Blue Byline

A cop's perspective of the news and South Sound matters

Father’s Day not a special one for your basic gang-banger

Post by Brian O'Neill on June 19, 2011 at 5:49 pm with 10 Comments »
June 25, 2011 12:13 pm

I hate watching weepy TV talk shows. It seems like everyone famous, infamous or suddenly in the public’s face has a story of woe to explain why they behaved like an absolute jerk. Like most people, I get annoyed when others don’t seem to take personal responsibility and own their actions.

We all have problems, right? Why can’t they just man up? What I have learned, both as a father and a cop, is that some men don’t know how to man up because they were never taught how to be a man.

Consider the man-boys that stalk certain street corners, tag fences, carry guns and sell dope; in short, gang members. The absentee father factor is an obvious problem in our society, but in the world of gang members it is par for the course. Not all of these households are the quintessential single parent type, run by a mother who doubles as father, counselor, bread-winner and unsung hero. In some homes, dads just don’t make it around much, either because they couldn’t care less or because they might be incarcerated for lengthy periods. And yes, there are those that just dropped their sperm and checked out.

Spending any amount of time around boys raised in these homes will, if nothing else, illuminate the gut-level need each and every one of them has for a father, or father figure. These boys, and girls, long for someone to explain the world and validate their place in it. The typical results for the young gang members I have come across are a rush to anger, hyper-sensitivity, lack of self-esteem and inability to connect.

Obviously, not all of these kids choose the path of drugs, violence and gangs. To those that don’t, much praise is due.

I have spent sixteen years as a father of sons. During this time I have been spectator, volunteer and coach. I have watched my boys and their friends play music, sports and interact in the classroom.  I have noticed that their friends rarely suffered from the short temper or low self esteem that so often causes a gang member to act in a seemingly random and violent manner. By their actions, involved fathers are responsible for straightening backbones and adjusting attitudes of their kids, all of which reduces any need for the type of negative attention that gang members seem to crave.

For kids without dads, the world can seem a dangerous and scary place if you’re not sure of yourself or your purpose. The dad who left because he couldn’t man up may find himself replaced by a criminal with the promise of money, women and respect.

But it’s a dead end plan, and a father is the one who should be there to say it.

Leave a comment Comments → 10
  1. smokey984 says:

    Amen Brother.

    It may be some years, but Men will get back to raising their boys again.

    Unfortunately society may have to reboot itself in order for its citizens to get back to basics.

    Most will be dragged kicking and screaming into our future of permanent economic downturn brought about with dwindling energy resources.

    But there will be a time in our future again when Fathers gather their families at the dinner table each night to a hearty meal and some fatherly advice.

  2. BlaineCGarver says:

    Front and center should be a welfare system that rewards crack queens for their extra fatherless children.

  3. TtownMatt says:

    Another great article. Keep up the good work Brian.

  4. BlaineCGarver says:

    Maybe….the state will issue Letters of Marque…..At any rate, I counsel individuals to exercise their 2nd Amendment Rights, take a good block of instruction, and carry at all time. The economy will get worse, the the illbred have-nots will want what you have worked for, and will not care much what happens to you when the aquire it.

  5. Brian O'Neill says:

    I know it’s a pretty depressing column, but rather than focus on the effect of bad or non-existent parenting take a minute to reflect on the cause. We may not be able to talk loser dads out of their loser mindset, but supporting programs like The Boys and Girls Club is worth considering. A positive male role model is everything in the fight against gang recruitment.

  6. “We may not be able to talk loser dads out of their loser mindset, but supporting programs like The Boys and Girls Club is worth considering.”

    May a difference and volunteer.

    http://www.volunteermatch.org/

  7. smokey984 says:

    Agreed brother!

    And again, in the end, social programs are doomed as well. The dwindling tax revenue brought upon by high unemployment will gut these programs. We are starting to see it now matter of factly.

    I love the boys and girls clubs among others.

  8. The boys and girls club is amazing. There were about 800 people at their annual dinner at the Tacoma Convention Center in late February. Listening to the finalists for the youth of the year brought tears to everyones eyes. These young men and women have faced trials already in their lives that surpass the issues a lot of us will have in our entire lifetimes; and have come out the other end educcated, strong, and desiring to make a difference in the world. Inspiring to everybody! Google Kainen Bell, and check out this young man that was molded by a loving, supportive mother, and by the Boys & Girls Club(as well as the awesome teachers at Jason Lee, etc).

  9. blue_light_watcher says:

    What’s even more of a shame is when one of those absent fathers is a Washington State Trooper. Oh wait…should this comment go on the Cops Gone Wild post instead? It would fit with the lifestyle that this trooper lives.

  10. Brian O'Neill says:

    Blue light watcher,

    Unfortunately, there are a few examples of police officers behaving like other human beings. No need to belabor the obvious. I am curious about your account name…it suggests you’re keeping an eye on us. Do you only look for the bad stuff or are you also there in the middle of the night to witness cops performing courageous and selfless tasks?

    I doubt it. Most of those incidents occur when no one is watching.

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