creators.com opinion web
Liberal Opinion Conservative Opinion
Mona Charen
Mona Charen
1 Aug 2014
Driving Off a Cliff

Last week, The Washington Post's Tehran, Iran, correspondent was arrested. The charges are unspecified, but … Read More.

29 Jul 2014
Israel Supporters: Beware of Hillary

In the last several weeks, I've heard people confidently declare that the 70 percent of Jewish Americans who … Read More.

25 Jul 2014
Hamas' Triumph

Hamas, with perhaps unwitting help from President Barack Obama, is achieving its war aim: to legitimize … Read More.

If Obama Had a Son

Comment

When he was first sworn in as Attorney General, Eric Holder made one of the more obtuse comments in political history. When it comes to issues of race, Holder declared, we are "a nation of cowards ... we, as average Americans, simply do not talk enough with each other about race." Really? It seems to me that we talk endlessly, and usually unproductively, about race. We love nothing better in America than a good racial angle. The Trayvon Martin case pushes all the buttons. Black provocateurs such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton get to strut their stuff. The liberal media get to distort and cheerlead for one side. Conservatives get to indulge their disdain for the race hustlers, and everyone's blood pressure rises.

We are now engaged in another fruitless shouting match about whether young black men are being hunted on the streets of America and whether "stand your ground" laws are dangerous. But as the estimable Ann Coulter has pointed out, Florida's "stand your ground" law was irrelevant to the Martin case. Whichever version of events that night you believe: A) that Zimmerman followed and shot Martin in cold blood; or B) that Zimmerman shot Martin in the midst of a fight; the law, which does not require a person who fears for his life to retreat before using deadly force, is not implicated.

While some carry placards demanding justice for Martin, and others counter that thousands of young blacks are killed every year by other blacks without a provoking anything like this sort of outrage; the larger issue is lost.

In fact, young black men are being hunted and killed in appalling numbers. But the violence and mayhem that disproportionately afflicts the African-American community is part of a society-wide disorder. It has a racial angle, but it's not about race. That disorder is family breakdown, and no discussion of violence or murder or victimization is informed without reference to that overwhelming fact.

Why do African-Americans, with 12.6 percent of the nation's population, account for 50 percent of the murder victims? Because fatherlessness is most pervasive among blacks.

The illegitimacy rate among all Americans has been rising for decades.

In 2012, we reached a grim milestone: The majority of births to women under the age of 30 are now outside of marriage. Among blacks, 72 percent of births are to unmarried women. And while some unmarried mothers go on to marry the fathers of their babies, it's rare in the African-American community, where only 31 percent of couples are married (In 1960, it was 61 percent).

The result of this adult folly is chaos, misery and often violent death for kids. Why do young males join gangs? Because without a father to guide and protect them, they seek physical protection from human predators as well as ratification of their masculinity from the gang. A counselor at a juvenile detention facility in California told the Patriot Post, "(If) you find a gang member who comes from a complete nuclear family, I'd like to meet him. ... I don't think that kid exists." A full 85 percent of youths in prison come from fatherless homes, as do 80 percent of rapists, 71 percent of high school dropouts, and 63 percent of teen suicides.

An analysis of studies of family structure published by the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy found that 90 percent of the change in the violent crime rate between 1973 and 1995 was traceable to the rise of illegitimate births. A large sample looking at students in 315 classrooms in 11 cities concluded that "The single most important variable (in 'gang centrality') is the family's structure ...: the greater the number of parents in the household, the lower the reported gang centrality."

The concentration of single-parent families can affect even those with two parents. A study of 4,671 8th graders in 10 cities found that students who attended school with a large number of fatherless classmates were more likely to commit crimes, even if they came from intact families themselves.

In The Atlantic Monthly, Barbara Dafoe Whitehead wrote that the "relationship (between single-parent families and crime) is so strong that controlling for family configuration erases the relationship between race and crime and between low income and crime . This conclusion shows up time and again in the literature."

President Obama offered that if he had a son, he would "look like Trayvon." That's not what matters. The much more important fact is that if Obama had a son, the boy would have married parents.

To find out more about Mona Charen and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2012 CREATORS.COM



Comments

17 Comments | Post Comment
Ms Charen, black on black crime due to family breakdown seems to be the topic and my first thought is "she can't be serious!!"

I think it bears mentioning that black crime is a relatively new phenomenon.

Have you checked statistics on white on white crime through the years?
What about all the crime and criminals going back to the 40's or earlier and up to today? Eurowhite, Puerto Rican, Chinese, Spanish, Italian, Irish, Asian, Russian, on and on. What about white motorcycle gangs? the white mafia? The white Russian mafia. What about the massive crime during the wild white west days? Any black on black crime statistics to put side by side with white on white crime statistics from those days?

