Fathers Day 2021,  Where Would We Be Without Dad?  Sadly I think we have enough evidence to know the answer to that.  Chicago comes to mind.  A friend of mine and long time KIT listener sent me a text about the Laura Ingraham Show tonight and a conversation about a documentary coming out called "The Streets Were My Father"

According to IMDB,"the film is about the stories of three inner city Chicago men - one African-American and two Hispanic - and their journey from fatherlessness to gangs, and to life in and out of prison. What makes this film remarkable is what happens to these men when they encounter prison ministry programs that sets them on the road to redemption. And a life after prison as a present father in the lives of their respective children. In short, these men break the cycle of fatherlessness and hopelessness they were born into."

That's pretty exciting and it makes you wonder about the role of absent fathers in Yakima's gang problem and recent gang shootings.  The documentary shares some staggering numbers that you just can't ignore when looking for connections or causes.  We hear all the time that America jails too many black offenders and that the system is rigged against them. Is it the system... or the fact that too many minority kids are being raised in single parent households?

According to the website statista "In 2015-19, the share of families headed by single parents was 75% among African American families, 59% among Hispanic families, 38% among white families and 20% among Asian families.

All those missing dads are having a devastating affect on the kids and it's getting worse. In 2019, there were about 4.15 million Black families in the United States with a single mother. This is an increase from 1990 levels, when there were about 3.4 million.  At the same time about 3.29 million Hispanic families with a single mother were living in the United States, also an increase from 1990, when there were about 1.19 million single mother Hispanic families.

Those numbers are reflected in the head counts at jails and prisons with 2-point-3  million people are locked up in America. But here's what can't be missed. 85% of youths in prison come from homes without a dad and that is 20 times the number from two parent households.

Sounds like restoring the family unit is a pretty good place to start to reduce crime, incarceration and build a happier and more productive society.  The film shows, through the testimony of each of the men, the power of Christ to change hearts and souls and lives, which is why the churches need to be involved in any future initiatives to fight violent crime in Yakima.

Sunday is Father's Day.  Take your dad to church, be grateful for his role in your life, strive to be a better dad yourself and look for ways to build stronger families in the community where you live.  We will all be the better for it.



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