Father’s Day/Juneteenth: The ties that bind

As we end the Father’s Day/Juneteenth three-day weekend, there are some important numbers that are germane to both days.

It’s the epidemic of minority children growing up in families with only parent (often just a mother).

According to the congressional report released last year, more than 45 percent of American children, by the time they reach late adolescence, spend some time without either a mother or a father in the home.

Eighty percent of black children are raised by a single parent. More than half of Hispanic births are out of wedlock, as are 28 percent of Caucasian births, up from 2 percent in 1960.

According to the same report, the percentage of women between the ages of 15 and 44 who are married has declined from 71 percent in 1962 to just 42 percent today. Meanwhile, the percentage of never-married women between the ages of 30 and 34 has gone from just over 5 percent in 1962 to 35 percent in 2019.

Another startling statistic is that cohabitation now precedes two-thirds of all marriages, compared to just 1 percent 60 years ago. This has contributed to the staggering increases in unwed childbearing, with only 5 percent of children in 1962 being born to an unwed mother and 40 percent today being born to an unmarried female.

Minority leaders will not bring up these statistics in speeches over the weekend. They will not cite declining family units as the number one cause of crime and poverty. No put the blame somewhere else.

Blame police, blame bigoted whites, blame racist bail policies. Don’t look at the moral black hole that constitutes many minority families going back for generations.

Can it be cited that President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” put minority families in jeopardy with it’s directive of not funding welfare for intact families? Most scholars say it was a major contributor, and the numbers show that.

If Father’s Day/Juneteenth are going to share the same weekend again, there should be more discussions on what the two days mean for minority families. Yes we celebrate the ending of one form of slavery, but without a two-parent home we are propagating a more insidious second form of generational slavery.


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