Enough about white on white crime,what about the crimes perpetrated on blacks by whites throughout, well let's just say the past 75 years? Was it fatherless homes, illegitimate births and family breakdown for that and all of the above?

Or is that a cheap shot to be aimed only at black society?

If you view this, as I do, blacks are just another population taking their place in the homogenous society that is America. You see, according to our cultural history, before any culture can properly assimilate and be considered equal you have to fear them and then you have to respect them. Any and all of them. Not just the sport hero's, the rock stars, or those well-dressed and well spoken (by your standards).

When you show the same respect or lack of respect to a black kid in a hoodie as you do to any other kid in a hoodie, then we'll have equality. Parents will be able to relax knowing their kid will have the same chance as any other kid of coming home alive at the end of the day.

I would like to encourage everyone who reads this to do some independent research andreading by non-white authors to get a picture of how very racist and skewered this article is.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Steve
Mon Apr 2, 2012 3:27 PM
So as not to confuse anyone, though Ms. Charen claims the problem and article is not racial, if this column were objective all her references to black on black crime, etc would have to be excluded.
To say it's not about race and then say... ...."Why do African-Americans, with 12.6 percent of the nation's population, account for 50 percent of the murder victims? Because fatherlessness is most pervasive among blacks."
WHERE'S THE STATS TO VERIFY THAT?
WHAT ARE THE STATS AMONG WHITES?

Racism!

Again she says:

"Among blacks, 72 percent of births are to unmarried women. And while some unmarried mothers go on to marry the fathers of their babies, it's rare in the African-American community, where only 31 percent of couples are married (In 1960, it was 61 percent)."

AND AMONG THE WHITE POPULATION? WHERE ARE THE STATS?
What's the message?
R A C I S M
Without referencing negative stats on any other race but the black race, most good people wouldn't realize it's racist. It is.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Steve
Mon Apr 2, 2012 4:11 PM
Didn't Treyvon have parents?? Ms. Charen seems to be going off on a tangent about black youths not having two parents, so therefore that's why they are getting killed??? I'm confused.

This whole post has me so confused, I'm not going to bother commenting any further on it. I'm already busy with the new post about Zimmerman.

Oy.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Lis
Mon Apr 2, 2012 4:55 PM
Re: Steve

Typical leftist response. Attack the messenger as a racist rather than address the actual issue.

Perhaps it escaped your notice, but Ms. Charen specifically quoted a study showing that race is not the primary factor in play here. The lack of adult male role models (otherwise known as "fathers") is.

Are you seriously arguing that this isn't a bigger problem among blacks than it is among other ethnic groups?

Pointing it out doesn't make someone a racist. After all, it's not as though conservatives created the conditions that led to this situation. You can thank LBJ for that.
Comment: #4
Posted by: Jeff Gunn
Mon Apr 2, 2012 10:15 PM
Mr. Gunn, it did not escape my notice. What seems to have escaped your notice, which I attempted to clarify with my passionate response, is the dichotomy of the column.
The following is an unbiased quote:
"In The Atlantic Monthly, Barbara Dafoe Whitehead wrote that the "relationship (between single-parent families and crime) is so strong that controlling for family configuration erases the relationship between race and crime and between low income and crime . This conclusion shows up time and again in the literature."

Then comes Ms Charen's choices to bias the column racially by referencing stats, negative stats on the black race.

I'm not arguing it isn't a bigger problem among blacks. I'm arguing the tone of the column is racist. I remember when dirty Jews or Spics or "the Irish" were written about in the same way. I remember because our big family had everyone of them in it. You learn to recognize covert racism when three generations have been victims. It's been black society's turn for awhile but eventually they will be allowed to assimilate equally.

Saying rising crime is tied to illegitimate birth and fatherless homes in the black community from the '70's then not quote studies of the cause of white on white crime and white on every other ethnic group through the years is racially biased.
If anyone would think honestly for even a moment about crime in America, you would realize it invalidates Ms. Charen's argument.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Steve
Tue Apr 3, 2012 7:08 AM
@ Steve, your right. I read it again after getting what you said and you're right.

That study from the Atlantic says that it ISN'T a bigger problem among blacks so I don't know why you agree with Jeff Gunn.

The Atlantic Monthly quote she gave says ..the relationship (between single-parent families and crime) is so strong that it "erases the relationship between race and crime and between low income and crime "

They are saying the opposite of what she's saying.

