June 25, 2021 – Fatherlessness may have led to London tragedy
Gene C. Colman Introduction: Today we present an open letter from Glenn Cheriton, President of the Canadian Equal Parenting Council. What at first glance appears as a racist outrage may actually have its roots in fatherlessness. Glenn makes a compelling argument. This is well worth the read.
CANADIAN EQUAL PARENTING COUNCIL
CONSEIL D’ÉGALITÉ PARENTALE DU CANADA
Federation of 26 Organizations Advocating for Equal Shared Parenting, Family Law Reform, Recognition of Parental Alienation & Children’s Rights
June 15, 2021 By Glenn Cheriton, President of the Canadian Equal Parenting Council (CEPC)
A recent tragedy of a London, Ontario Muslim family deliberately killed and one seriously wounded by a disturbed young man driving a truck is detailed in the news stories below.
“Father of accused speaks, suggests mother alienated boy” https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/father-of-man-accused-in-anti-muslim-attack-in-london-ont-calls-it-senseless-act/ar-AAKTBW9?ocid=msedgntp.
Politicians have quickly labelled the attack as racist, as the family targeted was dressed in Muslim attire, but news reporting above reveals that the suspect had a 5 year history of mental disturbances, medication, anger from the divorce of his parents, and social alienation. Both Muslim parents died, along with their daughter, and her grandmother, with a son, badly injured, surviving. Hearts of parents across Canada ache for this family and the surviving boy.
The Court appears to have ordered sole or primary maternal custody, but the mother appears incapable of dealing with his anger, locking herself away in fear when he showed his aggression. The suspect’s friends, some Muslim, state that he had no history of racist prejudices. Perhaps his five years of anger and resentment from his loss of family, his dad, social isolation with mental and personality problems were triggered by his viewing of an apparently happy intact family, enjoying what he could not have.
Are the politicians right in assuming he was radicalized by some unknown contact, or that Canadian society is systemically racist to the point of home growing racist terrorists? It seems unlikely that more pious anti-racist, virtue-signalling speeches will make any difference.
Social science published and reviewed research strongly suggests some factors make big differences. Mass killings, violence and extreme anti-social behaviour is strongly linked to the absence of the father in the lives of boys, according to Dr. Warren Farrell, author of “Father and Child Reunion” and “The Boy Crisis”. Science further indicates what can be done: keeping children, particularly boys in equal parenting relationships with their moms and dads, goes a long way to ameliorating the damaging effects of divorce for children.
Canadian psychology professor Dr. Edward Kruk goes further, marshalling an extensive body of evidence for equally keeping both parents in the lives of children in his book “The Equal Parenting Presumption” So, why, in the case of the suspect in the London tragedy above, did the judge presume that the mother alone could deal with a boy who obviously was not handling the divorce in a healthy way?
The dirty secret of Canada’s divorce courts is that the current adversarial process is not working. It is too slow, too costly, too inaccessible and processes are too subject to procedural trickery, gender bias and historical precedents and biases such as maternal preference, primary caregiver presumption and others. Pious claims of acting in “children’s best interest” are contradicted by actions which have the effect of plundering family assets to enrich vested interests.
On the bright side, social science gives good guidance on working solutions: changing divorce law and practice so that both parents are kept in their children’s lives whenever possible. Of course, there is no guarantee that this would have prevented the London tragedy, but no other approach has the body of evidence showing that it would reduce such occurrences to the degree of equal parenting, i.e. keeping both parents in the lives of children.
Canadian Equal Parenting Council, of which I am currently the president, has been working on reforming Canada’s family court system for decades and has sponsored law reform at the federal level.
Canada’s aboriginal communities had disproportionate problems of poor child mental and physical health, self-destructive behaviours and violence. In 2015, the Canadian federal government reformed the child welfare and custody system for Indigenous children, aiming to ensure such children were kept with their Indigenous culture, community and parents wherever possible. To make that work, the government recognized Indigenous parents and organizations as stakeholders and consciously collaborated with them to make it happen. The parents, children and descendants, who suffered from the Native Residential Schools, are to be commended for transcending their pain to collaborate in implementing practical reforms to fix the problems that system created.
Parent advocates have been seeking the same reforms for non-indigenous children, but so far, vested interests have blocked that, so problems in family courts remain. Legal industry interests want to keep divorce and custody as legal issues, so that the money can keep flowing. Gender ideology interests want to keep divorce, custody and parenting as gender issues so that the funding will keep flowing. A Freakenomics analysis might suggest that the family law system creates more traumatized children because that creates more income for lawyers down the road.
Canada’s children of divorce are crying for help, but most cries don’t reach the headlines like the London example. Our sorrow for the victims of violence and racism need not prevent us from acting in reforms and prevention. We need to fix the courts, laws and processes so that children keep parenting by mom and dad, especially after separation. This gives us the best chance of avoiding recurring tragedies.
Glenn Cheriton, President
Canadian Equal Parenting Council
Canadian Equal Parenting Council, 631 Tubman Crescent, Ottawa, ON CAN K1V8L5 T: 613-523-2444 F: 888-613-0329 E: [email protected]
Link to Gene C. Colman’s Equal Shared Parenting Web Page
Link to past issues of the ESP Thought of the Day publication