Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel Makes Announcement On Public SafetyI’ll never forget an interview I heard with the current Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Here in the mean streets of Chicago several years ago there was a horrific murder of a young black man on the Southside. What made this more terrible than the other hundreds of murders that happen in the city each year is that it wasn’t with a gun, and it was caught on video:

Cell phone footage showing a group of teens viciously kicking and striking a 16-year-old honors student with splintered railroad ties has ramped up pressure on Chicago officials to address chronic violence that has led to dozens of deaths of city teens each year.

The graphic video of the afternoon melee emerged on local news stations over the weekend, showing the fatal beating of Derrion Albert, a sophomore honor roll student at Christian Fenger Academy High School.

Not unlike what has happened in light of the shootings in Newtown, there were calls to “do something” about the violence plaguing America’s inner cities. In the interview, Mr. Duncan gave a number of possible solutions to this intractable problem. Why I remember the interview so vividly is because he never once mentions the breakdown of the family or the absence of fathers as a reason for the violence, and that family breakdown is something that needs to be addressed when we talk about it. The blindness of the modern liberal is just staggering, especially when it comes to the incredible dysfunction of what used to be called “the ghetto.”

Needless to say mentoring programs, afterschool programs, Head Start, education, none of the seemingly innumerable liberal government oriented approaches to this has worked. In fact, in Chicago the problem only seems to get worse. Lee Habeeb at National Review Online tells the sobering story that many progressives just don’t seem to want to hear: “Chicago’s murder statistics tell a story of young black males without fathers and at risk.”

Twenty children and six adults were killed in Newtown, Conn., last month, and the media quickly, and justifiably, descended to tell the tragic story. In the first few weeks of January in Chicago, 25 people have already been murdered. Most were young black and Hispanic men, murdered by other young black and Hispanic men.

In Chicago, it’s Newtown every month. But the media haven’t converged on Chicago this month.

You don’t know the names of those kids and adults gunned down in Chicago this January, all by handguns.

You don’t know the names of the other 530 young people, most of them minorities, who were killed in Chicago between 2008 and January 2012 either. You don’t know their names, and the national media haven’t parked their media trucks in Chicago, because the liberal narrative does not offer easy answers to the problems haunting Chicago.

You don’t know their names because the real racism that exists in the media is this: A young black male’s life is not worth reporting when it is taken by another black male.

You don’t know the names because the media don’t or can’t blame the deaths in Chicago on a weapon like the AR-15, or on the NRA.

You don’t know their names because the media aren’t interested in getting at the real cause of much of the senseless gun violence in America: fatherlessness.

Every person not blinded by ideology with a stitch of common sense knows that children need both a mother and a father. It’s difficult enough for middle and upper middle class kids to grow up without a dad; the statistics say children growing up in single-parent households do worse in every statistic of social and psychological well-being than children with a married mother and father. But for kids surrounded by an inner city culture dominated by gangs and where more than 75% of them don’t have fathers (that rate is for all of black America, so I’m sure it’s much higher in big cities), the lack of role models, discipline and love nurtured in traditional families is literally life threatening. And our bleeding heart liberal brethren simply ignore this. (It’s a mystery that 95% of blacks vote for Democrats when Democratic policies never solves the problems they claim to care about.)

Ever since the French Revolution the elitist left in Western culture has had an animus toward the traditional family, especially because it is religion that argues most strongly for the importance of the family. This attitude blew up in the 1960s and has infected Western culture in deleterious ways ever since. Radical feminism and no fault divorce started the slide, and the drive to re-define marriage in our day continues it. A cursory glance through American popular culture today shows us that this animus is alive and well.

Make no mistake; putting Humpty Dumpty back together will be very, very difficult. Even if our modern liberals admit the importance of marriage and a mother and father in the home, they will still want to have their cake and eat it too: They may acknowledge the significance of the traditional family in raising healthy, well adjusted children, but could never give up the definition of the “modern family” being just as good. It isn’t. And way too many black and brown young men pay the price with their lives while liberals congratulate themselves on their tolerance and compassion.