Depressing Facebook Exchange (on race and family)

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Barry
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Depressing Facebook Exchange (on race and family)

Post by Barry » Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:49 am

It wasn't exactly a direct exchange. A white liberal friend of mine posted a piece on race and gave her view that racism is the biggest problem we face in this country in the 21st century. Since I didn't want to get into an open exchange on race on Facebook, I sent her a private message in which I disagreed with her and gave her some of the views I've expressed on here a number of times; including my opinion that the breakdown of the black family and lack of two-parent households is causing much more problems for large swaths of the African-American community than racism is at this point.

She then posted a summary of my views, including the part about a lack of families, on her Facebook thread without giving my name. That led to a response from an African-American friend of hers (who I don't know) that included the following:

"Rebuilding the black family using the standards set up by whites is a problem. If any change is going to happen then people have to stop thinking that they know when they do not, stop trying to apply their standards to others who don't want them or need them, and set about to engage in a dialogue about how things are before theorizing about how things should be. That isn’t happening."

I thought this was one of the more disturbing things I've read in a long time and it frankly left me very pessimistic about the future of African-Americans and their ability to break free from the economic, crime, etc. problems that disproportionately impact them.

Is the two-parent family a "white" standard? Was the family structure not also important for centuries in Europe, Asia, Africa?

The last time I tried to discuss race with a black person on Facebook, I was also essentially told that I can't understand and that therefore, my viewpoint on these issues has no validity. I was further told I should just acknoweledge that I'm the beneficiary of a racist system and basically just leave it at that.

I have to say that if it's a commonly held view in the black community that the family is a white convention and that whites have no business even bringing up that issue with blacks, who don't want or need it (the two-parent family), I see no end in sight during my lifetime to the underclass and blacks lagging well behind whites and other ethnicities in terms of income, employment, less crime, education, etc.

This woman's reaction was unfortunately similar IMO to blacks telling other blacks that trying hard in school is the equivalent of "acting white." Only in this case, it didn't come from a kid; it came from an adult woman who apparently has a PHD.
Last edited by Barry on Mon Aug 16, 2010 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

JackC
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Re: Depressing Facebook Exchange (on race and family)

Post by JackC » Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:56 am

It may have been depressing, but it is hardly new. In fact, it is much worse than the fact that whites that can't point to these obvious problems. Blacks can't do it either! Just look at what the leaders of the black community (and many liberal whites) did to Bill Cosby a few years ago when he tried to take these issues on.

ch1525
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Re: Depressing Facebook Exchange (on race and family)

Post by ch1525 » Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:16 pm

There is no hope for them, IMO. Look at how everyone thought electing a "black" president would really shake things up. Rather, their plights are worse than ever. They largely have the Democrats to thank, too, as they wish to keep them down with their hands out subservient to the government.

piston
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Re: Depressing Facebook Exchange (on race and family)

Post by piston » Mon Aug 16, 2010 4:34 pm

The "two-parent family" is no guarantee for good parenting. Time, attention, support, involvement, rapport, concern, teaching, etc., those are the relevant variables, not some static formula involving two parents. Heck, fathers in this area used to leave home four to five months a year to go to the lumber camps! The extended family took over during such leaves -- grandparents, uncles and aunts, older cousins and older siblings, to assist the lonely mother and her multitude of responsibilities. Imagine all those truckers on US roads today, coming home just enough to rest a bit before leaving for another long transit, from the northern states to Florida and back. What's the intrinsic value of two-parent homes in such a life scenario?!

It's the fragmentation of that extended family, its dispersal, its more materialistic behavior (such as with grandparents who don't want to have anything to do with parenting), along with decades of feminization of poverty, which I would point to as the main cause for the breakdown of this fundamental institution.

I certainly don't blame single mothers: at least they're there for their kids, however questionable some of them might prove as parents. I do look down on irresponsible fathers, particularly those who "sow the seed of love" profusely and don't give a damn about their own progeny. Those fathers should be made to feel ashamed by their respective communities, whatever their race.

