Nationwide news coverage of the rioting in Milwaukee following the Aug. 13 death of 23-year-old Sylville Smith in a police confrontation has focused on the torched buildings, gunfire and scorched shells of cars. Yet the most important voice and powerful message amid this tragedy has largely been ignored. The young man’s father, Patrick Smith, in an anguished statement to local TV, declared:
"I had to blame myself for a lot of things, too, because your hero is your dad, and I played a very big part in my family’s role model for them. Being on the street, doing things of the street life: Entertaining, drug dealing and pimping and they’re looking at their dad like 'he’s doing all these things.' I got out of jail two months ago, but I’ve been going back and forth in jail, and they see these things. So I’d like to apologize to my kids because this is the role model they look up to. When they see the wrong role model, this is what you get.”
Read all of the essay by Robert L. Woodson, Sr. here.