Black Fathers Matter

Years ago, I interviewed Kweisi Mfume, then
the president of the NAACP. “As between the presence of white racism and the absence of black fathers,” I asked him, “Which poses the bigger threat to the black community?”
Without missing a beat, he said, “The absence of black fathers.” It was President Barack Obama who said, “We
all know the statistics. That children who grow up without a father are five times more
likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of school
and 20 times more likely to end up in prison.” The Journal of Research on Adolescence confirms
that even after controlling for varying levels of household income, kids in father-absent
homes are more likely to end up in jail. And kids who never had a father in the house are
the most likely to wind up behind bars. In 1960, 5 percent of America’s children entered
the world without a mother and father married to each other. By 1980 it was 18 percent,
by 2000 it had risen to 33 percent, and fifteen years later, the number reached 41 percent. For blacks, even during slavery when marriage
for slaves was illegal, black children were more likely than today to be raised by both
their mother and father. Economist Walter Williams has written that, according to census
data, from 1890 to 1940, a black child was more likely to grow up with married parents
than a white child. For blacks, out-of-wedlock births have gone
from 25 percent in 1965 to 73 percent in 2015. For whites, from less than 5 percent to over
25 percent. And for Hispanics, out-of-wedlock births have risen to 53 percent. What happened to fathers? The answer is found in a basic law of economics:
If you subsidize undesirable behavior you will get more undesirable behavior. In 1949,
the nation’s poverty rate was 34 percent. By 1965, it was cut in half, to 17 percent
— all before President Lyndon Johnson’s so-called War on Poverty. But after that war
began in 1965, poverty began to flat line. From 1965 until now, the government has spent
over $20 trillion to fight poverty. The poverty rate has remained unchanged, but
the relationship between poor men and women has changed – dramatically. That’s because
our generous welfare system allows women, in effect, to marry the government. And this
makes it all too easy for men to abandon their traditional moral and financial responsibilities.
Psychologists call such dependency “learned helplessness.” How do we know that the welfare state creates
disincentives that hurt the very people we are trying to help? They tell us. In 1985, the Los Angeles Times asked both
the poor and the non-poor whether poor women “often” have children to get additional benefits.
Most of the non-poor respondents said no. However, 64 percent of poor respondents said
yes. Now, who do you think is in a better position to know? Tupac Shakur, the late rapper, once said:
“I know for a fact that had I had a father, I’d have some discipline. I’d have more confidence.”
He admitted he began running with gangs because he wanted the things a father gives to a child,
especially to a boy: structure and protection. “Your mother cannot calm you down the way
a man can,” Shakur said. “You need a man to teach you how to be a man.” In my book “Dear Father, Dear Son,” I write
about my rough, tough World War II Marine staff sergeant dad. Born in the Jim Crow South
of Athens, Ga., he was 14 at the start of the Great Depression. Growing up, I watched
my father work two full-time jobs as a janitor. He also cooked for a rich family on the weekends–and
somehow managed to go to night school to get his GED. When I was 10, my father opened a
small restaurant that he ran retired until he in his mid-80s. He was never angry or bitter–and insisted
that today’s America was very different from the world of racial segregation and limited
opportunity in which he grew up. “Hard work wins,” he told me and my brothers. “You
get out of life what you put into it. You can’t control the outcome, but you are 100%
in control of the effort. And before blaming other people, go to the nearest mirror and
ask yourself, ‘what could I have done to change the outcome?’” This advice shaped
my life. Fathers matter. Until we have a government
policy that makes that its first priority, nothing will change. I’m Larry Elder for Prager University.

  1. I completely agree with everything, except the last statement. We don't need any government policy dictating this to us: We collectively need to take responsibility, not be dependent on others (especially the government!), educate ourselves, and work hard.

  2. Black father's don't give a shit about their multiple offspring from multiple women of any colour. But, don't worry, the taxpayer, will bring up your mistake.

  3. And so the snowball gets bigger and bigger and bigger. It is a culture thing. In South Africa we have poverty on both ends. But go and look how whites live in squatter camps opposed to black squatter camps. Quite different. And also in South Africa the majority protect themselves against the minority through rasist law called BBBBEEEEEE. How pathetic is that. Like you say have an in depth look…… In the mirror.