But, then, Barry, what is the worth for a child of any father who does not want to be one? Better keep the child away from such a person, for his own sake.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

Barry
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Re: Depressing Facebook Exchange (on race and family)

Post by Barry » Mon Aug 16, 2010 4:42 pm

piston wrote:The "two-parent family" is no guarantee for good parenting. Time, attention, support, involvement, rapport, concern, teaching, etc., those are the relevant variables, not some static formula involving two parents. Heck, fathers in this area used to leave home four to five months a year to go to the lumber camps! The extended family took over during such leaves -- grandparents, uncles and aunts, older cousins and older siblings, to assist the lonely mother and her multitude of responsibilities. Imagine all those truckers on US roads today, coming home just enough to rest a bit before leaving for another long transit, from the northern states to Florida and back. What's the intrinsic value of two-parent homes in such a life scenario?!

It's the fragmentation of that extended family, its dispersal, its more materialistic behavior (such as with grandparents who don't want to have anything to do with parenting), along with decades of feminization of poverty, which I would point to as the main cause for the breakdown of this fundamental institution.

I certainly don't blame single mothers: at least they're there for their kids, however questionable some of them might prove as parents. I do look down on irresponsible fathers, particularly those who "sow the seed of love" profusely and don't give a damn about their own progeny. Those fathers should be made to feel ashamed by their respective communities, whatever their race.

But, then, Barry, what is the worth for a child of any father who does not want to be one? Better keep the child away from such a person, for his own sake.
Of course, the two parent family isn't a "guarantee" of anything. And it goes without saying that if the parents don't care about the kids, then that's not going to work either. But most parents thankfully do care about their kids. There has been plenty of research done on this topic and statistically speaking, kids from two-parent families do better than kids who don't. And I don't think it's even that close.

On your last question, it's too late by that point in so many cases. It's up to young people to not have kids in the first place if they aren't ready to do their best to raise them together in an at least relatively stable family.

I do agree with you though on the accompanying decline of the extended family and that that's also not good for us as a society.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

jbuck919
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Re: Depressing Facebook Exchange (on race and family)

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Aug 16, 2010 4:50 pm

I'm sure it must be challenging to be an enlightened white urban conservative, Barry, but be grateful you don't have to figure out how tactfully to deal with, ahem, unenlightened white conservative rural rantings such as I still encounter, and I don't mean through Facebook.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

piston
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Re: Depressing Facebook Exchange (on race and family)

Post by piston » Mon Aug 16, 2010 4:57 pm

I do agree with you though on the accompanying decline of the extended family and that that's also not good for us as a society.
And that's where the issue of good parenting intersects with economics. Increasingly, with the decline of manufacturing industries nationwide, younger generations have to leave not only their community but also frequently their state of birth. Of course, economic life in the inner city is even worse than that. In numerous locations across this nation communities are losing their youth and witnessing a decline in population. Traditional networks of family ties are thus stretched and pulled apart, placing parents further and further away from relatives.

One of my grandchildren's father lives in Colorado. The child sees his dad about four to five days a year, as he did only a week ago. But, we, the relatives, take over as surrogate fathers whenever he asks to "sleep over." Today, at the funeral ceremony we attended, he was surrounded by a lot of supportive "parents." Indeed, good parenting does not even need to be related to a biological father so long as others step in as surrogate fathers.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

Barry
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Re: Depressing Facebook Exchange (on race and family)

Post by Barry » Mon Aug 16, 2010 5:21 pm

piston wrote: Indeed, good parenting does not even need to be related to a biological father so long as others step in as surrogate fathers.
It may not NEED to be. But realistically, in light of the fact that often there aren't others available to step in and fill the role of a father (and it's usually the father that's absent), the safest and best policy is to not have kids in the first place if there won't be two caring parents.

There is a new Jennifer Aniston movie out that involves her deciding to get pregnant and raise her child without a father. Aniston apparently made a statement on more women deciding they're free to do this when she showed up at the opening for the movie. Well it's fine and dandy if you've got millions of dollars rolling in, but having that message go out to women who aren't so fortunate is not a good thing IMO.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

piston
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Re: Depressing Facebook Exchange (on race and family)

Post by piston » Mon Aug 16, 2010 5:33 pm

I'm not sure I clearly see the difference between an unmarried couple in love, who have been living together for over one year and who feel ready to have a child, out of wedlock, but the relationship breaks down during the following year, from a couple waiting to get married before they have that child, and the relationship also breaks down and they get a divorce.

Please explain it to me. It's the same outcome for the child -- mainly single parenting. If wedlock is not the issue, then what is it?
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

Barry
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Re: Depressing Facebook Exchange (on race and family)

Post by Barry » Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:09 pm

piston wrote:I'm not sure I clearly see the difference between an unmarried couple in love, who have been living together for over one year and who feel ready to have a child, out of wedlock, but the relationship breaks down during the following year, from a couple waiting to get married before they have that child, and the relationship also breaks down and they get a divorce.

