Saturday, November 7, 2015

Is "Institutionalized Racism" the Problem in the Black Community? Part 1: The Family

I now would like to address the contention that black & minority socioeconomic problems are due to "Racism" and that the Criminal Justice System is "Racist". 

When one blames Racism (white supremacy) for the issues in the black and minority community such as poverty, crime, poor education, high incarceration rates, one implies several things:

1) One is taking away moral agency for an entire group of peoples and the fact that people make choices because of Free Will, which implies that blacks and minorities are unable to suceed by their own merits

2) It ignores other massive influential factors and imputs into an extremely complicated socioeconomic issue such as single parent homes and an epidemic of fatherlessness.

3) The fact that unjust laws (not racist laws) such as prohibition create abusive enforcers and incentivize arrests and imprisonment for every citizen.  The War on Drugs is not inherently "racist". 

First, I am going to address problems with the Family and fatherlessness. 

Virtually every major social pathology, violent crime, drug and alcohol abuse, truancy, and teen pregnancy is strongly associated with fatherlessness.  A majority of prisoners, juvenile deliquents, high school dropouts come from fatherless homes. [1] The prevalency of deliquency among children from broken homes is 10-15% higher. [2]  An estimated 70 percent of the juveniles in state reform institutions, 72 percent of adolescent murderers, and 60 percent of America's rapists grew up without fathers.[3] These statistics apply for all races. The connection of social pathologies with fatherless homes is so strong that some researchers have concluded that the likelihood of children's involvement in crime is determined by the extent of both parents' involvement in their children's lives, rather than income or race. [4]

To address the black community specifically, "Unfortunately, many in the black community embraced the liberal/progressive social scientist view, that all the aforementioned negative outcomes are results of external factors, like systematic racism, discriminatory laws, an unjust criminal justice system, and glass ceilings in the marketplace to name a few.

While those factors would have been undeniable in our Nations’ not too distant past, and I cannot deny that they still exist in some small pockets of our society. Never the less; to zero in on them in our post-civil rights era with complete disregard of the glaring internal factors (family breakdown) is socially dishonest and scientifically lazy." [5]

According to government statistics, 72 percent of African-American children are born to unmarried mothers.  Compared with 17 percent of Asians, 29 percent of whites, 53 percent of Hispanics and 66 percent of Native Americans were born to unwed mothers in 2008. Nearly 5 million black children, or 54 per cent, live in a one-parent, matriarchal family.

"A report from the Institute for American Values Center for Marriage and Families notes that over the past 50 years, “the percentage of black families headed by married couples declined from 78 percent to 34 percent.”

In the 30 years from 1950 to 1980, households headed by black women who never married jumped from 3.8 per thousand to 69.7 per thousand." [6] 

Linda Chavez, the former head of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission argues that the “chief cause of poverty today among blacks is no longer racism: it is the breakdown of the traditional family.” Many studies have shown that single parent households are more likely to be in poverty or close to it because of the splitting of incomes to 2 households instead of 1 family household. 

Juan Williams, often accused of “blaming the poor” states: “They say this answer puts pressure on the poor. They say this with a straight face, even though nearly 70 percent of black children are born to single women, damning a high number of them to poverty, bad schools, and bad influences. They say this knowing that in 1964, in a far more hostile and racist America, 82 per cent of black households had both parents in place and close to half of those households owned a business.” [7]

Distinguised black economist Walter Williams said, "It does the poor no favors to blame their problems on racism, which has been diminishing as the pathologies got worse. In 1940, the black illegitimacy rate was around 14 percent. Now, it’s 75 percent. In 1870, right after slavery, 70 to 80 percent of black families were intact. Now only 30 percent of black kids live in two-parent families. Some 51 percent of homicide victims are black, as are 95 percent of their killers. You can’t blame this on white people. The rotten schools black kids attend are mostly in cities where black adults are in control and spending a lot of taxpayers’ money on those schools.” [8]

Faced with these sobering facts it is disingenious to deny the effect of fatherlessness and illegitimacy on the black community and it does more harm than good to ignore these facts because of "Policital Correctness".  I will continue this essay in a subsequent email.

For further research and reading on fatherlessness:




1. Father Facts (Lancaster, Pennsylvania: National Fatherhood Initiative, 1996); Cynthia Daniels, ed., Lost Fathers: The Politics of Fatherlessness in America (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998).

2. L. Edward Wells and Joseph H. Rankin, “Families and Delinquence: A Meta-Analysis of the Impact of Broken Homes,” Social Problems, vol. 38, no. 1 (1991).

3. Allen Beck, Susan Kline and Lawrence Greenfield, Survey of Youth in Custody 1987 (U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, September 1988; Dewey Cornell et al., “Characteristics of Adolescents Charged with Homicide,” Behavioral Sciences and the Law, vol. 5, 1987, pages 11-23; Nicholas Davidson, “Life Without Father,” Policy Review, 1990.

4. Elaine Ciulla Kamarck and William Galston, Putting Children First: A Progressive Family Policy for the 1990s, 1990, Progressive Policy Institute.



7. "Studies reflect the Damage of the One Parent Fatherless Family",

8. "Walter Williams",

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