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Saturday, December 24, 2016

George Karl Targets Fatherless Black Families

By Douglas V. Gibbs
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George Karl used to coach professional basketball in the National Basketball Association.  He is one of 9 coaches in NBA history to have won at least 1,000 NBA games.  He coached the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Seattle SuperSonics, Milwaukee Bucks, Denver Nuggets and Sacramento Kings during his coaching career with the NBA.  As a player he was a part of both the old ABA, as well as the NBA, for five seasons.

In his recent book, "Furious George: My Forty Years Surviving NBA Divas, Clueless GMs, and Poor Shot Selection," the outspoken, and often combative, coach slams the system, the league's leadership, and a number of the players.  In particular, what's been making the news is his observation, "Kenyon and Carmelo carried two big burdens.  All that money and no father to show them how to act like a man."

The players Karl is referring to in his book are Kenyon Martin and Carmelo Anthony.  Kenyon played for 15 years in the NBA, an All-Rookie (2001) and All-Star (2004) early in his career.  Carmelo Anthony is in the fourteenth year of his NBA career, and has been an NBA All-Star 9 times.

Carmelo, possibly because of his status in the league as an active player, or perhaps because he decided to take a more classy approach, responded with, "I just hope he finds happiness in whatever he's doing."

Kenyon Martin, now retired from basketball, has taken a different approach.

While watching a television program named "Undisputed" with Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe on FS1, immediately recognized that the attitude towards George Karl's observation was very different than my own.
Skip Bayless called George Karl a "diva," some kind of glory-hound.  Bayless said that while a coach, Karl had an attitude that the teams he coached won because of him, and lost because of the players.  What that has to do with his observation wasn't clear to me, but I did recognize the "if he's this, he must be that" kind of spin.

Shannon Sharpe called Karl's comment about a household without a father "very stereotypical of him."  Kenyon Martin and Carmelo Anthony, like Sharpe, are black, after all.  Sharpe continued, "There are people who become successful in a one-parent home."

The conversation between Sharpe and Martin eventually, essentially said, "Guys should be commended for coming out of the area they come from."

I agree.  I think we should absolutely celebrate the fact that after growing up in a situation that worsens the odds for a young man to do well, some of these young men have done well for themselves.  And, I don't think that praise should be limited to those who do it through sports.  There are a number of stories about blacks who have fought their way out of poverty to become more than many thought they were capable of.  Dr. Ben Carson and Herman Cain would be a couple of such examples.

Kenyon Martin commented on the matter, "My mother was my mother and my father, and [what George Karl wrote] was dissing her...I am here to defend my mother."  Then, as if speaking directly to Karl, Martin said, "You took a shot at my mom."

No, he did not take a shot at your mom.

The reality is that there is a larger number of fatherless households than there should be; and the reality is, a child has a better chance of reaching success when a father is present.  Of course there are a plenty of examples of successful young men from households where the mother did a fantastic job, and the boy became a good many despite not having dad present.  And, there are some examples of boys who could not adjust to society or become successful despite a father in the house.  Sometimes, the father is the problem.  However, generally, it takes a man to teach a boy how to be a man; to teach him how to be responsible with his money, and how to act like a man, rather than an out-of-control thug.

Also, while fatherless families run rampant through the black community, if the topic is brought up it has nothing to do with race, and everything to do with the fact that no matter who you are, or what color or ethnicity you are, boys are better off with dad in the household.

For that matter, the opposite is true, as well.  Children also have a statistically better chance of doing well if mom is in the house.  Once again, while there are many successful people who came from households where dad had to fill both parental roles, the odds of a more well-rounded and success child are better when mom is in the house.

George Karl's statement stemmed from the fact that by his own observations he felt that Kenyon Martin and Carmelo Anthony, while he coached them, could be so much more.  He saw promise in them.  He saw potential in them.  And, in his own opinion, they could have done so much better as young men if they had a father in their household to help them understand the importance of being responsible as a man with both their pocketbooks, and their actions.

Karl was not saying that the pair's moms were not good people, he was not being stereotypical, and he was not suggesting that the athletes are bad people.  He was simply making an observation.  With dad in the house to help develop young men in ways mom simply is not capable of, because she's not a man, and doesn't fully understand the world of being a man, both Martin and Anthony could have been so much more.

The truth is, fatherless families are an epidemic in the black community.  The deterioration of self-reliance and personal responsibility that exists in segment of the black community is largely due to the fact that dad is not in the home.  Dad's removal from the picture is largely due to liberal left policies supporting governmental benefits.  Welfare, from a financial point of view, has replaced the father, and so it is easier for the mother to kick him out of the house, or for him to voluntarily throw his hands up and walk away.  The boys then face abandonment issues, and anger - a launching pad the encourages the young men to seek some kind of family, some kind of male leadership in their lives - and often, that is provided by the hierarchy of street gangs.  From there, the criminal activity becomes an accepted way of life.

Is it any surprise that the statistics regarding abortion, crime and broken families are as they are with the black community once we are willing to recognize the reality of what is going on?

How do we fix this?  A return to the nuclear family is a start.  That's not a racist statement, or a shot at the hardworking mothers who fight daily to raise their family in neighborhoods that often seem like war-zones.  The reality is that in today's society the family unit is under assault, and if the black community is going to claw its way out of the problems it has been experiencing, among the priorities has to be to support and encourage nuclear family units.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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