That's where the racism is and the dichotomy. She says crime is more prevalent among blacks. They are saying it's not.
Comment: #6
Posted by: morgan
Tue Apr 3, 2012 8:30 AM
@ Steve, your right. I read it again after getting what you said and you're right.

That study from the Atlantic says that it ISN'T a bigger problem among blacks so I don't know why you agree with Jeff Gunn.

The Atlantic Monthly quote she gave says ..the relationship (between single-parent families and crime) is so strong that it "erases the relationship between race and crime and between low income and crime "

They are saying the opposite of what she's saying.

That's where the racism is and the dichotomy. She says crime is more prevalent among blacks. They are saying it's not.
Comment: #7
Posted by: morgan
Tue Apr 3, 2012 8:31 AM
@Morgan,

You are mistaken. The study says that the statistical relationship between single-parent families and crime is strong, such that the factors of race and income levels are controlled for.

This does not mean that income and race have no impact--indeed, they have an impact on family structure (lower income and black Americans tend to form single-parent households). Coupled with the statistics she offers regarding black births to unmarried mothers, we see that crime IS more prevalent among blacks.

Ms. Charen's article simply seeks to illustrate that black people do not cause more crimes because they are black, but because of demographics regarding the family structure of today's youth.

@Steve,

You are correct that in failing to cite statistics regarding the family structures, etc. of other races besides blacks, Ms. Charen does the reader a disservice. I personally would not be so quick to call racism in this case, as the author's point is to try to explain a disproportionate amount of crimes being committed by blacks. I do, however, agree that it would be useful to compare these omitted statistics.
Comment: #8
Posted by: Matt
Tue Apr 3, 2012 9:06 AM
Slurs are ok only if the slurrer is giving a "passionate response"? The tone on these pages is beginning to resemble Yahoo. Used to be mostly thoughtful and polite, sometimes highly intellegent. These days it is a sewer of slurs and namecalling. Everybody says we need a national dialogue on race, but we can't "dialogue" because the passionate among us resort to slurs immediately, within one response today. I'd trade a little passion for polite, clever, and contolled discourse. Remember the Church Lady from SNL long ago? Whole lotta mean masquerading as self-righteous passion? Popped into my mind here today. Don't call for a dialogue if you intend only to sermonize with fire, brimstone, and racism, and don't confuse "namecalling" with "passion". Such self-deceptions are not apt for people of intelligence.
Comment: #9
Posted by: Tom
Tue Apr 3, 2012 10:49 AM
Re: Matt
"Ms. Charen's article simply seeks to illustrate that black people do not cause more crimes because they are black, but because of demographics regarding the family structure of today's youth."

Precisely my point.

White or Hispanic kids raised in the same sort of conditions are just as likely to get into the same kinds of trouble. The reason a higher percentage of black kids get into trouble isn't because of their race, it's because a higher percentage of them are raised in impoverished single parent homes.

And before someone decides to attack me for "slurring" single parents or something, that situation isn't in and of itself the cause of these social pathologies. Plenty of children raised by single parents turn out just fine. The real problem is where you have multiple generations of children raised in an environment where the only traditional family they've ever seen is on TV, such as our inner city housing projects.

Kids model the behavior of the adults they see around them. If you grow up in an environment where the majority of the adult males spend their lives in and out of prison, and the adult females all have multiple kids with different men who don't support them, you're likely to grow up doing the same thing. It doesn't matter whether it's the Chicago projects, a trailer park in Arkansas, a reservation in Arizona, or the barrios of East LA.
Comment: #10
Posted by: Jeff Gunn
Tue Apr 3, 2012 10:12 PM
Mr. Gunn, yours is the reasoning a voice crying in the wilderness longs to hear. Of course the biggest sources of unrest and discontent is tv and environment. If tv shows you life is beautiful but your own life doesn't reflect the same, resentment begins of 'why them and not me, why them and not us'. "Why is my daddy in jail when that rich white kids dad who sells my dad the drugs is a bigger crook and he's not in jail."
If my first statements above did nothing but make just one person think about how insidious covert and overt racism is and how it is a scapegoat for our real ills of a corrupt government and judicial system, I accomplished my goal.


Matt, in today's racially and religiously charged environment, one can no longer accept the excuse of a "disservice to the readers". Too many disservices over too many years has kept too many cultures out of the mainstream. A disservice to a reader such as yourself is perceived as racially biased by the christian white supremists. Those stats will be used by supremists to validate the racial inferiority of the black race. Never forget the Jew was considered racially inferior and the "disservices to the reader" printed about the "jewish problem" resulted in all the major world religions and millions throughout Germany and the world turning their back while massive extermination of a people and a culture was allowed to progress unfettered.
Comment: #11
Posted by: Steve
Wed Apr 4, 2012 9:31 AM
"If my first statements above did nothing but make just one person think..." Ooh, speak to us benighted from above one more time, master please. What an ego.

