Sheila Qualls: Grooming children for a life of crime

These children are the result of a social experiment gone bad.

Screenshot of a video provided to Alpha News in which children in St. Paul punched and cursed at police officers.

The content of this video is disturbing. Chilling.

It is a foreshadowing of poverty, prison, and even death. It tells the story of children — who through no fault of their own — have been corrupted and abandoned by a system that places no value on the traditional nuclear family.

When Minneapolis police officers showed up in St. Paul last week to execute a search warrant for a murder suspect, they were met by toddlers — some still in diapers — who punched, kicked, cursed, and threw rocks at them. (Alpha News is only publishing 30 seconds of the video, but it goes on for another two minutes.)

The behavior of these children is eerily similar to the behaviors of rioters who burned and looted Minneapolis two years ago.

Children who can’t read or cross the street unattended hurled profanities and unabashed disrespect at law enforcement officers.

As they cussed, berated, and struck police officers with their fists, a bystander can be heard in the background encouraging the children by saying “Oreo head,” in reference to the black police officer at the scene.

This is a problem.

We need to solve it.

While the video content is disquieting, it is also preventable.

What’s the product of grooming children to disrespect police officers and other forms of authority? We are essentially training them to disregard societal norms of behavior and hindering them from achieving success in life. In short, we’re cultivating future criminals.

Add 10 years to the age of these children and their behavior would be deemed delinquent. Add 20 years to their age, and their faces might end up as pictures on T-shirts after a violent encounter with the law.

The outcome, though not guaranteed, is predictable. Why? These children are the result of a social experiment gone bad. They are casualties of the War on Poverty introduced by the progressive left under President Johnson in the 1960s. Since that time, the black community and society as a whole have been suffering the consequences.

When children like these are eventually arrested or even killed because they have never learned to respect authority, progressives and the media use their deaths as an opportunity to advance the faulty narrative of inherent racism in America.

While the left constantly bemoans systemic racism, the evidence suggests something different. It does not point to racism. It does not point to white privilege. And it certainly does not point to police brutality. It points to the problem in the black community that no one ever talks about: the high percentage of fatherless homes.

Point to the obvious, and you’re ridiculed. If you’re white, you’re called racist; if you’re black, a sellout.

It’s time for us to stop blaming and start taking ownership. After 50-years of watching the degradation of the black family, it’s time for our leaders to act on the singular issue of fatherless homes. It is time to stop accepting this is as normative behavior and a way of life.

We haven’t always lived this way. Prior to the end of the civil rights movement in the late 1960s, nearly 80 percent of black children were born into two-parent families. Today, nearly 80 percent of black children are born into fatherless homes. It’s time for our leaders to redirect our purpose and focus. It’s time for clergy and elected officials in the community to prioritize the importance of two-parent families instead of accepting out-of-wedlock births as a norm.

Sadly, black children, like those in the video, are the ones who eventually dominate headlines. As these kids age, they will exhibit these behaviors in public with violent confrontations with teachers and law enforcement. This behavior will catapult them into the headlines as society bemoans the loss of another black life without ever bothering to look at the genesis of the problem.

It’s time we offer solutions. It’s time to make tough decisions. It’s time to stop incentivizing fatherless homes with government programs. It’s time to limit government to providing a hand up, not a permanent handout.

Government agencies need to stop incentivizing behaviors that undermine the family and society and using government assistance programs as a drug. The programs, which are addictive, result in years of trauma for children and young people and encourage dependency.

We have 50 years of evidence to validate these claims. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, children from fatherless homes are:

  • 4x more likely to end up in poverty
  • More likely to be sexually and physically abused
  • 85 percent of children with behavioral disorders
  • 2x more likely to be obese
  • 90 percent of runaways and homeless
  • 71 percent of high school dropouts
  • 63 percent of youth suicides
  • More likely to commit a crime
  • 85 percent of youth in prison

I’m not saying children from fatherless homes can’t achieve, because they can. My father did. He was raised in a fatherless home in the segregated south. He never adopted a victim mentality, and he never let others define who he was or what he could do. And he never passed along a victim mentality to me. But when children are born into poverty without a father or the ability to get a good education, they have three strikes against them.

The constant narrative we hear connecting systemic racism to racial disparities is a facade.

Racism exists, but it is not the norm. It is not the cause of the racial disparities we see today. Children without fathers receive less discipline in the home. And now progressives are trying to make it policy to stop disciplining disorderly children in our schools. They are lowering standards for black and brown kids and pushing to discontinue letter grades. The St. Paul public school system lowered the number of credits needed to graduate high school.

Unfortunately, there are many victims in this story. We, as a society, are victims dealing with broken and corrupt programs and policies that have ended in tragedy for black children. Broader society is a victim because they fear crime and undisciplined behavior in the public square. The children born into these situations are victims as we have data that strongly predicts their future.

This video is disgraceful. Heartbreaking. It is unsettling to law enforcement officers who encounter this behavior daily. It should be frightening to all of us. It should be embarrassing to leaders who have failed to lead a community toward virtue and morality.

We can do better, and we must. Let’s stop playing politics with our children’s lives. I do not believe this is what civil rights leaders wanted for the future of the black community. These children and our country deserve better.


Sheila Qualls

Sheila Qualls is an award-winning journalist and former civilian editor of an Army newspaper. Prior to joining Alpha News, she was a Christian Marriage and Family columnist at and a personal coach. Her work has been published in The Upper Room, the MOPS blog, Grown and Flown, and The Christian Post. She speaks nationally on issues involving faith and family.