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How Responsible Are Michael Brown’s Parents for His Demise?

We cannot continue to excuse criminal behavior by claiming poverty and inequality.

by
Patricia Dickson

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August 21, 2014 - 10:54 pm
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As the events in Ferguson, MO, continue to unfold, we learn yet again that a young black teenager tragically lost his life. While we do not have all the facts as to the events that transpired just before the Ferguson police officer shot and killed young Michael Brown, it is clear from what the media is reporting that all the blame for his death will be placed on Officer Darren Wilson.  To my knowledge, neither his mother nor his father has been asked publicly about their whereabouts or their son’s actions on that day. Do the parents not share the bulk of the blame for the demise of this young man? While we wait for all the facts to come in, can we at least have an honest discussion about the role that parents play in the untimely demise of young men like Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin?

It is clear by the video images showing Michael Brown grabbing a much older and smaller store clerk by the throat that the young man did not have respect for authority. The fact that there was some kind of confrontation with a police officer reveals that this young man had issues with authority. The first authority figure in a child’s life is the parent. If parents do not teach and demand that children respect them, there is a good chance that the child will not respect any other person in authority (e.g., teachers, police, and other adults).

No one in the media dare ask Lesley McSpadden, Michael Brown’s mother, about the video images of her son while she’s making the rounds on all the network shows demanding justice for his death. Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s mother, is back on the scene to offer her advice to Brown’s mother. Instead of asking these women some straightforward questions about their role in their son’s behavior that led up to their tragic deaths, the media is portraying them as Mary, the mother of Jesus. Even Brown’s grandfather has been on a network show asking President Obama to meet with him and demanding justice for his grandson.

Where was he when his grandson was stealing cigars from the corner store? With all of these parental figures coming forward, it would seem that someone would have taken the time to discipline this young man. Growing up as a child, my parents told me that they whipped my behind so that the police would not have to. The Bible states in Proverbs 29:15: The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left undisciplined brings his mother to shame.

The parents are the ones that failed young Michael Brown.

Top Rated Comments   
Maybe the fact that the parents of these young men have different last names than they has something to do with it. What was that old joke about the definition of confusion: father's day in the black community? Oops! Was that politically incorrect? In past years the ridicule and the sarcasm which is taboo today was a way of expressing scorn and engendering shame. The tools society used were repression, ostracism, ridicule, disgrace, and shame. Now they are reserved for Americans who still attempt to live a traditional life. For two generation now black behavior has been excused and even exalted. What did anyone expect but what we are seeing now? I think Americans in general are fed up. Many, having voted for the psychopath in the White House, after having thought this will take care of race problems, are now having to come to grips with the fact that NOTHING will unless the white population commits mass suicide trying to appease the savages. Between Obama, Holder, the riots, and the entire black edifice of racial supremacy, grievances, white hatred, and just the boiling hatred in general my guess is the general public will make up their minds to live their lives having as little to do with this "community" as humanly possible. They have just torched themselves. After the knockout games and now this I have no problem saying that I want little to do with a black stranger as I can. For all I know I will be their next victim. And maybe if the black "community" gets the message that the rioters have caused even the law abiding to suffer they will be told to STFU by their own brothers and sisters in skin color solidarity. I've had it.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am not talking about the particulars here but applying a general philosophy to the aura which may have led to this incident. In fact we don't know what happened in the crucial seconds which led to a law being broken or not broken. The cop cursing and the man walking in the street are not in and of themselves serious breeches of law. But something escalated it.

We do not know what happened in the crucial seconds before a law was broken in the Trayvon Martin affair. Who broke it? We'll never know. Trayvon Martin was breaking no law walking around nor did Zimmerman in following him.

The suggestion in each case is a failure of parenting. Beyond media or school, it is ultimately parents who have the greatest influence and responsibility to make sure their offspring are not making nothing into something through sheer uncivilized behavior and stupidity once they walk outside the house.

If liberals want to keep calling these men children, fine. Then police your children, or someone will do it for you, and you may not like the result. If you don't take out the garbage eventually total strangers will invade your home and do it for you.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
I understand what one side is saying here: that Brown strong-arming a clerk and smarting off to a police officer doesn't equal a death sentence. But that is an academic argument that pretends the world is a court room where the consequence for one's actions will be in exacting proportion to those actions.

The truth is somewhat different. Even letting an argument on the street with a stranger over nothing can escalate into a fight where one may lose an eye or even one's life. Mike Brown is responsible for interacting with the world in a manner that put him in harm's way.

