The “crack epidemic” began in 1984 and lasted through 1993, according to the DEA history book. One of the legacies of that epidemic is the “crack baby” who was born during that time period. Some studies that have looked at those children who were born with crack cocaine in their system found that they are doing well.

But as I read the newspapers and continue to see the ages of our criminal element (13-25) committing some of the most heinous crimes around, I wonder if those studies are as flawed as others focusing on the black community?

In Georgia, Vanessa Elaine Thrasher, 53, reopens her family’s lounge and restaurant to give back to the community and is rewarded by being killed in a holdup of her business. Her alleged killers – Otis Ricks, 23; DeMario Carman, 23; and Gerald Peterson, 23 – all were captured on security camera and eventually apprehended.

In Arkansas, Akiya Egeston is working at a gas station when three robbers appear. They try to get the safe open and are unable. They leave but one returns and opens fire, killing Egeston in cold blood. Her confessed shooter, Jacobi Robinson, 20, and his accomplices Davion Howard, 20, and Maclin Rogers, 20 have been apprehended.

In Evanston, 14-year-old Dajae Coleman is walking home after a party with a group of friends when they are accosted by Wesley Woodson III, 20. Woodson screams at them for being the ones who stabbed his cousin and proceeds to unload four rounds, one of which kills Coleman.

What these three murders represent are the murderous “crack baby” generation of children. They may not have been born with crack cocaine in their system, but their behavior is akin to what many experts warned us about. They are super-predators with guns. These three cases are just the tip of the iceberg in regards to the murderous activities going on all over this country.

What should be galvanizing the entire black community most is the ages of these killers. What is going on in the minds of our young people under the age of 25 that has them killing with no remorse? How can three individuals go into a business and just kill the owner for pittance, as in the case of Thrasher? What kind of cold-hearted and cold-blooded killers are we raising that can fail at a robbery as in the Egeston case, then re-enter the store and shoot the woman dead because they came out of the robbery empty-handed?

And looking at our wealthy North Shore neighborhood up in Evanston, what can make a 20-year-old, upon learning that his cousin has been injured in a fight, believe he can come out shooting first and asking no questions?

I am not one buying the “we need more community centers” mantra. There is a fundamental problem with parenting, and we need to make it the national issue. Real parenting – not the designer gym shoes and blue jeans variety – parenting that comes with accountability factors. Parenting that has them stepping up to the plate as opposed to making excuses. As I have written previously, these killers don’t live in their own apartment paying rent, gas, lights and food. They are parasites who are living off their mamas and grandmamas. They are adding no value to the community and instead are the catalyst for havoc and mayhem.

Care to dispute me? Then go to the CBS Chicago website and watch the interview Walter Jacobson did with gang members out of Englewood. It is a sad and sick sight to hear young black males make many of the pronouncements they made. When Jacobson asked one young male where he wanted to be in 10 years, he said in a mansion with a lot of cars and a lot of women.

Someone should have flashed a picture of Tamms, Statesville or Pontiac to him. Those prisons are more likely to be his destination should he ever pull the trigger.