The Thinking 

The Lesson of Black Illegitimacy and Fatherlessness

April 7, 2010


THE NEWS that the illegitimacy rate among American blacks is now over 72 percent, and has climbed significantly in the past three years, is more depressing confirmation that one major portion of the American population lives in a post-family world, a place of everyday chaos and callousness. 

Even taking into account the significant innate differences between blacks and whites, differences which make traditional family formation less likely for blacks, these statistics carry important lessons for both blacks and whites, who now have an almost 30 percent illegitimacy rate.  The collapse of the black family reflects a collapse in masculinity. It is the inevitable outcome of the loss of the male provider and of state-supported economic independence for black women.

Elizabeth Wright, conservative black author and blogger at Issues and Views, writes in an essay on black men:

Those black men of that earlier period of our history, who took the lead in entrepreneurial activities, were looked upon as the natural authority figures in their communities, held in regard by their peers and respected by the young. They were driven by the same natural urges so well described in George Gilder’s book, Men and Marriage—an innate understanding of their, dare we say it?, masculine responsibility.

After citing the all too well-known statistics that show single men of all groups as more prone to mental and chronic diseases and the perpetrators of most crime, Gilder describes the manner in which American social policy, most of which no longer reinforces the family, consequently induces men to disrupt rather than support society.

As historical fact and as common sense, it once was accepted wisdom that the major reason for the institution of marriage, which assures a man’s union to a woman, was to help put brakes on men’s aggressiveness—to turn their focus away from intemperate self-indulgence toward more responsible behavior. Gilder claims that when normal socializing restraints are no longer in place and the social institutions deny the basic terms of male nature, “masculinity makes men enemies of family and society.” And where a welfare bureaucracy has entirely replaced their economic function, men are even less likely to play positive roles in the ongoing sustenance of communities.

As is clear from the study of all groups, as well as those earlier “segregated” black communities, where married men function as husbands and fathers, it is they who set the tone and influence the nature of the community. Among blacks, where almost 60% of men are single rolling stones, it is they who set the tone in ghetto neighborhoods.

Wright’s excellent essays on black men can be found here and here.

                                           — Comments —

Janet writes:

Laura wrote:

“The breakdown of the black family is incontrovertible proof that society cannot function when women become economically independent of men.”

You are absolutely correct and no matter how often those who believe this extol the virtues of a marriage based on interdependence attempt to press this point, it falls onto deaf ears. Consider the black community a test case (or a doomsday prophecy) for where America insists on heading full speed.

Today we have an educated and successful pool of Black women and an uneducated, underemployed, and incarcerated pool of black men, creating an even bigger crisis for the Black family moving forward. Every generation that follows this curve simply digs the whole deeper. Which saddens me because the alternative is so much more desirable.

From the beginning of creation, it seems that God created males and females to complement each other in the marriage relationship. Now what that looked like has been interpreted in different ways by many different theologians, but there is no question that a man is to leave his father and mother, cleave to his wife, and the two become one flesh acting in tandem, not two independent agents acting in their own interests. In effect, the idea is one of interdependence, where a husband needs his wife to fulfill certain duties and she needs him to fulfill others.

It is true that my husband is the sole financial provider in our home, with God’s help of course. We depend on his talent in his given profession to make the money we need to pay for our household’s necessities. He is also a father, my companion, and the leader of our family. I depend on him to fulfill his duties.

I am the manager of this little enterprise. I am the primary caregiver of our children, I manage most of the finances and budgeting, see to it that our family eats healthy meals, and see to it that things run smoothly from day to day, making it easier for my husband to do his part without worrying about the welfare of his home and family. I am a companion and helper to my husband. He depends on me to fulfill my duties. He can come home to a haven rather than a zoo.

I have no qualms with his being the head of our home. A team with more than one captain is a recipe for chaos, infighting, and strife. Which is why the divorce rate began to skyrocket almost simultaneously with women entering the work force in mass. Sadly, the problems are more pronounced in the black community. So much so that when my husband mention that his wife stays home, people routinely assume that my black husband must be married to a white woman, because everyone knows (apparently we didn’t get the memo!) that black women do not subject themselves to the vulnerability of being a homemaker and dependent on a man for anything.

Fitzgerald writes:

There was a great National Review cover in the late 80’s that bore an illustration of Teddy Kennedy dressed as a Col. Sanders-style white plantation owner in seersucker suit et. al, and, if I recall, it was titled, “On the Liberal Plantation.” This article was more focused on the left exploiting blacks for political advantage, but this is only a small part of a much larger problem and agenda. The article was fairly typical of National Review and other “conservative” publications focusing only on some convenient and politically leverage-able societal agendas, rather than defending the broader swath of Western Civilization’s deeper traditions and morality in particular. 

The multiple sexual revolutions since the French Revolution ultimately leading up to the free love 60’s have all been exploited as methods for political control. Sexual freedom has now been associated in Western societies with political freedom, when in reality it’s the exact opposite. St. Augustine claimed, rightly so, that a man has as many masters as vices. The progressive elites in the West have essentially flooded the civilization with “free” sex, or sex unconstrained by morality, as an opiate, in the same way the British Empire used drugs to undermine China and conquer it. It was a very successful strategy then and now.

Laura writes:

Liberal sexual standards are the most oppressive force blacks have ever encountered in this country. Liberals have aided and celebrated the demolition of the black family. At the end of the day, they could care less.


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