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You don’t have to be a “revolutionary” presidential candidate to know that there’s something seriously wrong about the way boys are growing into men in this country.
Most of the media is obsessed with fraternities, creepy boys with “affluenza,” and lax bros. Most of that reporting follows a familiar template: bad (white) boys and their victims. It’s a reliably monotonous litany because that frees them from the responsibility of looking at what happens to (mostly non-white) boys who grow up in poor neighborhoods. Short answer: nothing much good. From Citylab:
How adults in the U.S. fare economically depends, to a large extent, on the quality of the neighborhoods they grew up in. But boys and girls who live right down the street from each other don’t always end up, economically speaking, in the same place. And that’s most likely because their childhood environments affect them differently, a new working paper by economist Raj Chetty and his colleagues finds, with boys having an especially tough time.
None of this is surprising. But still:
Differences between men’s and women’s employment rate, income level, and college enrollment at age 30 all varied based on the income and marital status of their parents, but the gender gap in employment varied most starkly. Among those whose parents were in the bottom fifth of income distribution when they were young, the 30-year-old men were less likely to have a job than the women. This was especially true if these boys were raised by a single parent.
The paper — and the post it’s based on — go on to make a lot of lefty-sounding points. The research, however, is pretty clear, though we all might draw different conclusions from it. Yes, the incarceration rates are higher in those neighborhoods. Yes, those neighborhoods are more likely to be, essentially, segregated. But it still gets back to this sentence:
This was especially true if these boys were raised by a single parent.
And what do we see in the culture, in the community, in the halls of left-wing city governments and left-wing federal offices? An obsession with everything but the root problem: families have been torn up by federal and state programs that encourage broken, scattered, fatherless families.
The question is, are those boys in trouble because their fathers are absent or in jail? Or are those men in jail because their fathers were absent?
Either way, one thing we should all agree on: whatever we’re currently doing in under-privileged neighborhoods we should stop doing. Whatever we’re currently focusing our time and energy and resources to we should stop doing.Published in