Today, like Obama himself, 80% of all Black children in America are conceived out of wedlock. The president has hidden his birth information fairly effectively so we can’t say for sure about him, but 70% of today’s Black children are born to unmarried women. Whatever happened to the Black family? More importantly, how does this occurrence impact today’s Black child? And how, does this disintegration of the once proud Black family impact today’s political climate, and what does it portend based upon Mr. Obama’s actions? Before answering the first and third question, let’s deal with the second.
In the aggregate, statistics tell a depressing story for all American families, once the bastion of our nation. However, the Black statistics tell a tale of utter ruination. If White society has trouble understanding the Black experience, it is more than anything else a result of the massive changes that have occurred since 1965 to the Black community. Today, less than half of all children – all races examined together -- are raised entirely by their birth parents and 33% of all children are born to unwed mothers. Another 33% of all those children born to married couples will find their parents divorced well before the child reaches adulthood, for Blacks these statistics are much worse.
Looking briefly at just the White children . . . the educational, economic and family stability advantages of being White drop totally away for White kids raised in a family without a father. The high school drop-out numbers for White kids are roughly 3.5 times higher if raised in a family without a father. Such children are between four and five times more likely to live in families with incomes below the poverty line and about three times more likely to divorce or never get married and raise their own children in one-parent families and thus perpetuate the cycle so intimately linked to poverty.
Not too surprisingly, the huge number of fatherless families in the Black community has a slightly less debilitating effect. This situation is the norm among Black families now and almost 90% of Black families exhibit one-parent status. The Black community as groups and individuals have institutionalized some fairly effective responses, often based upon multi-generational families which have tended to be matriarchal. However, that “norm” is certainly not beneficial for mother or children. Living without a father increases the school dropout likelihood for Black children to 175% compared to intact families (and, by the way, for Hispanic children to 196%) compared to 250% for Whites. The impact of living in a fatherless home, however, is definitely even bigger economically for all races.
As a whole for Blacks, as well as Whites and Hispanics, the single biggest social disadvantages seem to align with fatherless families. Since Black families are much more likely than White families to begin below the poverty line and 2.8 times more likely to begin with an unmarried woman at the helm – the economic challenges are much, much greater and the consequences for the Black children are generally negative.
The one-parent household, typically headed by a divorced- or never-married mother, has significantly fewer financial resources than intact families do. Poverty statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, show approximately half of households headed by single mothers in 1995 were below the poverty line, in contrast with the 10 percent figure for two-parent households. Yes, many of these families were poor before divorce, and a significant proportion were headed by mothers who never married. Nevertheless, the lack of a father's income has dire consequences for household finances. Even in well-off families, the fatherless home can suffer disproportionately. The newly established home headed in the vast majority of cases by the principal bread-winner holds typically far fewer members and receives the lion’s share of the divided resources . . . so the economic status of the mother often plummets dramatically.
The most obvious thing is that most children raised in a one-parent family, regardless of race, face a far greater chance of economic hardship. For Black mothers raising children without a father, this situation is much more common and much more devastating. How did the once-proud Black family get to this point?
Lyndon B. Johnson’s “Great Society” programs begun in 1965, hold some of the answers. The Civil Rights Bill, Kennedy had sought was signed by LBJ, an unmitigated boon to all of society and the Black community especially. But Johnson didn’t stop there. He launched his “War on Poverty.” The goals of the Great Society were twofold and entirely laudable on their face: elimination of poverty and elimination of social injustice. Truly the greatest of LBJ’s actual accomplishments was the Voting Rights Bill.
The hallmark of all the Great Society effort, from misguided liberal point of view was, however, “Affirmative Action launched by an LBJ speech** on June 4, 1965.” Its ghost haunts the Black citizen still today. Like most government spending and government interference boondoggles (GSBs and GIBs), however, much of the GS programming produced entirely the opposite effect at enormous expense. The cost of the Welfare State and the $74 Trillion in unfunded obligations arising from LBJ’s Medicare and the federal portion of his Medicaid today has been enormous and largely negative . . . and that’s just the dollar and cents cost.
In fairness to Johnson and liberal Democrats, the Johnson programs expanded greatly under Republican presidents Nixon and Ford before dramatically taking off under Carter, a Democrat. Under Carter the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA of 1977), the first mortgage-guarantee boondoggle (to be followed later by three more expansions in 1992, ’95 and ‘98) ultimately set us on the path that led to the sub-prime lending crisis and didn’t that turn out well? But mostly, they were “great notions – good intentions” that, like most government programs just weren’t thought out in accord with human nature. Humans need incentives not handouts.