What if all of your high-toned but essentially mean and incorrect assumptions are old, really old, and more experienced people have been hearing them for 50 years and don't find them true or convincing at all? You assume rich white folks are selling drugs and are bigger crooks. Pretty broad stroke, there. Some may even believe that the opiate used to lure people into poverty and dependance is called Welfare and ADC. Why were there more black owned businessis in Harlem in 1930 than today? All of your thoughts were used by Johnson to kick start The Great Society in 1964. Johnson, a very good man, never intended things to get this out of control. Do you know about that, or is it just easier to blame rich white crooks? Denigrating and talking down to people is a double edged sword, stop swinging it wrecklessly. You'll poke your eye out.
Comment: #12
Posted by: Tom
Thu Apr 5, 2012 5:41 AM
And no one wants to see a church lady with one eye.
Comment: #13
Posted by: Tom
Thu Apr 5, 2012 6:01 AM
Tom, writing one's views on this forum requires checking ego at the door and opening oneself up for lively debate or outright attack. It would be far more gratifying to my ego to keep my opinions to myself but then all learning would have stopped. One hopes their words cause others to think about things in another way and most on this forum provide thoughtful commentary. We read the views of others, think about it, sometimes we learn something new. Your response is scorn. If one hopes their words cause another to think, how is that egotistical? Isn't thinking a quality to be encouraged?
You say my thoughts were used by Johnson, that we arrived at the same conclusion and you call Johnson a very good man. As a human being capable of thought which apparently coincides with the thoughts of President Johnson, am I no less worthy of the same esteem?
"What if all of your high-toned but essentially mean and incorrect assumptions are old, really old, and more experienced people have been hearing them for 50 years and don't find them true or convincing at all?
"high toned" "mean" incorrect assumptions" ...all very subjective based only on your perceptions. No thinking there.
"more experienced people have been hearing them for 50 yrs".... you presume to know my experience when in truth you only know your own.
"and don't find them true or convincing at all" ....That's ok Tom, because there are questioning minds throughout this and other public forums all of us looking for answers or validation of our stance. We all find our own truth through a process of listening and talking to each other.
Finally, it is possible to disagree without being disagreeable. More experienced people have been doing so for more than 60 years.
Comment: #14
Posted by: Steve
Thu Apr 5, 2012 11:04 AM
Tom, out of respect for Ms. Charen's column, I've come back to the original column.

You say rascism is a conversation ender, maybe it is for you, yet as you can see, it elicited mainly, thoughtful, respectful comments, and racism is being discussed all over the news and internet.

"R A S C I S M is a word a "questioning mind" might avoid out of respect for other's opinion." Really? AVOID a topic out of respect for another's opinion? A discussion is started, not avoided, out of respect for another's opinion.

"R A S C I S M required no thinking on your part." ... I don't know if you've been following the news lately, but to address the issues of rascism actually does require thinking on everyone's part.
"R A S C I S M is a rather disagreeable term to use upon another person."..... Disagreeable indeed, though you may want to recheck because I stated the slant of the column, not the columnist, was rascist.

"Maybe if I type that word you used one more time it may cause just one other person to think before they respond in hurtful ways to blunt conversation that makes them uncomfortable." .....Let's hope so, Tom. Let's hope so.
Comment: #15
Posted by: Steve
Fri Apr 6, 2012 9:07 AM
I think the term rascism is thrown out way too often. Rascism is thinking that one race is better than another other for no real good reason. Analysing and commenting on racial statistics does not make someone a rascist.
Comment: #16
Posted by: Chris McCoy
Fri Apr 6, 2012 11:54 AM
Not to mention that abortions are essentially racially targeted...
Comment: #17
Posted by: Solomani
Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:53 PM
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right:  
Creators.com comments policy
More
Mona Charen
Aug. `14
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
About the author About the author
Write the author Write the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month
Authorís Podcast
Michelle Malkin
Michelle MalkinUpdated 1 Aug 2014
David Limbaugh
David LimbaughUpdated 1 Aug 2014
Linda Chavez
Linda ChavezUpdated 1 Aug 2014

27 Dec 2013 Obamacare Whac-A-Mole

19 Mar 2010 This Is a Non-Arrogant Foreign Policy?

6 Jul 2012 What Romney Needs to Say About Romneycare