It all started with a tweet. Monica Foy, a student at Sam Houston State University decided to tell the world how she felt.
Her raw words that night typed on her own cellphone said loads more about what is wrong with America than anything she had on her mind.
Ms. Foy pondered why so many people cared about the murder of Deputy Darren Goforth. Deputy Goforth was murdered as he pumped gasoline into his cruiser. She went on to say he had “creepy perv eyes.”
She was later arrested for having an unrelated outstanding warrant for assault.
The devaluing of human life in our society is sickening. This incident is but a speck but it is also not rare. A person was killed, no was murdered, and far too many lacked the basic humanity to feel pain for his family and the community.
Black Lives Matter protesters in Minnesota last week chanted while they marched “Pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon.” This kind of angry drivel is as offensive as it is ignorant.
All of this on top of the constant stream of videos showing the harvesting and marketing of baby parts should make all of us stop in our tracks.
How did we allow this to happen? More importantly how do we stop it?
I know violence all too well. As a child I saw it out my front window. Both of my cousins were killed on the streets in our neighborhood. As a doctor, I spent way too much time taking bullets out of patients.
I also know that hopelessness is growing in our inner cities. The change they were promised never happened. Fifty percent unemployment isn’t a problem it is a catastrophe.
Violence is worshiped and profiteered by entertainment companies. Drug usage is growing across the country to alarming proportions. Our culture is becoming twisted and sick.
All of this comes as a generation of young adults who were often raised by themselves takes a seat at the table. The family unit melted away and some single parents never got around to parenting.
I am afraid we are on the front end of a lost generation. A generation with no hope and no faith are growing to adulthood. Hopelessness causes one to make irrational decisions. Actions that lack humanity and kindness are what we are witnessing. We can expect more violence.
But we also must come to the conclusion that our government’s programs to fight poverty have failed. Our inner-city education programs have failed. Both of these institutions now have to act as not just protectors and teachers, but now as parents.
We can wish that wasn’t the case but that wish will not change the facts.
We need a bold new vision to both combat the problems and also ensure this is the last lost generation. We can do better and we must.
• Dr. Ben Carson is a Republican candidate for president in 2016. He is the former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore.