Jun
22
2020

Black Fathers Matter

Image credit: “Close” by Tyler Bedgood on Flickr via Creative Commons.

By Katie Kieffer

Fathers matter. A child without a good father figure grows up with a disadvantage that cannot be erased by money, education or fame. Activists claim that whites and police are primarily responsible for holding blacks back. In truth, black father figures are the foremost differentiating factor in their offspring’s quality of life.

69 percent of black children are born to unmarried mothers, according to the latest data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In contrast, the CDC reports that 28 percent of non-Hispanic whites are born to unmarried mothers. 

The CDC statistics account for a mother’s marital status at the time of her child’s birth. However, some mothers marry later in life. And, a small percentage of mothers cohabitate with their child’s parent—but never marry. Nevertheless, even as black children grow up and become teenagers the majority (54 percent) never experience life in a household with two parents. 

Pew studied American households with children under the age of 18 and found: “The living arrangements of black children stand in stark contrast to the other major racial and ethnic groups. The majority – 54 percent – are living with a single parent.”

Only 31 percent of black children under age 18 grow up in a household with two married parents (by a first or second marriage). In contrast, 71 percent of white children grow up with two married parents (by a first or second marriage).

African American economist Walter E. Williams shuts down “today’s arguments that slavery and discrimination decimated the black family” in his book, Race & Economics. Williams writes: “years ago there were only slight differences in family structure between racial groups. The percentages of nuclear families were: black (75.2 percent), Irish (82.2), German (84.5), and native white American (73.1).”

Major research shows that both the woman and child fare better when the woman is married to the father when the child is born. A nationally representative Princeton University study overlapping the Bush and Obama administrations—highlighted in my book—found that 65 percent of unmarried couples were separated within five years after the birth of a child. Absence of a father took a toll on the mothers and children: five years after the parents spilt, the fathers saw their children once a month, at most.

Girls are statistically more likely to grow up and choose male partners like their own father-figures—which is a major reason why good fathers are so empowering to young women. And boys who grow up without father-figures are statistically more likely to become men who repeat their fathers’ mistakes.

You blame the system? Where was his father?” actor Denzel Washington responded when asked about minorities facing higher incarceration rates. “It starts in the home. And, ‘Yeah, well, my father got locked up!’Well, where was his father? …If a young man doesn’t have a father figure, he’ll go find a father figure.”

Washington matches his actions to his words on this topic. He’s been married to the same woman for 37 years, and they have four children. Last month, Washington pulled his car roadside in West Hollywood and helped police peacefully diffuse a situation with a homeless African American man. 

We must rebuild our culture so that all our youth can easily obtain a good father figure—ideally a biological father, but if not—then a step-father, uncle, godfather, teacher, pastor or mentor in whom they find empowerment, wisdom and guidance. Cultural revival will begin in the home, and in our places of worship.

We all need male role models—yet Democrats and Black Lives Matter (BLM) diminish father figures—while blaming “racism” or “white privilege” for our broken society.

Fathers Don’t Matter—According to BLM

Spend 60 seconds perusing the “What We Believe” section on the official Black Lives Matter (BLM) website, and you’ll be astounded to learn that heterosexual black men—particularly black fathers—are excluded from BLM’s supposedly inclusive movement. 

BLM’s website explicitly (three times) mentions the importance of “mothers”—while never mentioning fathers. In case there’s any confusion, BLM emphasizes that “men” are absolutely not at the “center” of its movement. 

Direct quotes from BLM’s website:

“We build a space that affirms Black women and is free from sexism, misogyny, and environments in which men are centered.

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.”

BLM would be more honest if it changed its name to: Overthrow Heterosexual Black Men and Black Fathers. Of course, OHBMBF is not marketable and few would support such a ridiculous-sounding movement. So, they call themselves Black Lives Matter. Because who in their right mind doesn’t agree that black lives matter?

Moynihan Report

“Brilliant,” Barack Obama once called the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan. 

Unfortunately, despite eight years in office, America’s first black president didn’t take steps to help solve the issue of broken black families about which Moynihan famously warned in his 1965 report titled, The Negro Family: The Case for National Action.

Moynihan was a liberal Democrat in his day. Today, his words sound more like those of a conservative Republican. Which shows you how far afield today’s Democrats have strayed from their original moral values.

Nearly 25 percent of black children were born to unwed mothers at the time Moynihan authored his report. This situation drove him to declare a national crisis:

“At the heart of the deterioration of the fabric of Negro society is the deterioration of the Negro family. It is the fundamental source of the weakness of the Negro community at the present time. There is probably no single fact of Negro American life so little understood by whites. … The family is the basic social unit of American life; it is the basic socializing unit. By and large, adult conduct in society is learned as a child.”

