get it right.
As the country continues to struggle with the aftermath of February’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and liberals point the finger of blame at gun owners, “toxic masculinity,” and any other progressive straw man that leaps to mind, Rowe has some uncomfortable truths to share about one of the biggest problems the United States faces.
And it’s not at all what liberals think it is.
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In a Facbook post this week, the former host of the Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs” and CNN’s “Somebody’s Gotta Do It” introduced the subject of his latest web series “Returning the Favor.”
In it, he profiles a man named Carlos Flores of Yuma, Arizona, who takes a very hands-on approach to dealing with school bullies and helping victims of bullying.
But Rowe uses that as a springboard to discussing an even deeper issue in American society – one that will almost never appear in a Democrat campaign ad.
In a popular culture atmosphere currently saturated with the misguided feminism of the so-called #MeToo moment, the role of men in society – the vital importance of responsible fatherhood – is being all but forgotten.
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In the post, Rowe wrote: “It occurred to me though, half way through filming, that bullying – like so many other social ills in today’s headlines – isn’t really a problem at all; it’s a symptom. In my view, a symptom of a society that seems to value fatherhood less and less.”
And there’s no doubt that’s true. Where the birth of a child outside marriage was once so frowned on that the Motown group The Supremes actually had a No. 1 song in 1968 about how tough life was for a “love child,” things are considerably different 50 years later.
Does American culture disrespect the role of fathers?
Now, according to the Centers for Disease Control, about 40 percent of American births are to women who are not married. While no doubt some of the men who provided the sperm stuck around in the children’s lives, the numbers who actually perform the duty of a father are a good deal lower.
And Rowe cited some statistics that show the disturbing result:
- 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes – 5 times the average. (US Dept. Of Health/Census)
- 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes – 32 times the average.
- 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average. (Center for Disease Control)
- 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes – 14 times the average. (Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26)
- 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average. (National Principals Association Report)
- 43% of US children live without their father (US Department of Census)
Then he got to the real point:
“Is it really so surprising to learn that a majority of bullies also come from fatherless homes? As do a majority of school shooters? As do a majority of older male shooters?”
Basically, no one disputes the idea that violence is pretty much a male domain. According to the federal Bureau of Prisons, more than 90 percent of the U.S. prison population is male, and there’s a reason for that.
But what liberals dispute is the obvious: That a boy growing up in a home without a responsible man to teach him how to be a man is at much greater risk of never learning the lessons.
It’s not an epidemic of racism that’s really hurting the country, or sexism, or some phantom “anti-Semitism” liberals keep claiming to find among supporters of President Donald Trump.
It’s the rampant lack of responsible fathers that’s really making America sick.
Mike Rowe knows that. Conservatives know it.
And in their hearts, liberals know it too.
But leave it to Mike Rowe to get it right.
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