Updated 2018 08 19: Minor edits, added links to related articles
Detroit documentary — Gangs, drug dealers, economic decline, bankruptcy (1hr 22min) is an interesting YouTube video by Al Profit. It describes a vicious circle but pays scant attention to fatherlessness in families.
Two things struck me about the documentary. One is that the cycle it chronicles, ‘Gangs, drug dealers, decline of the economy’, does not necessarily describe the correct sequence of actions and consequences. The other one is that it barely mentions an obvious, major contributing factor of the decline and decay of Detroit, fatherlessness, although it is alluded to in passing. Right at the beginning (@3:19) a man states:
“This was a neighbourhood to grow up in… Everybody had jobs, and they had their parents in the home.”
One of the figures of the YBI (Young Boys Inc.) interviewed in the documentary comes close to identifying the key problem: “They used to say that ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, but [after the YBI took it down] there is no village left to do anything.”
That statement expresses wrongfully perceived self-importance. The members of YBI contributed to Detroit’s decline, but they were merely parasitical, criminal opportunists that took advantage of circumstances brought about long before any of them were born.
This is the key issue: when there are insufficient numbers of well-functioning families left in a community, then there can be no functioning ‘village’. Intact, sovereign families form a bulwark against totalitarianism or neglect by the State and against social chaos.
The “family” in all ages and in all corners of the globe can be defined as a man and a woman bonded together through a socially approved covenant of marriage to regulate sexuality, to bear, raise, and protect children, to provide mutual care and protection, to create a small home economy, and to maintain continuity between the generations, those going before and those coming after.
It is out of the reciprocal, naturally recreated relations of the family that the broader communities—such as tribes, villages, peoples, and nations—grow.
— Allan Carlson, in “What’s Wrong With the United Nations Definition of ‘Family’?” in ‘The Family in America’ (August 1994), p. 3
Certainly, real fathers put the welfare of others — their families, community and nation — before their own. However, they cannot exercise their role if they are not part of their families and if they don’t receive the respect they deserve for the sacrifices they make. For that we need: Fathers in families, not families without fathers.