Black Fathers: Where Are You?
In a new low for popular culture, it’s now a thing to film yourself on Tik Tok listening to Blueface rap about abortion in his song “Baby,” then literally throwing your baby off-camera, and finally twerking for your viewers.
Here’s an example:
So Blueface is promoting a TikTok challenge where you toss an actual baby/toddler away and start twerking
Anything for a crumb of clout I guess pic.twitter.com/jXVC0CFBI0
— Squirt Reynolds ➐ (@SquirtReynoldss) September 9, 2020
In somewhat related news, Black Lives Matter (BLM) deleted its manifesto from its website after catching flak for its views on the nuclear family. Clicking on the BLM website’s “What We Believe” now takes you to a “404 not found” webpage. Via the internet archive Way Back Machine, though, you will findthe manifesto and its position on the institution of the family:
We make our spaces family-friendly and enable parents to fully participate with their children. We dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work ‘double shifts’ so that they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work.
We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.
Your first take on this portion of the manifesto is probably a lot like mine: What exactly are they proposing? The manifesto is vaguely written and doesn’t exactly outline any specific goals.
One noticeable thing is that black fathers are not mentioned. There’s a reference to a “patriarchal practice” that BLM hopes to dismantle and that’s it. It’s all about mothers, children, and the village. It’s as if the fathers don’t exist.
There’s not much more for BLM to do if their goal is to disrupt the nuclear family in the black community and make fathers vanish. Ironically, the thing BLM wants to destroy is likely the thing that will most help black lives.
According to the Chicago Police Department’s 2019 Annual Report, 79 percent of those murdered in 2018 were black, while 80 percent of those murdered in 2019 were black. The vast majority of blacks murdered were males. During the same years, 52 percent of rape victims were black. Roughly 60 percent of all aggravated assault victims in 2018 and 2019 were black. In 2019, 77 percent of human trafficking victims were black. And of all arrests made for crimes varying from theft to murder for those two years, 73 percent were black. Only 30 percent of Chicago’s population is black.
We are told that poverty and racism are the reason for these shockingly high percentages. Yet if poverty is the main driver of crime, why are there such tremendous disparities in crime by race? Consider the following Census Bureau data, which shows that 36 percent of Chicago blacks live in poverty, while 25 percent of whites and 23 percent of Hispanics live in poverty. Logically, one would expect that if poverty is the driver of crime, then the rates of criminal behavior by race would line up somewhat closely with the poverty rates. In other words, the percentage of blacks arrested should be closer to 36 percent and about a quarter each for whites or Hispanics. But that is simply not the case, for blacks make up 73 percent of those arrested for crimes.
Then there is the argument that racism drives crime. But if white racism causes people of color to commit crimes, then why is there such an enormous percentage difference between blacks and Hispanics arrested for crimes? Of arresteesin 2018, only 18 percent were Hispanic while 73 percent were black. Again, the pattern is clear: Within most crime statistics in Chicago, blacks make up the largest percentages of bothvictims and offenders.
Something other than racism and poverty must be driving violence within the black community as the gravest dangers to blacks are not Hispanics or whites, but fellow blacks. Could it be the cultural rot that has taken hold, coinciding with the complete and utter breakdown of the family within the black community and the absence of black fathers?
The Cook County Department of Public Health – of which the city of Chicago is a part – reports that 75 percent of black children in its jurisdiction are born out of wedlock. By contrast, 50 percent of Hispanic children, 17 percent of white children, and only 7 percent of Asian children in Cook County are born out of wedlock. These numbers are a good measurement of the state of the family within racial communities. Clearly, the black family is in the worst shape.
Some will argue that just because a child is born “out of wedlock” doesn’t mean that the father and mother aren’t active in the child’s life. After all, increasing numbers of Americans don’t see the need to be married. Fair enough. Yet there is another set of data which offers a better understanding of just how active a father is in the life of a child.
From the same report that the out-of-wedlock data is derived, we learn that 32 percent of black birth certificates don’t list the father’s name. For Hispanics, whites, and Asians, the percentages of birth certificates not listing the father are 9 percent, 3.4 percent, and 1.2 percent respectively. That is a substantial difference.
For all of human history, the family has been the foundation of communities and countries. It takes a mother and a father to “make” a baby. That child is a composition, a blending of both mom’s and dad’s DNA. That child comes into the world helpless, completely dependent upon its parents for food, shelter, and safety. It makes sense that sociological studies have overwhelmingly shown that children do best with mom and dad in one household. It is our nature, formed over thousands of years, and one that is especially crucial for children.
Black communities desperately need a culture change that is in sync with the best learned lessons of our past. It’s time to promote fathers doing their duties and leading their families. It is an injustice to a child and society when two people bring that child into the world and expect others to provide and care for it. In too many cases, the child doesn’t receive the father’s love and protection, which by nature it needs for healthy emotional development. Rather than welfare and other social policies incentivizing single motherhood, perhaps it’s time to incentivize marriage and strong fathers.