William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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FATHERHOOD – AT 9:09 A.M. ET:  In this season we might reflect on one of the great tragedies in American culture over the last half century – the growth of fatherlessness.  It is a national catastrophe, and almost nothing is done about it.  We must not question "cultural choices."  From the Washington Times: 

Nicole Hawkins‘ three daughters have matching glittery boots, but none has the same father. Each has uniquely colored ties in her hair, but none has a dad present in her life.

As another single mother on Sumner Road decked her row-house stoop with Christmas lights and a plastic Santa, Ms. Hawkins recalled that her middle child’s father has never spent a holiday or birthday with her. In her neighborhood in Southeast Washington, 1 in 10 children live with both parents, and 84 percent live with only their mother.

In every state, the portion of families where children have two parents, rather than one, has dropped significantly over the past decade. Even as the country added 160,000 families with children, the number of two-parent households decreased by 1.2 million. Fifteen million U.S. children, or 1 in 3, live without a father, and nearly 5 million live without a mother. In 1960, just 11 percent of American children lived in homes without fathers.

America is awash in poverty, crime, drugs and other problems, but more than perhaps anything else, it all comes down to this, said Vincent DiCaro, vice president of the National Fatherhood Initiative: Deal with absent fathers, and the rest follows.

People “look at a child in need, in poverty or failing in school, and ask, ‘What can we do to help?’ But what we do is ask, ‘Why does that child need help in the first place?’ And the answer is often it’s because [the child lacks] a responsible and involved father,” he said.

The spiral continues each year. Married couples with children have an average income of $80,000, compared with $24,000 for single mothers.

“We have one class that thinks marriage and fatherhood is important, and another which doesn’t, and it’s causing that gap, income inequality, to get wider,” Mr. DiCaro said.

The predilection among men to walk away from their babies is concentrated in the inner cities. In Baltimore, 38 percent of families have two parents, and in St. Louis the portion is 40 percent.

COMMENT:  I doubt if this problem will be taken very seriously until it erupts in rioting.  The mainstream media is taught by its mentors to ignore it because it might "humiliate" those "inner-city peoples."  And besides, weren't we told by radical feminists that "a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle"?  How brilliant.

The further tragedy is that children from the inner city may turn into a permanent underclass, unemployable and crime-ridden.  Who will help them, when they're surrounded by ideologists in their leadership, the academy, and the media.  The ugly little fact is that some of their own leaders benefit from the misery of inner-city children.  But few will speak up for these kids.

December 26, 2012