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.