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Fifty-five years ago Daniel Patrick Moynihan published The Negro Family: The Case For National Action in which he posited that the decline in the number of black two-parent households was a barrier to economic advancement, that welfare policies created disincentives to family formation and that restoration of the family should be a policy goal.
The negative reaction was fierce. The phrase “blaming the victim” was invented to attack the Moynihan Report. To focus on choices and behaviors, especially when choices were constrained by external factors was to miss the Real Problem. (We did not have “systemic” racism in those days, only actual, overt racism.) Feminists were appalled at the patriarchal overtones. Moreover, single mothers should not be stigmatized in the name of preserving an oppressive, outmoded social institution. Virtually all homosexual rights advocates were also highly critical of marriage as an institution in those days as well. (Who knew that gays would be the first to desert the anti-marriage side?)
In particular, the reaction tried to popularize the notion that it is preferable to replace the nuclear family with a collective of some kind. The now-tiresome nostrum “It takes a village” is meant to conjure an image of a loving neighborhood of connected households with shared values and a mission to care for the young when in practice it really means atomized people lining up at the county office once a month to renew their benefits eligibility or to vote to re-elect the charlatans who imposed this outcome on them.
I question whether the idealized “village” approach has ever worked. It does not appear to be the key to success in America. The nicest neighborhoods everywhere seem to be composed entirely of buildings designed and arranged to be conducive to nuclear family-centered life rather than village living. And after careful sociological and economic research, I have painstakingly assembled the following data comparing outcomes for certain classes of persons raised in nuclear families in communities based on the nuclear family model versus persons raised by a village:
It is certainly true that African American poverty is not solely attributable to family dysfunction or that the absence of marriage and family is not also a result of other significant adverse factors. But to celebrate dysfunction or to massage fantasies of a “village” is far more likely to worsen rather than help matters.
The entire blacklivesmatter.com website reads as if it were drafted on campus by white undergraduates of a “Studies” department. It would be an understatement to say that it seems a bit detached from what would expect to hear from African Americans of one’s own acquaintance. And it turns out one cannot contribute directly to Black Lives Matter. Instead, all funds go the immensely well-funded white liberal mothership ActBlue.com, a financial structure that perfectly fits the leftist face model. Black people must not live, act or organize to help each other independently of beneficent white oversight but must instead await the outcome of the angelic battle overhead between the good white people and the bad white people.
The ongoing attempt to make African Americans mere extras in the fantasy life of white narcissists is more brazen than ever. When not Changing America from a position of power in super-savior mode, white people must beg forgiveness on bended knee while in Clark Kent mode. Clark Kent mode does not involve parting with tenure, job, home, second home, or personal cash–just oodles of expressions of guilt while knowing that the real power and safety is always still there, much like Daddy’s investment portfolio.
Even if we don’t have clear easy solutions to big issues can we still not make things worse with utter and complete BS derived from the rich fantasy lives of woke white people? I think there needs to be a movement named “Black Lives Matter So Act Like It” that does not require inputs of fake white guilt to effect needed change.Published in