Please explain it to me. It's the same outcome for the child -- mainly single parenting. If wedlock is not the issue, then what is it?
We can't predict when we're going to break up with our parenter in advance. I really wan't thinking in terms of a woman getting pregnant while she's with a man who she anticipates being with for the long haul when they conceive, but who then has a falling out with the man while pregnant. That's an unfortunate circumstance which there is no accounting for. I was thinking about the huge number of pregnancies that take place when spending her life with the baby's biological father is the furthest thing from the mother's mind. I dare say that happens far more often that the circumstances you refer to above, regardless of whether the couple is actually married yet or not.

I still think that ideally it's best for perspective parents to wait to have a baby until they're settled in a home together. But I wouldn't put having a baby with someone you mistakenly expect to be with for years to come in the same category as having a baby without any expectations of being with the baby's father. The former is an unfortunately circumstance; the latter is wreckless and naive behavior in many cases.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

piston
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Re: Depressing Facebook Exchange (on race and family)

Post by piston » Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:37 pm

I'm aware of the "Octomom" and of some women who, under the effect of a chemical addiction, get pregnant to increase their "take" from the welfare system. I am not aware, however, of any statistical evidence on the actual motivations of mothers at the time they decided to conceive a child. You're saying it's a huge societal phenomenon. I'm saying, there's no evidence to support such a claim other than one's impressionistic interpretation of a nation-wide reality -- single parenting.

I have my own impressions, derived from observing single mothers in a tight knit community, and assure you that their parental instinct is genuine and their respective families are as healthy as one can hope for when the father is absent. Strong, healthy mothers, with two or three children, who manage to "cultivate" their own family life, who are caring, and loving. They have my admiration!

The danger is to push them all in the same mental category as that of the drug addict who needs welfare to get her fix. Why should a woman who actually raises a family on her own -- a most brave thing to do-- be lumped with such a druggie? That's why we need more precise quantitative evidence.

I do not deny that the children of these brave mothers do need a male role model in their young lives. But it so happens that that male is absent. That's not the mother's fault, particularly if she is keeping the family together and they are all doing fine as a family.

If you're interested in the many variations of children's development in single parenting situations, might I suggest that you google the name SuAnne Big Crow, an incredibly amazing teenager I read about while at camp, a week ago. This young Sioux woman carried her reservation basketball team all the way to the state championship in 1989. I swear, I cried when I read about her short life. By her attitude as a 15, 16 and 17 year-old girl, she was inspiring, healing old wounds in an extremely divided and frequently violent tribal community. She only thought positive. For instance, she absolutely hated Tom Brokaw for his report on "Tragedy at Pine Ridge" because the anchorman only emphasized all the negatives. An inspiration for all, this girl born out of wedlock, who never knew her father, who never knew love, who was peer pressure in her tribe, died when she fell asleep at the wheel, during one of those long, monotonous car trips that are a daily fact of life on that badland reservation. A whole "Happyland" center was built, in this poorest of counties, in honor of SuAnne Big Crow. When the "Boys and Girls Club of America," essentially an urban institution in the early 1990s, visited that center they immediately thought of starting a club on the reservation. It was the first such club for boys and girls on an Indian reservation. Today, numerous rez have them.

SuAnne was not looking for her father. She was not missing her father. She merely wanted to bring good to her community, give, give, and give. An angel, from a single-parent family, in the second poorest counties in the USA, who healed bloody, deadly divisions between AIM supporters and Wilson supporters (remember Wounded Knee?), who got a lot of people crying in the wake of her death, but who inspired them all so that they all had some positive anecdotes to say about her.

In the midst of great adversity emerge outstanding local heroes who make a difference for hundreds and thousands of people. SuAnne was one of them, and she never knew who her father was.

Does she look like a human failure to you?
Image
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Barry
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Re: Depressing Facebook Exchange (on race and family)

Post by Barry » Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:52 pm

Let me put it this way, Jacques. The latest statistics show that just under 30 percent of African American babies are born into two-parent families. That's a much lower rate than any other race in this country. It's also no secret that African-Americans make up a large portion of the underclass in this country. They suffer economically at higher rates than other races, commit violent crimes at much higher rates than other races and have a host of other problems in numbers that are disproportionately high.

