Musth We?

Chicago is a killing field.  Every week the death count mounts, as do the injuries and purely material losses.  Held to blame?  The gangs, an ineffectual mayor, and a thoroughly demoralized police force.

School shootings and the slaughter of innocents:  Columbine, Sandy Hook, and now Uvalde.  A young man accosts a young mother pushing a stroller and shoots a round into the infant’s face.  An honor student shot then lit on fire.  Random mass shootings wherever a young crowd gathers.  Crimes no one believed possible fifty years ago.  Held to blame?  Guns, video games and rap music.

Rape, theft and vandalism.  Nothing is safe or off-limits.  The murder of a store clerk for a six-pack of beer.  An old woman thrown downstairs.  An Asian woman tossed in front of a train.  The toppling of statues and attacks on any who object to same.  Smash-and-grab robberies on a grand scale, sometimes for high-end merchandize, sometimes for whatever is on the shelf.  Another old woman splashed with paint when she dares to object to a teenage vandal.  Held to blame?  Police brutality and white privilege and the need for vengeance and reparations.

Common to all of the above?  The perpetrators of these crimes are almost always young and male.  Some are very young, barely into their teens; some are older but have a rap sheet dating back to their teens.  

Almost all come from broken homes, dysfunctional families and/or a general lack of familial discipline.  Too, they’re not getting help from their schools or churches anymore.  Society says it’s wrong to make moral judgments or mess with another’s so-called truth.   All virtue is relative.  The simple concept of virtue is now disrespected as a form of toxic whiteness…

…Occasionally, African game keepers encounter horrendous scenes of murder and mayhem directed against their charges.  Herd animals slaughtered and beaten to a pulp with no sign of actual predation.  No sign, either, of that human bane, poaching: valuable pelts are shredded, and the even more valuable rhino horn left unharvested.  Just dead animals.  Many of them, killed, for no apparent reason.

The keepers know the culprit.  They even have a word for it:  musth.  Young male elephants no longer subject to the discipline of their maternal herds turn violent without the immediate supervision and intervention of adult males.  These teenaged elephants attack virtually anything including tourist buses.  These young males will even rape female rhinos, leaving them crushed and broken.  Animal behaviorists now blame raging adolescent hormones unchecked by any restraints – either physical or social.  Only the introduction of older, fully mature males into this environment stops these behaviors and appears to stop them cold as the teenage males are introduced to what is acceptable and expected of them by those they respect and can trust.

Is there not a parallel here?

Over a generation ago, Senator Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) counselled against welfare reforms that essentially removed poor men from their families.  Such reforms and changing social norms promoting victimhood and permissiveness have directly rebounded on our kids – both victims and perpetrators – all victims to a system that promotes hate, envy, anger, and a sense of entitlement – a jungle morality.  Kill or be killed.  Survival of the fittest (the cruelest, the quickest to recognize and react against any perceived slight).  

This is what we’ve given our kids.  Can we not now resolve to save them?  And us? –Mary Anne Wentink

Photo Cred: Vashon Jordan Jr./ Associated Press