Skip to comments.Black Families, Black Men
Posted on 03/16/2006 11:12:22 AM PST by FreeManDC
Sounding like a born-again social conservative, president Lyndon B. Johnson stepped to the podium and made this stirring pronouncement: When the family collapses, it is the children that are usually damaged. When it happens on a massive scale, the community itself is crippled.
And with his usual modesty, LBJ later hailed that 1965 Howard University commencement address as his greatest civil rights speech.
A few months later the Moynihan Report came out. Despite its commonsense focus on strengthening the Black family, civil rights leaders raised a stink that Mr. Moynihan was trying to blame the victim. Floyd McKissick, director of the Congress of Racial Equality, insisted, Its the damn system that needs changing.
So the architects of the Great Society not only set out to ignore the formative role of the Black family they plotted to make things worse.
They instituted programs with men-stay-away names like Women, Infants, and Children. They enacted Medicaid in 1965 that imposed eligibility tests slighting non-custodial parents (read fathers).
Then the social do-gooders delivered the knock-out blow: the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program. AFDC had its infamous man-out-of-the-house rule that withheld benefits if the primary breadwinner (again, read father) resided in the house.
Sociologist Andrew Billingsley has traced the historical lifeline of the Black family. In 1890 the number of intact Black families with fathers and mothers at home was 80%. Over the next seven decades through 1960, that figure held remarkably constant.
But once the Great Society programs were put in place, the African-American family went into a tailspin.
When the number-crunchers tallied up the results from the 1970 decennial census, they couldnt believe their eyes the number of intact Black families had fallen to 64%.
For the next 20 years two-parent families continued their free-fall, reaching a rock-bottom 38% in 1990. And most of the remaining intact families were concentrated in the Black middle class. In the inner city, the traditional Black family had essentially ceased to exist.
So forced to compete with a government welfare program, poor Black men had suddenly found themselves persona non grata in their own homes. Like an unwelcome houseguest, Uncle Sam had moved in, unpacked his bags, and made himself a surrogate husband.
What two World Wars and the Great Depression were unable to do, the Great Society accomplished in only 25 years.
With the Black family now in shambles, no amount of federal money could fix the problem. In 1965, 21% of all American children under the age of 18 lived in poverty. Thirty years and billions of welfare dollars later, the number of American children living in poverty was 21%.
Of course the Leftists refuse to admit the obvious failures of the Great Society. And is their habit, they tell the exact opposite of the truth.
Robert Hill of the Urban League once spun this whopper: Research studies have revealed that many one-parent families are more intact or cohesive than many two-parent families. Excuse me Mr. Hill, when millions of poor teenage girls are having out-of-wedlock births, how does that fit into your concept of intact and cohesive?
Likewise, feminist scholars celebrated the ascendancy of the female-headed household. Believing the nuclear family is the bastion of male privilege, feminist Toni Morrison lionized the strong black woman who was superior in terms of [her] ability to function healthily in the world.
But theres a deeper reason for the Leftist cover-up.
Karl Marx argued that economic realities determine social conditions. According to that formulation, if you pump money into a community, social indicators will automatically improve. But the Great Society proved the opposite squander money on programs that weaken social structures, and life becomes unbearably squalid.
Viewing the plight of the once-proud Black family, Kay Hymowitz recently mused in the City Journal, The literature was so evasive, so implausible, so far removed from what was really unfolding in the ghetto, that if you didnt know better, you might conclude that people actually wanted to keep the black family separate and unequal. [www.city-journal.org/html/15_3_black_family.html]
When I reflect on the vestiges of the American Black family, the disenfranchisement of its men, and the despair of its children, I admit to feeling an abiding sense of betrayal actually outrage is a better word.
They promised us the Great Society.
MIGHT CONCLUDE??? I think it damn obvious that the left has done every thing in its power to destroy the black family.
Yup...a lockstep 90+ % voting block.
Yup...a lockstep 90+ % voting block.
Right on. It is the ONLY reason the ThugoRats even acknowledge that Black people exist in this country.
