According to a marriage and family researcher, fatherlessness and the influence of the media were major factors leading up to the eruption of the Baltimore riots.
Dr. Pat Fagan, who served in the George H.W. Bush administration, is director of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute at the Family Research Council. He says the major media has a lot to answer for regarding Baltimore's social unrest.
"This is an event made by TV," he insists. "The media knows the impact it has, and the media knows how to make a story, and they essentially evoked young black men to protest and gave them the camerawork time after time after time."
Digging deeper into why young black men were prime for this manipulation, Dr. Fagan says it is because of the massive breakdown of the family and self-control. He sums it up with one word: fatherlessness.
"What you have here is a total breakdown of people, who ought to be belonging to each other, not belonging," he laments. "Instead you've got a mess of rejection, of depression, of anxiety, of frustration, and a community that doesn't work."
Using federal data, a report by Fagan's Marriage and Relation Research Institute finds that only 16 percent of 15- to 17-year-olds in Baltimore have been raised by both their married parents. Cleveland, Ohio is the only major U.S. city that has a lower family intactness rate (15 percent).
In a recent column, American Family Association president Tim Wildmon argued that until the issues of absentee fathers and personal responsibility are resolved, similar social unrest will happen in cities like Baltimore -- no matter how much tax money is sent.