To Keep Kids Safe, Try the 'Mama Rules'

While holding gangbangers responsible for violence, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell places the blame squarely on the shoulders of parents when young lives are cut short. She says they are responsible for keeping children safe.

After every youth homicide, the mayor renews his pledge to crack down on the shooters, and he gives the grieving a moment of comfort.

But ultimately it is the adult guardians in these communities who are responsible for keeping young people safe from harm.

Given the unwavering violence, safeguarding children is beginning to seem like an impossible task.

But African-American families didn’t just start living in neighborhoods affected by violence. I grew up in a part of the city where I saw a bloody fight just about every day.

Many of the black people who are now living in the ’burbs, or in Hyde Park, or the South Loop, survived those tough neighborhoods because they were brought up under the mama rules.

Daddy had rules, too, but in most instances he was the enforcer.

Frankly, I’m sick of people pointing to the absence of black fathers as being at the root of the violence we are experiencing.


Read Mary Mitchell's entire column at the Chicago Sun-Times.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.

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