What we’re seeing in “the charm city” reflects not racism nor Republican oppression–the city has been run by Democrats for generations and currently has an African American mayor and police chief. The police force itself is about half black.

No, what we’re seeing is the result of decades of social policies that break up poor families, that remove the necessary influence of fathers from the homes, that tell young black men that they have rights without responsibilities, that lower educational standards in favor of selfish public employee unions, that say work and character are optional, that respect preening self-expression rather than achievement, that imply religion is only for the weak, and say that violence is an acceptable form of speech.

Combined with the lack of opportunity they see in their crumbling communities, along with the dawning realization that they are ignorant and ill-equipped for the world as it is and cannot hope (in their sane moments) to get a piece of the wealth all around them, it’s almost no wonder that these young men–created in God’s image–stoop to pick up chunks of cement as a form of social protest.

Then we step back, put our hands over our mouths, and wonder what this world is coming to.

One final thought: Didn’t we used to shoot looters? Have we decided, in our guilt, to “give them space to destroy” as payment for our condescending hubris?

About Stan Guthrie

Stan Guthrie is an editor at large for Christianity Today magazine and for the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. His latest book is God's Story in 66 Verses. He also is author of All that Jesus Asks: How His Questions Can Teach and Transform Us, Missions in the Third Millennium: 21 Key Trends for the 21st Century, and A Concise Guide to Bible Prophecy. He is co-author of The Sacrament of Evangelism. Besides authoring, writing, and editing books, Stan is a literary agent, bringing together good authors, good books, and good publishers. Stan writes the monthly Priorities colum for He has appeared on National Public Radio's €œTell Me More,€ WGN's Milt Rosenberg program, and many Christian shows, including The Eric Metaxas Show and Moody Radio'€™s €œNew Day Florida.€ A licensed minister and an inspirational speaker, he served as moderator for the Christian Book Expo panel discussion, Does the God of Christianity Exist, and What Difference Does It Make?
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