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February 12, 2015
Column #1,746
How To Help Black Families
By Mike McManus

Fifty years ago, Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote a report, The Negro Family: The Case for National Action, known today as The Moynihan Report. In 1965 more than half of unwed births in America (167,000 of 291,000) were to black mothers, though blacks were only 11% of the population.

Those 167,000 were 28.7% of black births that year compared to only 3.9% of white births. The only remedy, he declared was to focus on “a new kind of national goal: the establishment of a stable Negro family structure.”

Unfortunately, that did not happen. Black unwed births have more than doubled to 72%. However, white out-of-wedlock births have soared 10-fold to 35.9% - far above the 1965 rate for blacks.

Today only 46% of U.S. teenagers aged 15-17 are living with their own married parents, according to a new report by the Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI) of the Family Research Council.

Most American kids have parents who “rejected each other,” either by not marrying or divorcing, in the words of MARRI director Patrick Fagan.

The situation is particularly grave for black teenagers, only 17% of whom are living with married parents – three times worse than the 54% of white teens.

In 1950 63% of American teens lived in intact families – two-thirds of white kids and 38% of black teens. The “White Index of Belonging” has decreased from 67% to 54%, but the Black Index has plunged in half from 38% to 17%.

In releasing these numbers, The Family Research Council asked two prominent black leaders for their response.

Bishop Garland Hunt, a former president of Prison Fellowship and now co-pastor of The Father’s House in Norcross, Georgia, notes “The family in general is in crisis, but the crisis of the black family is much worse.”

He blames the desire of young people for “sexual liberty,” and laments the fact “Blacks are leading in unmarried pregnancy, the breakdown of the family and people just living together. What has to happen is a movement to bring honor back to the marital status.

“Marriage is under attack in our culture – such as the pressure to redefine it. No longer is marriage just between a man and a woman. Exclusive heterosexual relationships are not even a goal or seen as necessary.”

His answer is “to restore our community back to a biblical standard for life. There is no other option. Children should be living with both parents to ensure that they grow up in an environment where they can understand that a young lady does not have to give up her virginity to be like her peers. Instead, she can be a virgin until she gets married.”

Star Parker spent seven years in the grip of welfare dependency but is now a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist and president of The Center for Urban Renewal and Education.

In a recent column, she wrote, “Don’t want to be poor in America? Get educated, get a job, get married and have children after you are married. Do this and your chances of being poor are miniscule.”

She is a rare black conservative who asserts that the War on Poverty’s answer to “the black struggle in America was to pour government money into these communities, which simply subsidized and encouraged destructive behavior.”

Government money and minimum wage laws “create all the conditions to guarantee future Fergusons – lack of education, lack of family, lack of work.”

Ms. Parker suggests five reforms for the new Republican Congress “to guarantee no more Fergusons:”

“1. Pass Welfare Reform 2.0, Congressman Paul Ryan’s Opportunity Grant Program” which would take “the almost $1 trillion in annual spending on 11 different anti-poverty programs and block grant the money to states, allowing them to decide how to use it effectively.”

“2. Replace HUD housing projects and Section 8 housing with housing vouchers that low-income individuals can use (to live) wherever they want.

“3. Pass legislation enabling school choice, so low-income parents can get their kids out of the irreparable, union-controlled failing public schools into church schools.

“4. Allow all citizens age 30 or under and earning $30,000/year and under the option to opt out of Social Security, stop paying the payroll tax, and use those funds to invest in their own private retirement account.”

“5. Allow dollar for dollar income tax write-off of all charitable contributions that go into designated low-income zip code areas.

She asserts that “These reforms will transform chronically poor and crime-ridden mostly minority communities into a new era of education, family, saving and work.”

There’s hope for Black America.

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