Jewish World Review Oct. 14, 2002 / 8 Mar-Cheshvan, 5763
The root of all evil
The brutal murder of Charlie Young in Milwaukee and the case of deadbeat dad David Oakley, also in Wisconsin, pinpoint the exact reason why crime in America is an enterprise that is assured for years to come.
Eleven children have been charged with beating the 36-year-old Young to death with a variety of weapons. The resumes of these indicted kids is absolutely frightening. The local Milwaukee press assembled the following data:
Milwaukee police say that the accused murderers all lacked parental supervision and were pretty much allowed to do whatever they wanted. In fact, after the 10-year-old boy involved in the murder confessed to police, reporters heard his father say, "Kids are going to be kids."
- Thirteen-year-old Kenny Mays says he attends the eighth grade but doesn't know the name of his school.
- Marlin Dixon is 14 years old and already the father of a 5-month-old baby.
- Thirteen-year-old Don Dixon's father was recently murdered outside a methadone clinic.
- Montreon Jordan is 15 and on probation for a robbery conviction.
- Sixteen-year-old Lee Mays does not attend school because his mother told authorities she doesn't know where to send him. His lawyer, Michael Backes, told me the mother has "mental issues" and that Michael should be removed from the home.
Which brings us to David Oakley, a man that has fathered nine children with four women. Oakley owes at least $25,000 to those kids, and the Wisconsin courts have been chasing him for years. Finally, a judge sentenced him to eight years in prison but reduced the sentence to parole if Oakley would agree not to father any more children.
He did. But that's not the end of it.
Enter Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe, the man who handled Al Gore's appeal in the election mess. Tribe appealed the judge's ruling to the Wisconsin Supreme Court saying the state "failed to justify its need" to bar Oakley from having any more children.
What? The guy has nine kids -- most of whom are living in poverty -- and he can't or won't provide care for them, and the state has not "justified its need"? Ridiculous is far too mild.
But then again, we must look at this from Tribe's point of view. He firmly believes that the Constitution gives all Americans the right to have children and not support them. He believes that other Americans should support those kids in the form of welfare and assistance payments.
Counselor Tribe went on to argue that "procreation is at the very heart of the personal rights protected by the Constitution, for it by definition concerns the most intimate of human activities and relationships."
Well, you can't argue about the "intimate" nature of sex. And apparently that is more important to Tribe than the welfare of children who are being created by the sexual act.
To be fair, Laurence Tribe is right in theory -- the government should not be interfering with the act of procreation. But what Tribe and others like him ignore are the rights of the kids. Listen up, counselor: Every child born in America has the right to basic care. And if their parents will not provide that care, those parents must be criminally charged.
The solution to the problem is to prosecute deadbeat, abusive and absent parents on criminal-neglect charges, and put them in jail, or after-work house arrest. If society did that, there would be far fewer kids committing murders on the streets, and far fewer David Oakleys wandering around "procreating."
The Constitution was created to protect all Americans from harm and unfairness. Legions of kids are being harmed by their neglectful parents, and millions of taxpayers are being abused when their dollars are used to support Oakley's children.
By the way, Tribe lost his case. David Oakley either stops making babies, or he goes to prison.
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JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the
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© 2001 Creators Syndicate