To me, it's almost self-evident that those two sets of circumstances (the highest number of out-of-wedlock births by a wide margin and all of the other problems: crime, poverty, etc.) are intertwined and not unrelated. The Moynihan Report warned in 1965, when out-of-wedlock births in the black community was at something like 25 percent, that the gradual break-up (or break-down, as the case may be) of the family would have disastrous consequences for blacks in this country if the trend isn't reversed. Well it hasn't been reversed. It's gotten much worse, and Moyhihan was right. We see the consequences every day we look at a local newscast or pick up a local paper (at least if you live in a major metropolitan area).

So no, I don't think the girl in that picture looks like a human failure, but I do see human failure (or young people who are heading for it if their behavior and language on the street is any indication of where they're headed) just about every day while I'm out and about, and most of it involves people who aren't in a stable family.

That people born into something other than a stable family are more likely to have problems in life doesn't mean ALL people born outside of stable families will have problems as a result of that. Some people are strong individuals who find ways to succeed. And bless them for doing so. But their existance doesn't change the larger picture.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

piston
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Re: Depressing Facebook Exchange (on race and family)

Post by piston » Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:17 pm

Yes, they are probably more likely to become criminals, to perpetuate child abuse from one generation to the next, to be uneducated, to live in a dysfunctional home. But do not lose hope in the tremendous human spirit of rising above what fate has in store for one.

You know what SuAnne's mother did that made a huge difference? She was strict about a curfew and did not allow her three daughters to mix with the troublemakers in her neighborhood. That's all she did! Being strict. The girls grew up together, playing board games, inventing outdoor games, staying home.

I trust that loving mothers across this nation will similarly know what to do when they raise their children on the shores of "troubled waters."

Persistent discipline is the solution in any parental setting, including single parental ones.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

Barry
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Re: Depressing Facebook Exchange (on race and family)

Post by Barry » Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:01 pm

piston wrote:Yes, they are probably more likely to become criminals, to perpetuate child abuse from one generation to the next, to be uneducated, to live in a dysfunctional home. But do not lose hope in the tremendous human spirit of rising above what fate has in store for one.

You know what SuAnne's mother did that made a huge difference? She was strict about a curfew and did not allow her three daughters to mix with the troublemakers in her neighborhood. That's all she did! Being strict. The girls grew up together, playing board games, inventing outdoor games, staying home.

I trust that loving mothers across this nation will similarly know what to do when they raise their children on the shores of "troubled waters."

Persistent discipline is the solution in any parental setting, including single parental ones.
I agree with you about persistent discipline. And I certainly don't want to give up. But the evidence is unmistakable. I mentioned the Moynihan Report by the late Senator and UN Ambassador Daniel Patrick Moynihan before. Here is the section on the breakdown of the African-American family. Again, this is from the mid 60s. The situation has gotten dramatically worse since then. Also, the white family is no longer as stable as it was then. In fact, the numbers for whites born out-of-wedlock is now nearly what it was for blacks back when this report was written:

Chapter II. The Negro American Family

At the heart of the deterioration of the fabric of Negro society is the deterioration of the Negro family.

It is the fundamental source of the weakness of the Negro community at the present time.

There is probably no single fact of Negro American life so little understood by whites.

The Negro situation is commonly perceived by whites in terms of the visible manifestation of discrimination and poverty, in part because Negro protest is directed against such obstacles, and in part, no doubt, because these are facts which involve the actions and attitudes of the white community as well. It is more difficult, however, for whites to perceive the effect that three centuries of exploitation have had on the fabric of Negro society itself. Here the consequences of the historic injustices done to Negro Americans are silent and hidden from view. But here is where the true injury has occurred: unless this damage is repaired, all the effort to end discrimination and poverty and injustice will come to little.

The role of the family in shaping character and ability is so pervasive as to be easily overlooked. The family is the basic social unit of American life; it is the basic socializing unit. By and large, adult conduct in society is learned as a child.

A fundamental insight of psychoanalytic theory, for example, is that the child learns a way of looking at life in his early years through which all later experience is viewed and which profoundly shapes his adult conduct.

It may be hazarded that the reason family structure does not loom larger in public discussion of social issues is that people tend to assume that the nature of family life is about the same throughout American society. The mass media and the development of suburbia have created an image of the American family as a highly standardized phenomenon. It is therefore easy to assume that whatever it is that makes for differences among individuals or groups of individuals, it is not a different family structure.

