Skip to comments.(Newark) City Without Fathers (illegitimacy and Crime)
Posted on 08/10/2007 7:29:53 AM PDT by Clemenza
The horrific, execution-style killing of three teens in Newark last weekend has sparked widespread outrage and promises of reform from politicians, religious leaders, and community activists, who are pledging a renewed campaign against the violence that plagues New Jerseys largest city. But much of the reaction, though well-intentioned, misses the point. Behind Newarks persistent violence and deep social dysfunction is a profound cultural shift that has left many of the citys children growing up outside the two-parent familyand in particular, growing up without fathers. Decades of research tell us that such children are far likelier to fail in school and work and to fall into violence than those raised in two-parent families. In Newark, we are seeing what happens to a community when the traditional family comes close to disappearing.
According to 2005 figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, only 32 percent of Newark children are being raised by their parents in a two-adult household. The rest are distributed among families led by grandparents, foster parents, and single parentsmostly mothers. An astonishing 60 percent of the citys kids are growing up without fathers. It isnt that traditional families are breaking up; they arent even getting started. The city has one of the highest out-of-wedlock birthrates in the country, with about 65 percent of its children born to unmarried women. And 70 percent of those births are to women who are already poor, meaning that their kids are born directly into poverty.
The economic consequences of these numbers are unsettling, since single parenthood is a road to lasting poverty in America today. In Newark, single parents head 83 percent of all families living below the poverty line. If you are a child born into a single-parent family in Newark, your chances of winding up in poverty are better than one in five, but if you are born into a two-parent family, those chances drop to just one in twelve.
And the social consequences are even more disturbing. Research conducted in the 1990s found that a child born out of wedlock was three times more likely to drop out of school than the average child, and far more likely to wind up on welfare as an adult. Studies have also found that about 70 percent of the long-term prisoners in our jails, those who have committed the most violent crimes, grew up without fathers.
The starkness of these statistics makes it astonishing that our politicians and policy makers ignore the subject of single parenthood, as if it were outside the realm of civic discourse. And our religious leaders, who once preached against such behavior, now also largely avoid the issue, even as they call for prayer vigils and organize stop-the-violence campaigns in Newark. Often, in this void, the only information that our teens and young adults get on the subject of marriage, children, and family life comes through media reports about the lifestyles of our celebrity entertainers and athletes, who have increasingly shunned matrimony and traditional families. Once, such news might have been considered scandalous; today, it is reported matter-of-factly, as if these pop icons lives were the norm.
Faced with such a profound shift in attitudes, even well-designed, well-intentioned government programs that have worked elsewhere may have only limited success in a community like Newark. The citys dynamic new mayor, Cory Booker, has moved quickly to import successful ideas and programs, including rigorous quality-of-life policing from New York City. Booker is advocating sensible changes to fix the citys troubled school system, which graduates a shockingly low number of students, and hes looking at job training programs to get fathers involved, at least economically, in their childrens lives.
But Booker has also shown frustration at the slow pace of change in Newark, and earlier this week he observed that the citys problems didnt start yesterday and wont be solved tomorrow. Given that some 3,750 kids are born every year into fatherless Newark families, Bookers prediction may be depressingly correct.
BTW: The overwhelming majority of homicides in Newark are black-on-black, although the crime mentioned in the article was a degenerate illegal killing black kids.
There are criminals and victims in Newark. And the politicians are too busy trying to get paid to do anything about it.
It’s just the result of “The Great Society,” courtesy of LBJ.
Crimmigration also has a role.
Back in the 1980’s there was a great quote:
If you come to Newark without a gun, we will issue you one.
I'm surprised it's that many. You would think that between them, a husband and a wife would have better sense and better options than to raise a family in Newark.
When I was a kid (in the Stone Age) I was allowed to travel by myself, most anywhere between Philly and Manhattan. One of the areas I was warned to avoid was Newark, and that was before the commotion.
Another Democrat success story...
But people forget that before Sharpe James there was Kenny Gibson and before Kenny Gibson there was Hugh Addonizio.
Addonizio turned the Newark municipal government into a Mafia patronage factory.
"Disinvestment" may have accelerated after the riots, but it was proceeding apace before then, due to business owners choosing not to be shaken down by the Boiardo crew and their cronies in the NPD.
My mother-in-law lived in Irvington in 1965 and worked in Newark for PSE&G - and she was shot in the leg with a ricocheted .22 round by a wiseguy who decided to intimidate the owner of a local market by firing of rounds into the ceiling of the store.
Newark was falling apart before the riots for a number of reasons - starting right after WWII.
1) the black establishment, which never seems to see any reason except "racism" for the failure of black kids to achieve in school and get someplace in life; and
2) the liberals and libertarian-type conservatives who insist that government policies should never be formulated with marriage and family structure in mind.
Everybody acknowledges that family values is the key to creating a stable Newark, but when put into practice our government schools wants education without morality. Paraphrasing what Theodore Roosevelt once said, “if society educates a person with knowledge devoid of morality, then society will end up with an educated menance.”
Feminism has failed children and men and women.