Was just discussing on a men's rights thread how, when Uncle Sam moved in to play Daddy, women began viewing fathers as "optional".
Thoroughly true, clearly stated, and worth repeating a thousand times.
In the late '60's and the entire '70's there was a welfare racket going on, at least in the N.East.
The black, or Hispanic mom would have two, three, or more kids. Name X, Y, and Z as the fathers. A warrant would be issued for X, Y, and Z.
The "mom" would collect the check. There would be no arrests because there was no X, Y, or Z. They were bogus names.
If mom needed more dough, she would send for her sisters kid, or kids in N.Carolina, make like they were hers, and collect the dough.
I don't know how the social services departments are handling it now, but that is what was going on then.
This wasn't accidental. The more the Left succeeds in breaking down mediating institutions, like the family, and the church, the more people look to and depend upon the government, thereby concentrating more power in the government. Which is exactly what the Left has always wanted.
They severely damaged Americans who happen to be black by instituting the "Great Society" programs that created a multigeneration dependent class. They convinced an entire segment of the American population that they're helpless victims of white racism, and cannot succeed in life without the help of white liberals. Their programs are based on the assumption that black people are incapable of overcoming obstacles successfully overcome by every other group in America. And in the face of such a patronizing, condescending attitude, the assumption of their own inferiority, Americans who happen to be black respond by giving nearly unanimous support to the bigots who hold them in such contempt!
Really, you have to take your hat off to the Democrats, who have so successfully conned so many otherwise intelligent people for so long.
Excellent post. It proves that the state doesn't know best.
Excellent post. It proves that the state doesn't know best. Father knows best.
If you'd really like to understand what transpired, read "Winning the Race" by John McWhorter.
What I have read and understood from the Bible is that God and Jesus wants us to help each other by using our own time, treasure and talent and to give from our hearts ("Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." - 2 Corinthians 9:7). Nowhere have I found anything along the lines of "Go out and institute huge bureaucracies that will take money from some people at the point of a sword and give that money to other people as a politician sees fit."
Our Founding Fathers were Christian and very pious men. They founded this country under strong Judeo-Christian tenets and reflected on their religious beliefs on all their decisions. They wrote nothing into the Constitution of any type of government "aid" to help the poor, children or anyone else on purpose. They wanted a very limited government for good reason. Limited government is the best way to ensure that freedom will be preserved. The Scottish philosopher Alexander Tytler, who lived during the time of the American Revolution and writing of the US Constitution, summed these views:
"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure.
From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's great civilizations has been two hundred years.
These nations have progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage."
There are many interesting questions if citizens rely on government to do "God's Work."
If a government takes a portion of a man's wages and does good with it, has the man also done good? If a government takes away a portion of a woman's property and does evil with it, has the woman also done evil? When a rich man pays more in taxes than a poor person, is he more Godly? If the government then does evil, is he more to blame? A woman works for the government and uses other people's tax money and does "God Work" with it, is this government woman now a good/Godly woman? If I legally try to avoid paying taxes, does that not make me an "Ungodly" man?
Today, the US government (federal, state and local) takes nearly 50% of a middle-class person's paycheck after all taxes are factored in (income taxes, Social Security, sales tax, real estate taxes, gas tax, death taxes, phone taxes, highway tolls, sad etc.). Uncle Sam will spend more money in just this year (2004) than it spent combined between 1787 and 1900 - even after adjusting for inflation. I cringe at those numbers. The Founding Fathers wanted nothing like the tax-consuming monster that we have as a government today. I also think of all the good work that could have be done if people were allowed to keep more of their own money and give it to organizations/people that they believe in their heart are doing God's work. Maybe it comes down to trust. Will people do the right thing with their own money or must a government take a huge chunk of it to do the "right things?"
Except government rarely does anything right except for those tasks that were explicitly outlined in the Constitution as the Founding Father intended. I could cite many examples (such as where would you rather put $10,000 in retirement money - in Social Security or in your own 401k plan?) but the plight of black America illustrates this failure beyond comparison.