Today, nearly three times as many black children (69 percent) are born to unwed mothers. Sadly, today’s Democrats share none of Moynihan’s concerns. 

Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden made a big deal about visiting a BLM protest site–and posting a photo of himself kneeling before a black man and his young son. Apparently, Biden doesn’t know (or care?) that BLM doesn’t support black men, specifically fathers. Biden did know it looked good—to his followers—on camera.

Meanwhile, Democrats all over America—from Chicago to Mississippi—are targeting black churches. Could it be because Christian pastors largely encourage men to be good fathers? Or because pastors frequently serve as father figures for children without active fathers?

Democrats should heed black street preacher Bevelyn Beatty in Seattle last week: “You want to see black men get killed substantially like you’ve never seen before, put Joe Biden in. …Democrats… use our cause. …How did Black Lives Matter turn into something about LGBTQ? …Not only that, we really don’t support abortion. …Not only that, we’re not about feminism. …Black Lives Matter can’t save you. Only Jesus will save you.” 

But stubborn Democrats don’t need to listen to me. They can listen to liberals. 

Like Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Or CNN’s Don Lemon. Prior to going irrational in 2018 and declaring that “the biggest terror threat in this country is white men,” Lemon said this in 2013: 

“Black people, if you really want to fix the problem [of violence within the black community] … More than 72 percent of children in the African-American community are born out of wedlock. That means absent fathers. And the studies show that lack of a male role model is an express train right to prison and the cycle continues.”

Boom.

The Privilege Blessing of a Good Father

The single-most “privilege” I had growing up was having a good father. Except it seems disparaging to my father to refer to him as privilege; because he was a blessing

BLM and Democrats love to throw out the term “white privilege,” but the construct is increasingly being used as a willful distraction from the truth. 

Without my father, I’d be a very different woman. More than anyone—my father gave me confidence in myself; my values; and my beliefs. Therefore, I absolutely know that without my father, I’d be a woman with lower self-confidence and, consequently, a woman with lower expectations of myself and others. 

My parents were not wealthy. They supported five children on a single income (my father’s). My Dad willingly gave up expensive hobbies from his bachelor life once he married so that my parents didn’t need to send us to daycare. 

My mother homeschooled us, and my Dad was the school “principal.” My siblings and I shared everything, from bedrooms to toys. Most of our clothes came from garage sales. We never felt deprived—because we were well-loved. 

Besides supporting us—and coming home to us every night (to help with homework, mow the lawn, rake leaves, or shovel the driveway)—my Dad took us to church every Sunday and had high expectations for our behavior and academic performance. My Dad was never inebriated or high. He never had an affair. He kept himself in physical shape—and encouraged us to do the same. He worked hard. He prayed a lot. He read to us. Basically, he set a good example.

Katie spending time with her Dad at ages eight months (left) and two years (right). Images copyright Katie Kieffer.

By achieving good grades in high school, I attended college on nearly-full scholarship. I wrote a book, published by Random House. I’m getting married this year—and am waiting to have children until after marriage. All four of my siblings have gone on to do very well for themselves.

I credit my father. And certainly my mother. But fathers lead (or don’t lead) a family—and research indicatesthat fathers play a greater role in a child’s ultimate success (or failure) than mothers—regardless of whether the child is a son or daughter. The nuclear family is society’s most basic group. And a group without a leader will flounder, including the individual members of that group.

Katie wore her Dad out reading “Little Red Riding Hood.” 🙂 Image copyright Katie Kieffer.

Thank You, Fathers

While a higher percentage of white children have father figures—the recent riots show us that many children of every color need better parenting.

As young whites and young blacks came together to riot in the streets of Minneapolis to destroy diverse neighborhoods and businesses owned by first- and second-generation immigrants, I had to ask: Where are these young people’s fathers?

“People are motivated to change and improve when they are shown visions of victories that are possible—not constantly reminding them of injuries to be avoided,” former civil rights activist and African American leader Bob Woodson recently told Epoch Times:

A good father empowers his child to overcome challenges in a healthy way—rather than “venting” via burning, looting and fighting. Our young people don’t need fewer police. Our young people desperately, urgently, need more and better father figures.

Thank you—to all men who play the role of father, grandfather, godfather, uncle, pastor or mentor—with courage and grace. You make our world a beautiful place by your integrity, strength and example. Hoping yesterday was, and every day is, a Happy Father’s Day!

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Comments...

  1. Paul Schuette says:

    I went to your e-list profile update page and it is missing.
    I’m glad to see you’re back in full force, missed you during your hiatus.
    Keep up the good work!

  2. margo franco says:

    I had no idea that BLM was not supportive of black heterosexual men/fathers.
    Great post! Love the photos. Haha

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