Raising children without the discipline to make them understand that is putting your children in harm's way. By coddling such behavior's early on, children grow into adults who think the world will coddle them and shut a confrontation off at some exact point commensurate with one's misdeed's. In fact the world might shoot you in the head.

Trayvon Martin and Brown's mothers are stipulating the former because that is how they themselves operated. Their children may have gotten out of control but they themselves didn't and so there was never any real world consequences. But the real world has spoken.

There is a reason one teaches one's children to say "Yes, sir" and it is not only to mindlessly respect authority. It is a lesson in the value of getting along with that world and an awareness that to ignore that is to ignore that on the other side of one's own disrespect are others who will behave similarly.

Nothing escalates into something and one side is dead. If parents would be the harsh first line of defense, a shorter weaker store clerk wouldn't have to be and finally an armed police officer wouldn't have to give a shocking lesson in reality a parent should've years before.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (129)
All Comments   (129)
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First -- you knew his mother's name was not Brown, didn't you? Not shocking in today's world, but why do we have to be right 100% of the time on this point?

Second, and as Patricia perfectly points out, Grandpa is fu**ing his dead grandson for 15 minutes of infamy, outrageously demanding the the President of the United States (despite being a monumental jackass himself) afford him a rare phone call because ... why? Because he was so worthless a Grandfather that this punk is getting in street fights with cops and gets shot?

This might be the most perfect explanation for the whole affair.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
While the author makes a point that Michael Brown's parents may have been remiss in his upbringing, I'd like to make a point or two: First, kids of all demographics are really good at the butter-wouldn't-melt-in-my-mouth around the house, and then turning on their street persona once out of Mommy's sight. Second, Brown was eighteen - it's really easy for the media to garner sympathy for him by labeling him as a "teenager", but the fact of the matter is that he was a legal adult, and 100% responsible for his decisions and actions. And the sad fact is that he, like so many other people who screw up and die young, made a serious error in judgment and unfortunately died for it. It remains to be proven whether or not his death was wrongful.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
I live in St. Louis. I have a friend who is a police officer in a community that is very close to Ferguson. The media is reporting that Michael Brown had no arrest record. He had no record because he had just turned 18. He had a long record of juvenile offenses, including beating someone nearly to death with a brick. His juvenile record is sealed. This kid was a punk.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
Don't you think the parental units of these fine young people gave up years ago, and in some cases are themselves cowering in terror hoping that Junior will *not* come home that night? When they're making the rounds of the news shows what they're doing is setting up a case for the lawsuit that is sure to follow. *All* aggrieved and bereaved parents will now sue The Man when their particular punk bites the dust, including Armenian gang bangers and Mexican Mafia.

The only way someone who is unemployed, who has no education, and who has no prospects can get ahead in life is to sue, so folks like that are always on the lookout for a reason to sue: slipping on a tiled floor in KMart, coffee too hot at McDonalds, my sex-crazed daughter was raped and the school did nothing about it ... AND very most bestest reason to sue because not only is there a dead body as evidence BUT the family won't have to worry about being responsible parents any more is if their punk / thug / gangsta is shot by a cop.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Minors involved in crime = parents legally responsible. Let the parents work three jobs each for life to support the policeman whose life was ruined by their irresponsibility. If McDonald's is responsible for serving one hot cup of coffee, if I can be sued for not getting up at 4:00 A.M. to de-ice my sidewalk ... then I'd say the parents of thugs should pay for the damage caused by the thugs THEY RAISED. Simple common sense.

Juan Williams: "Time to admit thuggish behavior creates legitimate fear"
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
That is known as vicarious liability, and I believe it ends the day the punk turns 18, unless the parents actively abetted his actions. I doubt that was the case the day he died.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is legal responsibility, which, as you say, pretty much ends at 18 (though not always in all cases).

However, I'm pretty sure this article is about MORAL responsibility, which doesn't know anything about an arbitrary limit at 18.


3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
Can we also award a huge penalty against them if they are found against in court when they sue for damages?
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have ALWAYS been in support of "loser pays". Lawyers hate the idea, and congress is made up of mostly what? It will never happen.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have known really great human beings raised by lousy irresponsible parents.

I have also known horrendous human beings who were raised by parents I admire,and who did everything short of a straightjacket to discipline their kids.

But face it these are exceptions. It's the Nature vs Nurture argument.
Most bully's are raised mean and irresponsible, they weren't born that way.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Listen, I'll break this for you all, but at some point in life, CHILDREN, every one of them, take their own decisions. It's not a "problem in parenting", not necesarily so. It *could* be, but in order to assess that you need a lot of information that you simply don't have.