In 1965, the US government was going to wipe out poverty by the "Great Society" programs, in which to date over 3.5 trillion dollars has been spent. These federal programs were designed to "help families and children" or "buy votes" depending on your political viewpoint.
At the beginning of the 1960's, the black out of wedlock birth rate was 22%. In the late 1975 it reached 49% and shot up to 65% in 1989. In some of the largest urban centers of the nation the rate of illegitimacy among blacks today exceeds 80% and averages 69% nationwide. As late as the 1970's there was still a social stigma attached to a woman who was pregnant outside marriage. Now, government programs have substituted for the father and for black moral leadership. The black family and culture has collapsed (and white families are not that far behind).
Illegitimacy leads directly to poverty, crime and social problems. Out of wedlock children are four times more likely to be poor. They are much more likely to live in high crime areas with no hope of escape. In turn, they are forced to attend dangerous and poor-performing government schools, which directly leads to another generation of poverty.
Traditional black areas of Harlem, Englewood and West Philadelphia in the 1950s were safe working class neighborhoods (even though "poor" by material measures). Women were unafraid to walk at night and children played unmolested in the streets and parks. Today, these are some of the worst crime plagued areas of our nation. Work that was once dignified is now shunned. Welfare does not require recipients to do anything in exchange for their benefits. Many rules actually discourage work or provide benefits that reduce the incentive to find work.
The black abortion rate today is nearly 40%. Pregnancies among black women are twice as likely to end in abortion as pregnancies among white and Hispanic women.
The "Great Society" programs all had good intentions. Unfortunately, their real world results are that they have replaced the traditional/Christian models of family/work with that of what a government bureaucrat thinks it should be.
I could make an excellent argument that if the US government had hired former grand wizards of the KKK to run the "Great Society" programs, and if they had worked every day from 1965 to today without rest, they could have hardly have done better in destroying black America than the "Works of God" that the government has done or is trying to do.
I have visited many countries in which the government "guarantees" that everyone has a job, a place to live, education, health care and cradle to grave "government help" for all children and families. It all sounds great except that the people in these countries are/were miserable. They wanted to escape but were forced by their governments, at the end of a gun, to stay. The "worker's paradises" of socialist and communist counties are chilling reminders of letting governments do "God's Work."
The Bible clearly states that we are to help those in need. The question is "Who should help those in need?" I firmly believe that scripture and the historical evidence strongly support that individuals, private organizations and churches should be the ones doing the heavy lifting. Government help should be the last resort. "Charity," enforced by the government, is not charity, it is extortion. "Charity," delivered by the government, is not charity, it is a bribe which corrupts both the giver and the receiver.
It's not only possible, it is demographically inevitable and foreordained.
Start by defining "in poverty" as any household below a certain line on the income bell curve. Right there, you have insured that there will always be a mathematically predictable group in the defined class. Now predict the likely occupants of that income bracket: the poorly educated, the dysfunctional, the recently unemployed, large multi generational households, and the young entry-level. Then predict who will be the most likely group to have children: the young adults and the multigenerationals (teen kids having kids, supported by grandfolks).
Bingo, bango: Lots of kids below the poverty line. Doesn't mean their family will stay there, but it's more likely if they have no education and/or are dysfunctional due to lifestyle. Mostly, as the income earners age and advance in their careers, the children rise out of the poverty bracket and are replaced by a new batch.
We all know---IT'S Bush's FAULT...........
Young men need to have the experience of watching their fathers, in order to learn what is needed to become a good father.
Once a complete generation or more has been shattered, the young men growing up have no way to share in that priceless gift of experience that has been handed down from father to son for thousands of years.
Once a pillar of a building is shattered into pieces, it is nearly impossible to glue back together.
But shatter all of the pillars, so that there is no way to turn to any other example, and the model may disappear forever.
An effective method, requiring a ruthlessness and a brutality specific to the liberal mind.
Don't take me seriously. I was just sarc'ing about the way the number was presented. It looked like -25% of families were below the poverty line.