And then there was . . . the juxtaposition of the War on Poverty and Affirmative Action with the undeniable fact that in 1964, after sixteen years the disaffected mostly-southern Democrats known as the Dixiecrats finally found a new home and voted as a bloc for the Republican presidential candidate. Barry Goldwater, who authored “The Conscience of a Conservative,” attracted the Dixiecrats and that was not lost upon the nation’s Blacks. The G.O.P., the party of Lincoln, now in the eyes of Blacks had become the party of Strom Thurmond. In 1968, 72% of Black voters went Democratic . . . in 2008, 95. 8% of Black votes went for Barack Obama. The Dixiecrats found their home and the Black’s found a new political home. The unfortunate result of that fissure was that the Democratic party has become greatly tied up with the notion of advancing Black well-being. Their electoral survival has depended upon it and the Democrats are seeking to add Hispanics as 90% loyal Democrats as well.
The “government dependency” syndrome for the Black community that’s grown out of that situation has had a horrendous effect upon Blacks. It is no exaggeration to say that the Black community is far worse off today than it was before the Democrats started helping them. Black Republicans like Clarence Thomas, Michael Steele, Thomas Sowell, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, and Claude Allen are without exception such an anomaly in the Black community that all of them have encountered Black backlash for their “betrayal” and “Uncle Tomness.” Democratic Black leaders, for example, excoriated Clarence Thomas during his confirmation hearings. Black people who succeeded without relying upon Democratic largesse are uniformly held is disdain, a sad state of affairs that says more about Black problems today than just about anything else you might think of. The most successful of Blacks outside of the athletic field and show biz are disdained by the Black populace as a whole.
All of this is bad enough, but now we are dealing with a president who, though he promised to unite us, is clearly the most divisive influence in race relations since the Ku Klux Klan. The American Dream is disappearing from our shores with each utterance of Barack, the Divisive, now committed to a policy of creating race war for political benefit. On the one hand, for the first time in history it appears one generation of America will not leave their children better off than they themselves were – the point at which all political discussion should begin.
Barack Obama has decided that the battle will NOT be fought upon that ground, however, but on one of his choosing. Deplorably, the mainstream media has abetted him in this ugly switch of emphasis. Deplorably, too large a percentage of Americans don’t choose to understand the issues, but only to listen to the mainstream media rhetoric seldom sung with evidential accompaniment. He is playing to the weakest part of our natures. Only those locked into self-doubt so deep as to believe they cannot make it without huge amounts of help from the government favor socialisms and dependency, but many do and the media perpetuates that self-limiting stereotype at every opportunity. Instead of really helping poor people by teaching them the skills and attitudes needed to transform themselves, Blacks are almost always portrayed as helpless victims of the system, the only Black success stories routinely shown lie in two fields of endeavor: show business and sports.
Obama, unable to win on the factual basis of his promised job-creation ability has played the “race” card like a master of cacophony. His latest target is one of the most cynical and hateful ploys ever played upon the American public. His sneaking attempt to make Puerto Rico^^ a state; his lying attacks upon the Arizona immigration law, while doing nothing federally to attack the problems that spawned that law; and his hoped for coup de gras Amnesty and overnight citizenship for 14 million illegal aliens is all designed to make the “dependency class” permanent and much, much bigger; and permanently enshrine a whole host of Democratic-favoring welfare-dependents into the voting rolls. Never mind the devastation to the country as a whole. “Hispanicos, que siempre vivan fuertes e independientes y nunca como esclavos del dictador Obama, jamas!” (“Hispanics, may you stand strong and independent and never become slaves to Obama’s oppression!”).
Ya’ll live long, strong and ornery,
** LBJ paid brief lip service to the fact that Black (he called them “the NE-gro”) economic status had risen dramatically since the end of World War II, but all the other statistics he cited in the speech were about differences between Black and White earning power and how government must intervene in the interest of fairness. Mandated social justice has never worked. Like the American Revolution, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s marches and sit-ins and Gandhi’s non-violent opposition that eventually gained India her freedom, social justice is largely earned or it does not occur. Just imagine . . . what kind of shift would occur in Black consciousness if Clarence Thomas was suddenly considered a prime role model for black youth rather than Rangel, Jesse Jackson, and Sharpe. Unfortunately, the easy way doesn’t work well or frequently, but it’s always more popular than the way of character. Black Americans hearing MLK’s inspiring “I Have a Dream” speech must truly take to heart the sentence about “the content of their characters?” That is the sentence that defines the American Dream.
^^ Obama knows little about the proud people of Puerto Rico. The “51st State” issue is not a hot-button Puerto Rican issue. Puerto Rican people, when they consider “la situation Puertoriquen~a” think independently. This issue comes up routinely for vote about once every decade and is a frequent visitor at kitchen table discussions. Roughly 34% of the islanders called “Independistas” think Puerto Rico needs to become an independent nation. Roughly 32% (the “Estadistas”) hope for big advantages if they were to become an official part of the United States. Meanwhile 33-34% of the populace like things just the way they are. They like the upside of being U.S. citizens without a lot of the downside, they represent the “Estatus Quo” and they always win whenever “la situation” is voted upon. The size of the voting base for each group changes only slightly over time. Two thirds of Puerto Ricans are NOT interested in statehood, period. No act of congress can change that. All said, the racism of Obama is clear and evident and unbelievably, the mainstream media can't see it.