There is much truth to this; as with any other nation, Americans are producing a recognizable family system. But that process is not completed by any means. There are still, for example, important differences in family patterns surviving from the age of the great European migration to the United States, and these variations account for notable differences in the progress and assimilation of various ethnic and religious groups.7 A number of immigrant groups were characterized by unusually strong family bonds; these groups have characteristically progressed more rapidly than others.
But there is one truly great discontinuity in family structure in the United States at the present time: that between the white world in general and that of the Negro American.

The white family has achieved a high degree of stability and is maintaining that stability.

By contrast, the family structure of lower class Negroes is highly unstable, and in many urban centers is approaching complete breakdown.

N.b. There is considerable evidence that the Negro community is in fact dividing between a stable middle-class group that is steadily growing stronger and more successful, and an increasingly disorganized and disadvantaged lower-class group. There are indications, for example, that the middle-class Negro family puts a higher premium on family stability and the conserving of family resources than does the white middle-class family.8 The discussion of this paper is not, obviously, directed to the first group excepting as it is affected by the experiences of the second - an important exception. (See Chapter IV, The Tangle of Pathology.)

There are two points to be noted in this context.

First, the emergence and increasing visibility of a Negro middle-class may beguile the nation into supposing that the circumstances of the remainder of the Negro community are equally prosperous, whereas just the opposite is true at present, and is likely to continue so.

Second, the lumping of all Negroes together in one statistical measurement very probably conceals the extent of the disorganization among the lower-class group. If conditions are improving for one and deteriorating for the other, the resultant statistical averages might show no change. Further, the statistics on the Negro family and most other subjects treated in this paper refer only to a specific point in time. They are a vertical measure of the situation at a given movement. They do not measure the experience of individuals over time. Thus the average monthly unemployment rate for Negro males for 1964 is recorded as 9 percent. But during 1964, some 29 percent of Negro males were unemployed at one time or another. Similarly, for example, if 36 percent of Negro children are living in broken homes at any specific moment, it is likely that a far higher proportion of Negro children find themselves in that situation at one time or another in their lives.

Nearly a Quarter of Urban Negro Marriages are Dissolved.

Nearly a quarter of Negro women living in cities who have ever married are divorced, separated, or are living apart from their husbands.

The rates are highest in the urban Northeast where 26 percent of Negro women ever married are either divorced, separated, or have their husbands absent.

On the urban frontier, the proportion of husbands absent is even higher. In New York City in 1960, it was 30.2 percent, not including divorces.

Among ever-married nonwhite women in the nation, the proportion with husbands present declined in every age group over the decade 1950-60 as follows: [chart not reproduced]

Although similar declines occurred among white females, the proportion of white husbands present never dropped below 90 percent except for the first and last age group.9

Nearly One-Quarter of Negro Births are now Illegitimate.
Both white and Negro illegitimacy rates have been increasing, although from dramatically different bases. The white rate was 2 percent in 1940; it was 3.07 percent in 1963. In that period, the Negro rate went from 16.8 percent to 23.6 percent.

The number of illegitimate children per 1,000 live births increased by 11 among whites in the period 1940-63, but by 68 among nonwhites. There are, of course, limits to the dependability of these statistics. There are almost certainly a considerable number of Negro children who, although technically illegitimate, are in fact the offspring of stable unions. On the other hand, it may be assumed that many births that are in fact illegitimate are recorded otherwise. Probably the two opposite effects cancel each other out.

On the urban frontier, the nonwhite illegitimacy rates are usually higher than the national average, and the increase of late has been drastic.

In the District of Columbia, the illegitimacy rate for nonwhites grew from 21.8 percent in 1950, to 29.5 percent in 1964.

A similar picture of disintegrating Negro marriages emerges from the divorce statistics. Divorces have increased of late for both whites and nonwhites, but at a much greater rate for the latter. In 1940 both groups had a divorce rate of 2.2 percent. By 1964 the white rate had risen to 3.6 percent, but the nonwhite rate had reached 5.1 percent -- 40 percent greater than the formerly equal white rate.

Almost One-Fourth of Negro Families are Headed by Females

As a direct result of this high rate of divorce, separation, and desertion, a very large percent of Negro families are headed by females. While the percentage of such families among whites has been dropping since 1940, it has been rising among Negroes.

