Stan Crader

Author & Lecturer on Writing About Rural America

Whose Fault Ferguson?

While finding fault is human nature, too many are accomplished at assigning blame, and too few are willing to discuss wherein the fault truly lies.

The chicken and egg debate is humorously argued and regardless of one’s opinion we are left with both, the chicken and the egg, both good to eat.

A similar argument exists with regards to race relations. 50 years ago 23.6% of African-Americans were born to unmarried women; that was a very high number then. Today 72% of African-Americans are born to unmarried women.

50 years ago Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, “A community that allows a large number of young men to grow up in broken families, dominated by women, never acquiring any stable relationship to male authority…that community asks for and gets chaos.”

25 years ago Lawrence Meade said, “The inequalities that stem from the workplace are now trivial in comparison to those stemming from family structure. What matters for success is less whether your father was rich or poor than whether you knew your father at all.”

The fault at Ferguson is not so much the police or the citizens they are hired to protect, but in the culture that has too long prevailed. The chaos and hostility is the result of broken families which has led to a broken community.

Debating whether the Ferguson debacle is the fault of the police department or the people is to ignore the problem. No police chief, mayor, governor, congress, or president can fix this societal problem. The solution must start in the home.

Just as with the chicken and egg, no matter who thinks they’re right, we’re left with a chicken and an egg. And so it is with Ferguson, not matter who thinks they’re right, we’re left with a broken community.

Fix the family first.

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