With all of the protests going on and people burning down their own communities, it seems as if I have been transported back in time to the 1960s. Events in Baltimore and Ferguson are reminiscent of when rioters burned Watts, Harlem, and Detroit in the 60s. I can remember wondering during those years of social upheaval, “What kind of statement are these people trying to make by burning down their own communities?” In the final analysis, the only statement the arsonists and looters made by burning Watts, Harlem, and Detroit back in the 60s was “We are a bunch of self-destructive, mindless criminals who should be in prison instead of walking the streets.” This is the same statement the rioters in Ferguson and Baltimore made recently.

There is no excuse for the senseless violence and destruction that occurred in Ferguson and, more recently, in Baltimore. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his fellow leaders in the Civil Rights movement proved that non-violent protest in which the protestors take the high road even when the police and other authorities don’t is the most effective way to bring about social change. Burning, looting, and violence help no one, but what is even worse is that they hurt the very people who need help the most.

In Ferguson, the protestors and rioters tried to blame their destructive actions on the police with a heavy emphasis on a “white police versus black citizens” narrative. Of course, the mainstream media picked up on this narrative and ran with it doing everything it could to transform the narrative into gospel. But this same tired excuse-making strategy didn’t work so well in Baltimore where the population is heavily black, non-white are the majority in the police force, the Mayor is black, the police commissioner is black, and the majority of city council members are black. In fact, what happened in Baltimore has liberals wringing their hands and shaking their heads in confusion. For once, the time-worn finger pointing and excuse making of liberals does not seem to explain events in Baltimore—not even to other liberals. In fact, even the mainstream media has felt compelled to denounce the destructive behavior of the rioters in that beleaguered city.

It is difficult—even for the most biased liberals in the mainstream media—to point the finger of blame at the police in Baltimore when they are the ones being injured by the rioters and the police officers being injured are more often than not black. It is also difficult to defend rioters who sneak up behind fire fighters who are risking their lives to save the homes and businesses of black citizens of Baltimore and cut their fire hoses; especially when they do this and their other nefarious deeds on camera. Even Al Sharpton and Barack Obama have found it difficult to defend the rioters, although both have tried.

Hand-wringing liberals cannot explain the events in Baltimore, but I can and so can any thinking person who is not consumed by the need to maintain a false narrative about blacks as victims and police officers as murdering tyrants. What we saw in Ferguson and more recently in Baltimore is the result of more than 50 years of social and moral decay caused by the destructive policies of liberals in government at all levels. Since the 1960s, liberals have worked unceasingly to trash traditional American values, eliminate the concepts of right and wrong, and ban Christianity from schools, colleges, universities, and the public square.

More specifically, liberals have done everything possible to undermine the concept of traditional marriage with the result that fatherless families have become the norm in the ghettos of Baltimore and every other major city in the United States. No matter how dedicated and determined a single mother is, raising sons without the help of a father who can provide a firm hand, good example, and strong guidance is difficult if not impossible. Liberals have embraced: 1) the idiocy of radical feminists who claim they don’t need men except as sperm donors; 2) government programs that discourage marriage and reward single motherhood; 3) societal mores that have made having children out of wedlock not just socially acceptable, but the norm; and 4) lax laws that make it easy for a man to father a child and then simply abandon the child and its mother.

If you want to see what happens when young boys grow up without a strong father figure in the home, look to Ferguson and Baltimore. The concept of the fatherless family is a plague on American society that is creating generation after generation of boys who feel unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. As a result, they grow into young men seething with anger and full of resentment who have no moral scruples, no standards of behavior, and no one to provide positive guidance. What they do have is a ton of pent up rage and a desire to take it out on the world. Protests like those in Ferguson and Baltimore are just opportunities to angry young fatherless men—opportunities to lash out at the world and gain a sense of misguided satisfaction by destroying anything and everything in their paths.

Liberals have tried many times to pin the destructive behavior of the rioters in Ferguson and Baltimore on poverty. While I certainly acknowledge that poverty does nothing to make things better for fatherless boys—I have some personal experience with poverty and fatherlessness—it is no excuse for destructive, criminal behavior. Poverty does not cause crime. If it did, all poor people would be criminals. Many of the residents of Ferguson and Baltimore who were hurt worst by the violence, looting, and arson were poor people who are law-abiding citizens and were heart broken by what they saw happening in their communities. The events in Ferguson and Baltimore are not about poverty, they are about character or—more accurately—the lack of character. Character traits such as honesty, integrity, a positive work ethic, and a helpful spirit do not come naturally to young boys. These are things they have to learn. Character is something that must be developed—we aren’t born with it. When a man fathers a son and then walks out on him and his mother he creates a situation that is ripe for exploitation by people who have nefarious agendas and are always looking for young recruits to help them advance their criminal agendas.

Gang leaders claim to offer young boys the sense of belonging they are lacking in their lives and the sense of companionship they need so desperately; things that should be provided by a loving and caring father who can show his sons a better way. But gang leaders don’t teach young boys to be honest, to have integrity, to work hard and smart, and to help others build a better community. They teach them to fight, kill, steal, do drugs, sell drugs, and break any law that gets in the way of their criminal lifestyle. They also teach them to view the police as the enemy and to turn situations like those in Ferguson and Baltimore into opportunities for self-gratification and material enhancement.

Toya Graham—the Baltimore mother who slapped some sense into her wayward son during the riots—showed the world that a single mother isn’t helpless when it comes to bringing up sons in the ghetto, and God bless her for it. She gets my vote for mother of the year. But I suspect even she would admit that trying to raise a son—as well as several daughters—without the help of a husband and father is a daunting challenge. I know she and thousands of other single mothers like her try their best, but I also know that when it comes to raising hard-headed boys, they could use some help—male help. I was one of those hard-headed boys raised by a single mother who did her best, but had it not been for the assistance of several strong male role models—coaches, teachers, ministers, and the fathers of friends—things might have turned out much differently for me.

Liberals have done more than make single parenting acceptable, they have made it something to aspire to. Further, they have promulgated government policies and programs that militate against traditional marriage while keeping single mothers single. By doing so they have created a society of absent fathers which has, in turn, created what the reader now sees with regularity on the nightly news in places like Baltimore and Ferguson. Thanks a lot liberals. I hope you are proud of yourself.