The percent of nonwhite families headed by a female is more than double the percent for whites. Fatherless nonwhite families increased by a sixth between 1950 and 1960, but held constant for white families.

It has been estimated that only a minority of Negro children reach the age of 18 having lived all their lives with both of their parents.

Once again, this measure of family disorganization is found to be diminishing among white families and increasing among Negro families.

The Breakdown of the Negro Family Has Led to a Startling Increase in Welfare Dependency.

The majority of Negro children receive public assistance under the AFDC program at one point or another in their childhood.

At present, 14 percent of Negro children are receiving AFDC assistance, as against 2 percent of white children. Eight percent of white children receive such assistance at some time, as against 56 percent of nonwhites, according to an extrapolation based on HEW data. (Let it be noted, however, that out of a total of 1.8 million nonwhite illegitimate children in the nation in 1961, 1.3 million were not receiving aid under the AFDC program, although a substantial number have, or will, receive aid at some time in their lives.)

Again, the situation may be said to be worsening. The AFDC program, deriving from the long established Mothers' Aid programs, was established in 1935 principally to care for widows and orphans, although the legislation covered all children in homes deprived of parental support because one or both of their parents are absent or incapacitated.

In the beginning, the number of AFDC families in which the father was absent because of desertion was less than a third of the total. Today it is two-thirds. HEW estimates "that between two-thirds and three-fourths of the 50 percent increase from 1948 to 1955 in the number of absent-father families receiving ADC may be explained by an increase in broken homes in the population."10

A 1960 study of Aid to Dependent Children in Cook County, Ill. stated:
"The 'typical' ADC mother in Cook County was married and had children by her husband, who deserted; his whereabouts are unknown, and he does not contribute to the support of his children. She is not free to remarry and has had an illegitimate child since her husband left. (Almost 90 percent of the ADC families are Negro.)"11

The steady expansion of this welfare program, as of public assistance programs in general, can be taken as a measure of the steady disintegration of the Negro family structure over the past generation in the United States.


The entire report is here: http://www.blackpast.org/?q=primary/moy ... eport-1965

Moynihan addresses the reasons this is happening. It of course traces back to several hundred years of slavery and then Jim Crow. But unfortunately, acknowledging that, while just, doesn't do a bit of good as far as addressing the problem.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

piston
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Re: Depressing Facebook Exchange (on race and family)

Post by piston » Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:15 pm

Thank you, Barry. I'm aware of this report.

As you perhaps know, my second, and most happy marriage, is with a mate who was a single mother for much of her mothering life, a life involving three children. By contrast, I was involved for over twenty years in a first, miserable, marital relationship which lasted so long because of my Catholic upbringing. Our new family, consisting of six children --three from my first unhappy marriage and three from her years as a hard-working single mother, is the personal perspective I'm coming from.

First Jacques rule: Whatever you do as a parent, single or double, you'll get different results even though you applied the same parental rules for all your children. One might be a dreamer, the other a drifter, and the third an ambituous SuAnne who will never rest in life until she's made everybody happy.

Second Jacques rule: a loving single-parenting home is superior to a destructive double-parenting one.

Third Jacques rule: Do not spend the rest of your life wondering what you did wrong when one of your children experiences an unhappy, destructive marriage like your own first one.

I think that sums up my current philosophy on single, double, triple and quadruple parenting......
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

Barry
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Re: Depressing Facebook Exchange (on race and family)

Post by Barry » Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:56 pm

A tragic case on the other end of the spectrum (I placed the family members she lives with in bold because I don't see her father listed among them). I would bet most of my admittedly tiny fortune that most of the other gang members who were involved in this torture and murder also don't live with their fathers:

Aug. 19, 2010

Teen gets 20 years in gang slaying

By Barbara Boyer

INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

A 14-year-old girl has been sentenced to serve 20 years in prison for the death of a Burlington County woman attacked during a gang slaying in Camden earlier this year.

Shatara Shakira Carter pleaded guilty in May to aggravated manslaughter and admitted she helped kill Muriah Ashley Huff, 18, of Cinnaminson after Huff's boyfriend, Michael "Doc Money" Hawkins, 23, of Maple Shade had been beaten and shot in the head.

The couple had been tortured by members of the Lueders Park Piru Bloods street gang who were enraged that Hawkins associated with the rival Crips.

Carter is the first of 10 people charged to be convicted in the Feb. 22 slayings in a Berkley Street rowhouse where she lived with several relatives, including her mother, two sisters and a brother. Her brother, Dennis Welch, 19, also is charged.