The disintegration of the traditional family leads immediately to the disintegration of society.
WHAT is our country going to do about changing this dynamic? More welfare, and social programs are not the answer. Until people particularly from this social class begin to marry again, BEFORE they procreate, these problems will continue, and they will also continue to spread to the more upwardly mobile social classes.
It has become a way of life passed on from generation to generation, and is as NORMAL to some people as the traditional family was.
I sincerely wish the Newarks of our country well, but they keep making the same mistakes over and over. Decades of wrong values, wrong decisions, wrong politics . . it’s a never-ending circle.
Why they don’t get it is beyond me, but nothing’s going to change.
How dare you point out that this is a direct consequence of a “liberal” program! The said they meant well, and some of them actually DID mean well.
What is this guy, some kind of religious fanatic trying to force his beliefs off onto the rest of us?
Not to mention another example of the Atlas Shrugged principal
That needs to be part of a bumber sticker.
Stop the press!!!
Hillary’s got the answer.
It takes a village.
Well, as a “libertarian-type conservative”, I stick to my views. Government is a failure in virtually every area it gets involved in. Why should we think it would be different for “marriage and family structure”?
I agree that absent fathers are at the heart of this problem, and many (cultural) liberals may true to ignore that fact. But it’s not something that can be changed through government.
It's probably not something that can be *improved* by government, but what do you say about the effect of government-sanctioned same-sex "marriages"? I say that it makes traditional marriage meaningless and serves to erode the institution.
How say the libertarians upon this issue?
Even though, as we all know, it was created as a result of government policies and programs.
I got to say this, if you are a young man in Newark (any race, creed or religion) who does take on the responsibility of being the active father of your kids and spouse to your children’s mother, your first thought is to get your kids and spouse the hell out of Newark ASAP.
So there numbers are a bit skewed do to “nuclear family flight” out to wherever, anywhere but Camden is better than Newark.
I think marriage is a religious institution and government should have nothing to do with it. I think marriage should be up to the churches, and civil unions (for heterosexual and homosexual couples) should be the jurisdiction of the government.
Let me clarify - it cannot be IMPROVED through government. Almost anything can be made WORSE by government.
Why just couples?
I suppose it wouldn’t necessary have to be just couples, but I think a primary partnership would have to be defined for certain things, such as medical decisions. Spousal privilege is another good reason for limiting the number to one - otherwise we could have cover-ups by civil union. Also, I think it’s reasonable for companies to limit marriage/domestic partner benefits to only one other person. But, as far as inheritance, distrubtion of assets, etc., people can involve as many others as they want.
I'm also unable to locate the words 'civil union' in there as well.
Maybe they've emanated from a penumbra I've missed...
This is the fruits of Feminism and Liberalism. Enjoy, America.
That’s correct. I was referring to states having civil unions, if that’s what they decided they wanted.
Which interestingly happens to be right about when the last Republicans were elected there. Coincidence ? Naaaaah.
According to 2005 figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, only 32 percent of Newark children are being raised by their parents in a two-adult household.I call BS.
Surely the percentages can't be that high.
OK, everybody, let’s blame it on the mothers again. Crime is not the fault of criminals. I am so tired of hearing this from the Manhattan Institute—I think they must sing it in round from at lunch.
The end of WWII was when all the defense work dried up, and there was much of it in Newark.
from = form
The author says... “single parenthood is a road to lasting poverty in America today.”
Not only today and not only in America - it is a BAD idea anywhere and anytime it has been tried. Why do you think ‘middle-class values’ came into such wide acceptance? As the wisdom of marrying BEFORE having kids spread through society, the prosperity of society increased - that’s why America grew such a big middle class. Stability and prosperity rest on middle-class morality. Government cannot mandate it, but can support and encourage it - and I think they should. Society can also do its part by reintroducing social pressure - if we can get past the fear of being considered prudish and judgemental.
Nonsense. More new gun laws will solve everything. </if I need to put a sarcasm tag on this than forget it>
It is essentially just a legal contract. However, some things, namely spousal priviledge, cannot be granted without the recognition of the state.
In Newark, the overwhelming majority of homicides are black on black, the recent high profile murder nothwithstanding. As a matter of fact, the area of Newark with the lowest crime rate is the one with the highest number of immigrants (Ironbound/the East Ward). There aren't that many immigrants, illegal or legal, in the sh-tholes that are the South and West Wards.
Now if we were talking about certain nabes in Houston and the entire city of El Paso, then you would have a point...
A great deal of the crime is driven by the profits from the war on drugs. Legalize it for those over 21 years of age and tax it like alcohol and tobacco with severe penalties for anyone that gives it to anyone under 21. Transfer the DEA personnel to the Border Patrol.
Do you mean that Bill Clinton’s Midnight Basketball programs are not working?
and the 90,000 man march in DC didn’t help?
c’mon, you’re fooin’ with me, right?
Whatever happened to the nuclear family?
down with the nuclear family
up with in loco parentis!
Wow, those “severe penalties” sure will do the trick. Just as they are now for illegal drugs.
It would be better than the corrupted mess we have now. Nothing's perfect.