Patrick Walsh, Senior Staff Columnist
For all the apparent advances the black community has made, it still faces grinding levels of poverty and imprisonment. This group in particular suffers from rampant drug use, crime and violence, devastating generation after generation of young black people who find it nearly impossible to get out of inner-city wastelands. A recent government study exposed the continued struggle blacks in America are up against: 72 percent of black mothers are unmarried. In the absence of a nuclear family structure, these children are raised in homes with little or no income and even less stability.
It does us no good to hear of a study like this, feel guilty and go back to our everyday lives without asking ourselves why such a large portion of black mothers are lacking a solid parenting partner and why their communities face such a horrific reality.
The strategies to fix this crisis have been debated for decades between our two political ideologies. Liberals think government programs are the solution, essentially assuming just throwing more money at the problem will make it go away. Conservatives believe the conditions of the black community can only become better in the long run through an improvement of family structure.
The debate is through in my mind. The massive social engineering plans have obviously failed. From Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society of the ‘60s to modern day Association of Community Organization for Reform Now, nothing has fully worked to effectively guide the black community from the inner-city pits.
I wholeheartedly believe the lack of a solid family structure is the root cause. The study revealed examples of young black women having their first child in their teens to secure an income from welfare handouts. This is selfish and irresponsible because it abuses a compassionate measure of our taxpayers and dooms their children to a life of pain simultaneously.
Many of those children will grow up in households lacking discipline or guidance. Any fatherless child growing up in a neighborhood filled with bad examples and rundown schools will consider illegal alternatives to making money if there are little or no real job opportunities available to them. Unfortunately, with the widespread presence of gangs in inner-city neighborhoods, these youth are pressured into this path, which will only lead to more criminal involvement and danger. When the males of this group come of age and have kids, they will be more likely to leave their children because of their own past experience and, if they turn to crime, the nature of their lifestyle, which often leads to death or prison. If you have a childhood surrounded by this madness, it inadvertently becomes the norm. Without a firm family foundation to develop stable relationships, trust, guidance and morals, this cycle will only continue.
Throughout its history, the black community was gifted with some remarkable leadership. With the strength and devotion of leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, the black community has made courageous strides. By fighting for its rights, it not only bettered itself, but improved our nation. The black community is lacking this steadfast leadership today. People such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are selfish tools of the left. It sickens me to see Sharpton fly from rally to rally on his private jet, dressed in $1,000 suits only to gripe and capitalize on the struggle of the black man. Or when Jackson threatened Budweiser with an African-American boycott because he didn’t approve of one of its commercials. A true testament to his morality surfaced when the beer company gave his son, a congressman, several Budweiser distributorships. Jackson was shut up by a settlement. Ridiculous.
Many people have attempted to address the family-centered solution to the black community’s problems. The majority of the discussion about this chronic social issue has come from the black conservative wing. When Bill Cosby and other influential blacks spoke about the need for inward critique and moral reflection, they were met with backlash by liberals who believed more handouts and more social programs alone could solve the devastated social condition of the black community.
Christelyn Karazin, a black mother of four, was once a single mother. Having survived through the inner-city nightmare, she married and found prosperity for herself and her family. In an attempt to give back to her community, Karazin started a group called No Wedding No Womb, which encourages young black women to wait until marriage to have children. The program has been a great source for help and education for many inner-city black women.
The leftist community planners of the inner-city gave Karazin’s program a vicious response.
There has been strong support for NWNW, but hundreds have attacked it as a shallow, anti-feminist, conservative think tank. The leftists resent Karazin not only because of her conservative convictions, but also that she is married to a white man. Some in the black community regard her as a sell-out for marrying interracially. This is the definition of racism, and it’s heartbreaking people would attack a woman who has devoted so much to helping the black community.
As long as the black community shoots down leaders who challenge them to look inward and strive for self-improvement continue to idolize race mongers such as Sharpton and Jackson — who have profited greatly from the struggle of the black community — there will be no lasting improvement. This cycle will only continue without a strong family foundation. Choosing the right partner and supporting a spouse through hard times are an individual’s decision. Rather than turning to a dependence on handouts, these women should take their lives into their own hands and make a lasting commitment that will ultimately benefit themselves and generations to follow.
—Patrick Walsh is a political science senior.
—The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Daily Aztec.