Carter appeared this morning before Superior Court Judge Irvin J. Snyder in Camden.

"I have never seen such a heinous act by a young person in my professional life, and in fact not in my life period," the judge told Carter in imposing the 20 years.

She must serve 85 percent of the sentence and will be sent to a maximum-security prison for adults, the judge said.

Camden County Assistant Prosecutor Mary Alison Albright had asked the judge to honor a plea agreement in which Carter, who originally had been charged with murder, pleaded to the lesser manslaughter charge to avoid a possible life sentence.

Relatives for Huff and Carter wept in the courtroom. As Carter's mother sobbed in the gallery, her daughter turned and called out "Mommy" during the proceeding.

Huff's uncle, Earl, told the judge that his niece, a cosmetology student at the Burlington County Institute of Technology, dreamed of owning a beauty salon, but instead was treated in an "ungodly" way as she fought for her life.

"I hope this young lady comes to her senses some day and realizes what she did and gets the help she needs," Huff said.
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/break ... aying.html
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

HoustonDavid
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Re: Depressing Facebook Exchange (on race and family)

Post by HoustonDavid » Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:08 am

I knew you were right Barry (no matter that your critic was black), and here is a
distinguished black columnist who agrees with you, with some supporting data
and his ideas for solutions.

From the New York Times
August 21, 2010

A tragic crisis of enormous magnitude is facing black boys and men in America.
by Bob Herbert

Parental neglect, racial discrimination and an orgy of self-destructive behavior have left an extraordinary portion of the black male population in an ever-deepening pit of social and economic degradation.

The Schott Foundation for Public Education tells us in a new report that the on-time high school graduation rate for black males in 2008 was an abysmal 47 percent, and even worse in several major urban areas — for example, 28 percent in New York City.

The astronomical jobless rates for black men in inner-city neighborhoods are both mind-boggling and heartbreaking. There are many areas where virtually no one has a legitimate job.

More than 70 percent of black children are born to unwed mothers. And I’ve been hearing more and more lately from community leaders in poor areas that moms are absent for one reason or another and the children are being raised by a grandparent or some other relative — or they end up in foster care.

That the black community has not been mobilized en masse to turn this crisis around is a screaming shame. Black men, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, have nearly a one-third chance of being incarcerated at some point in their lives. By the time they hit their mid-30s, a solid majority of black men without a high school diploma have spent time in prison.

Homicide is the leading cause of death for young black men, with the murderous wounds in most cases inflicted by other young black men.

This is a cancer that has been allowed to metastasize for decades. Not only is it not being treated, most people don’t even want to talk about it. In virtually every facet of life in the United States, black people — and especially black boys and men — are coming up short. White families are typically five times as wealthy as black families. More than a third of all black children are growing up in poverty. In Ohio, according to the National Center for Children in Poverty, the percentage is more than half.

There are myriad reasons for this awful state of affairs. As with so many other problems in American society, a lack of gainful employment has been a huge contributor to the problems faced by blacks. Chronic unemployment is hardly a plus-factor for marriage and family stability. And the absence of strong family units with mature parental guidance is at the very root of the chaotic environment that so many black youngsters grow up in.

The abominable incarceration rates among blacks are the result of two overwhelming factors: the persistence of criminal behavior by a significant percentage of the black population, and a criminal justice system that in many respects is racially discriminatory and out of control. Both of these factors need to be engaged head-on, and both will require a staggeringly heavy lift.

Education in the broadest sense is the key to stopping this socioeconomic slide that is taking such a horrific toll in the black community. People have to understand what is happening to them before they can really do much about it. Young blacks who have taken a wrong road, or are at risk of taking a wrong road, have to be shown a feasible legitimate alternative.

The aspect of this crisis that is probably the most important and simultaneously the most difficult to recognize is that the heroic efforts needed to alleviate it will not come from the government or the wider American society. This is a job that will require a campaign on the scale of the civil rights movement, and it will have to be initiated by the black community.

Whether this is fair or not is irrelevant. There is very little sentiment in the wider population for tackling the extensive problems faced by poor and poorly educated black Americans. What is needed is a dramatic mobilization of the black community to demand justice on a wide front — think employment, education and the criminal justice system — while establishing a new set of norms, higher standards, for struggling blacks to live by.

