Juan Williams is one of the few mainstream journalists that sees the bigger picture. I see it and have been trying to tell everyone I know that there is more to the epidemic of violence in our communities of color than just guns. It is directly related to the break down of the family. There is a direct link between no father in the home and an increased chance that the child will drop out of high school, go on welfare and have a criminal record. This is particularly acute in the black community, where over 70 percent of black kids are born outside of wedlock.
I feel the federal government did to the black family what slavery never could: separate the black man from his family. By the federal government playing daddy and stepping in and taking the place of the man of the house, the family has disintegrated and the community along with it.
Juan breaks it down here:
In speaking about social breakdown in those minority communities, the president put the gun issue in the context of high rates of out-of-wedlock births that lead to high rates of childhood poverty. “I wish I had a father who was around and involved,” the president said, in words that echoed loudly through black and Latino neighborhoods nationally because he revealed a pain so common, yet so rarely confessed, among young people of color.
The shame and silence is enforced by civil-rights leaders who speak in support of gun control but never about a dysfunctional gangster-rap culture that glorifies promiscuity, drug dealers and the power of the gun.
“Loving, supporting parents . . . [are] the single most important thing,” the president told his audience of young, mostly minority children at Hyde Park Academy High School in Chicago. He made the case for parents as the key to giving children a sense of self-esteem beyond the barrel of a gun.
Almost 50 years ago, when the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed, the national out-of-wedlock birthrate was 7%. Today it is over 40%. According to the CDC, the out-of-wedlock birthrate for white children was just 2% in the 1960s. Today it is 30%. Among black children, the out-of-wedlock birthrate has skyrocketed from 20% in the 1960s to a heartbreaking 72% today. The Hispanic out-of-wedlock rate, which has been measured for a much shorter period, was below 40% in 1990 and stands at more than 50% as of the 2010 census.
When President Obama tried to speak to this crippling dynamic in 2008, he was basically told to shut up by Rev. Jesse Jackson. The Chicago-based activist said: “Barack was talking down to black people,” then he added a vulgar threat about what he wanted to do in response. The moment revealed the high cost of speaking honestly about social breakdown in black America.
I support gun control. But speaking honestly about the combustible mix of race and guns may be more important to stopping the slaughter in minority communities than any new gun-control laws.