As a statistical criterion, I suggest: you need a control group and a test group. You can't have that simple thing in every family, only in numerours families (i.e., parents with many childs). Once you have that, then you can check how the children are similar, different, and in which way or percentages, even though they grow under same parenting.

This cellular/familiar experiment, repeated for many many more big family groups, could tell you a more significant information.

Meanwhile, I am more inclined to think that, in cases like this, even if there is some influence of parents, the responsability lies totally on the children. You don't put parents in jail because the children steal. Failed parents can have normal noncriminal children.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
What you say is true but there is still the fact many parents of thugs try to make their hellions look like little angels and that means they are responsible for the child a thug by not disciplining them.

I do food demos in grocery stores and I have seen many who are extremely rude and their parents are the same way. It is an entitlement attitude the kids are taught and then the parents try to be surprised the kids are disrespectful and into crime and abuse.

The problem is the parents many times are the ones who should be taken to the woodshed so they will take responsibility to teach the kids how to behave.

There is a big difference in being raised and being allowed to grow up. Being raised is discipline with love, growing up is letting them run wild. There is no surprise when we see the crime rate among those who are just allowed to grow up without discipline and race has nothing to do with it.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am more like putting enphasis in families with many children and you have good and bad ones coming from same parents. Explain that, you social scientist wannabee
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
We have reams of research showing that kids born to unmarried parents are more likely to have trouble is life. Yes, children do make their own decisions, but children raised in broken homes tend to make wrong ones.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
links with statistical significant data to support it? Or are they studies like those saying that if you drink tons and tons of coke your teeth are going to melt?
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
Unless you think race is the determining factor, we do have a control group. Intact families and caring involved parents are that group. The fatherless kids who take up the thug life are the test group.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am more like putting enphasis in families with many children and you have good and bad ones coming from same parents. Explain that, you social scientist wannabee: your control group is nothing to support the claim "parents are responsible -as in penal/moral resposible- for the deeds of their children"
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
I will first admit that I COULD NOT read this entire article / blog. I will also admit that phrases / statements like "parents responsibility" and "no respect for authority" and "we don't know what happened in the crucial seconds which led to a law being broken or not broken" and my favorite "it is such a tragedy."

Wait... WHAT? All of these phrases / statements have nothing to do with the reality of our devolving nation. Institutional racism is literally preached from the bully pulpits of every race baiting hustler in America. So here is the only question we need to ask; does institutional racism by white people precipitate "no respect for authority" or lack of "parental responsibility" or "these tragedies" or " we don't know what happened in the crucial seconds before a law was or was not broken" blah, blah, blah!

America is being sold a long term con of biblical proportions by evil people. I don't even mean they are evil from a spiritual point of view. What I do mean is they are evil because they bring destruction not construction! They bring devolution not evolution! They bring con-gress not progress (no pun intented). They are the antithesis of progress and community benefit.

Lastly, our INSTITUTIONS of higher learning are promoting, in fact indoctrinating America's youth into self-hate (if you're white), America loathing (all others), racial animosity, hatred and prejudice shrouded in smooth sounding words. Lack of respect for authority is the logical and natural outcome of this indoctrination. What we call tragedies are nothing but predetermined results of the intellectual assault on our youth, families and so called white American way of life.

America is the greatest country in the history of the world. Is there any country or people that is perfect? Do all countries or peoples have dark days in the past? Will liars, cheats and cons be done away with in some future utopian society? No, it will not. Both forms of evil as outlined previously must be crushed and destroyed. The basic laws of physics will not allow a kind, gentle response when society has been devolved in to boiling cauldrons of hate, resentment, jealousy, class warfare, lack of reason, no respect for authority and utter chaos that prompts destruction on the streets. Sound, reasoning minds must engage in strong and deliberate re-conquering of ground that has been lost while we wasted away in our supposed comfort. The truth invites inspection... Always!!!
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4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
That post took a lot of courage, Ms Dickson.

You can now look forward to an outpouring of hate mail the likes of which you will not believe, from those who boast of their "tolerance", and you will be forthwith excommunicated from the black race. You can kiss goodbye to any ambitions you might have had in academia, the arts and entertainment industry, or journalism (at least what passes for it these days.) You may even need police protection for a while.

Eric Holder famously said we are a nation of cowards for not confronting the issue of race. If that is true for many of us, I'm pretty sure you're about to find out why.

Good luck and don't stop showing that Holder is the real coward here..
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Agreed about her courage and willingness to look reality in the eye.

Hope she doesn't suffer the very real and possible consequences you mention.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've been speaking along these lines for a very long time. Thank you for putting it so well and clearly.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
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