For many, this is a fight for survival. And it is an awesomely difficult fight. But the alternative is to continue the terrible devastation that has befallen so many families and communities: the premature and often violent deaths, the inadequate preparation for an increasingly competitive workplace, the widespread failure to exercise one’s intellectual capacity, the insecurity that becomes ingrained from being so long at the bottom of the heap.

Terrible injustices have been visited on black people in the United States, but there is never a good reason to collaborate in one’s own destruction. Blacks in America have a long and proud history of overcoming hardship and injustice. It’s time to do it again.
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

Barry
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Re: Depressing Facebook Exchange (on race and family)

Post by Barry » Sun Aug 29, 2010 8:49 am

I didn't see your post until now, David. Thanks for that, and here is another:

Washington Post
For black children, daunting divides in achievement and family life
George Will
Aug. 29, 2010
Various figures denote vexing social problems. They include 10,000 (the number of new baby boomers eligible for Social Security and Medicare every day), 10.2 percent (what the unemployment rate would be if 1.2 million discouraged workers had not recently stopped looking for jobs), $9.9 trillion (the Government Accountability Office calculation of the gap between the expected revenue and outlays for state and local governments during the next 50 years), $76.4 trillion (the GAO's similar estimate of the federal government's 75-year fiscal shortfall).

Remedies for these problems can at least be imagined. But America's tragic number -- tragic because it is difficult to conceive remedial policies -- is 70 percent. This is the portion of African American children born to unmarried women. It may explain what puzzles Nathan Glazer.

Writing in the American Interest, Glazer, a sociology professor emeritus at Harvard, considers it a "paradox" that the election of Barack Obama "coincided with the almost complete disappearance from American public life of discussion of the black condition and what public policy might do to improve it." This, says Glazer, is the black condition:

Employment prospects for young black men worsened even when the economy was robust. By the early 2000s, more than a third of all young black non-college men were under the supervision of the corrections system. More than 60 percent of black high school dropouts born since the mid-1960s go to prison. Mass incarceration blights the prospects of black women seeking husbands. So does another trend noted by sociologist William Julius Wilson: "In 2003-2004, for every 100 bachelor's degrees conferred on black men, 200 were conferred on black women."

Because changes in laws and mores have lowered barriers, the black middle class has been able to leave inner cities, which have become, Glazer says, "concentrations of the poor, the poorly educated, the unemployed and unemployable." High out-of-wedlock birthrates mean a constantly renewed cohort of adolescent males without male parenting, which means disorderly neighborhoods and schools. Glazer thinks it is possible that for some young black men, "acting white" -- trying to excel in school -- is considered "a betrayal of their group culture." This severely limits opportunities in an increasingly service-based economy where working with people matters more than working with things in manufacturing.
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Now, from the Educational Testing Service, comes a report about "The Black-White Achievement Gap: When Progress Stopped," written by Paul E. Barton and Richard J. Coley. It examines the "startling" fact that most of the progress in closing the gap in reading and mathematics occurred in the 1970s and '80s. This means "progress generally halted for those born around the mid-1960s, a time when landmark legislative victories heralded an end to racial discrimination."

Only 35 percent of black children live with two parents, which partly explains why, while only 24 percent of white eighth-graders watch four or more hours of television on an average day, 59 percent of their black peers do. (Privileged children waste their time on new social media and other very mixed blessings of computers and fancy phones.) Black children also are disproportionately handicapped by this class-based disparity: By age 4, the average child in a professional family hears about 20 million more words than the average child in a working-class family and about 35 million more than the average child in a welfare family -- a child often alone with a mother who is a high school dropout.

After surveying much research concerning many possible explanations of why progress stopped, particularly in neighborhoods characterized by a "concentration of deprivation," the ETS report says: "It is very hard to imagine progress resuming in reducing the education attainment and achievement gap without turning these family trends around -- i.e., increasing marriage rates, and getting fathers back into the business of nurturing children." And: "It is similarly difficult to envision direct policy levers" to effect that.

So, two final numbers: Two decades, five factors. Two decades have passed since Barton wrote "America's Smallest School: The Family." He has estimated that about 90 percent of the difference in schools' proficiencies can be explained by five factors: the number of days students are absent from school, the number of hours students spend watching television, the number of pages read for homework, the quantity and quality of reading material in the students' homes -- and, much the most important, the presence of two parents in the home. Public policies can have little purchase on these five, and least of all on the fifth

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 03805.html
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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