A new study released by Northeastern University revealed that the majority of births in this country to women under thirty are to unwed mothers. Nearly 80% of African-American births are out of wedlock. Most of those unwed mothers become heads of single-parent households. I’m not a moralist. I don’t really care how other people choose to live their lives. I’m having a tough enough time with my own. But, I am an observer of the decline of our culture. When I turn on the TV and see fathers with their ten year old sons ringside at a WWE event, it makes me shudder. If I see a family sit down in a restaurant and both dad and lad eat their meals wearing their ball-caps, I shake my head. If mom has a cap on at the table as well, I choose another eating place. But, maybe that university study says I should be happy that there is any masculine figure in the scenario at all.
Then I read this pithy rationale:
It's Unemployment's Fault!
That puts a whole new light on the situation. I thought it was flaming hormones, a sex-saturated culture, a total lack of responsibility and a “me-first” attitude that caused single-mothers and bastard children without a man around. According to NYT editorialist Bob Herbert, the cause is poor education and lack of a job.
It was all the fault of being unemployed! If I’d had a job, I wouldn’t have had so much time on my hands to diddle with Suzie Q! And, that’s all because I was deprived of a college edumacashun. If you’d of give me that scholarship to Harvard regardless of my ability and then give me those passing grades like those other folks got, then I’d have had me a good job. Then it woulda been easy to do the right thing when Suzie went and got herself knocked up. She looked like crap then, all bloated and crabby and complaining all the time. You think I wanna be seen wid a tramp like dat? I got my image to maintain, man. Ya see whad I’m sayin’?
I am no longer shocked at the convolutions that apologists for the plight of minority Americans will concoct to explain the situation. And, it is hardly surprising that the solution to any shortfalls is involved with a government program and increased handouts. Don’t forget that it also must be the fault and therefore the debt of successful elements of society.
Equality of opportunity is a goal in our society not yet achieved. Despite great strides there are still huge obstacles to success. It isn’t easy to rise out of the basement of our society, but it can be done if the effort is made. Some clues are readily available. Having children is a result of sexual activity. It isn’t a solo activity. Technology has provided a lot of tools to preclude unwanted pregnancy. There is ample evidence that probability of success in life goes down rapidly for young folks who ignore the obvious. It gets exponentially harder to complete an education, get a job, build a comfortable life and rise in economic class. But, confusing effect with cause and then proposing to band-aid the effect is a fruitless endeavor.
Subsidizing education and creating (what an empty euphemism!) jobs for minorities is not a cure for unwed motherhood. Nor is lack of a job or a college degree any sort of justification for irresponsible parenthood.