  4. The thing I don't understand about this argument, is why is there a comparison? They are two different issues that both need to be addressed. Racism (of the institutional variety) needs to be confronted through legislation, and the decimation of the family structure in the Black American family also needs to be addressed. I understand Mr. Elder's and the like's arguments and extolling of personal responsibility and such, but it's one part of the equation. Though it should be noted that it is the part of the equation that any given individual has full power and control over. There seriously needs to be some nuanced thought given to all these issues instead of people straddling idly on one side of the fence or another and shouting scripted arguments back and forth at each other. Also it should be noted that all those numbers and statistics are not completely accurate.

  5. Having parents that are not married doesn't mean that they have a father that left. It just shows that people have families without being married.


  7. That is important since fathers were able to provide for their children and today that is more than 30 years of our life. Thanks fathers for keeping us with good provisions. For those without a father even at a very young age you need to make your primary focus to be getting a job and don't go to college, just get any job you can even $7/hour to keep yourself supported.

  8. Why is this a thing in 2019? Why can’t it just be FATHERS MATTER? Do we have to give everything a color? Hate to break the black peoples little victim game here. But ALL fathers are suffering. It’s not a race problem. ITS A FATHER PROBLEM. So let’s wake up and support each other and stop making it a race problem.

  9. Obama's words are cheap. He acknowledged that fathers are important, but in eight years as president, he didn't do anything to change the welfare system that separates black fathers from their children, so moms can get welfare. Liberals PRETEND TO CARE about illegal alien families separated at the border, while white liberals have been separating poor black families for decades.

  10. Your statement is completely false about the structure of slave families! Masters sold people on auction blocks and separated families. Blacks were property therefore not considered humans. MARRIAGES was not legal thus making separation of families highly prevalent. Explain black men getting shot in their backs or educated black men getting harrassed by cops today even with father figures present! Another fake fact is African Americans slave ancestors do not make up the majority of the population therefore welfare is not consumed by them. Today new victims of stupidity are the illegals migrants with fake families entering the public welfare system. A father must want to be there in order to be a participate. You participate in sexual activity! Also explain the divorce rate and INFIDELITY while your at it.

  11. Honor thy father and mother. The media does everything that can to destroy the father. Then the court system comes in and finishes the job.

  12. Listening to this I became very angry. Unless you have actually lived this you have no way of understanding. People who grew up without a father idealize having a father, and in most cases, most fathers are good. The welfare system was not created so women could financially “marry “ the government. Men abandoned their wives and children before any financial institutions were set in place. Men have died in wars and being murdered in the midst of illegal activities for as long as there has been humanity. The only financial solution for women if they had no family to fall back on, because of a lack of opportunities for education was housekeeping, cook, or the skin industry, or to remarry someone they didn’t love as quickly as possible, which rarely ended happily. The welfare system was set up in the depression so people could eat and have a roof over their heads. Men took this money as well, not just women. When you say children need their father, that is the ideal situation, but unrealistic. It’s not just the father who is responsible for the children. It’s the mother, the aunts, the uncles and grandparents, and close friends of the family. And when you say that because a child has no father they are more likely to never go to college and end up in jail you basically have predetermined the expectation for these children and will treat them as such. Being told this they themselves will limit themselves and become angry and justify their lack of respect for their government and the law. Don’t forget as well that simply because you have a father in your life doesn’t mean you’re life will turn out perfect. Many families stay together and are horribly abusive and destructive. On the flip side there are fathers raising their children alone and you’re speaking as if the woman’s role in raising their children is beside the point. Their are too many examples of amazing people who have been raised by good (and I emphasize good) single parents. They are grateful for the hard discipline and unconditional love. Times have changed, a woman doesn’t need a man to be financially viable. The father is just as likely to gain custody of the children as the mother. These prejudices need to be addressed properly. Abuse leads to abuse, neglect to neglect. Blaming it on the lack of a father is an excuse. I grew up in a single parent home. My father abandoned myself and my two sisters when we were very young and we grew up on welfare until my mother remarried an abuser where life was hell for a long while. That union created two more siblings. We were abandoned by the educational system, the church and family. My mother eventually divorced him but he continued to cause destruction and eventually one turned to drugs and the other went to prison for a while. They had their father and it did them only harm. Growing up without a father was hard, because it was a man’s world. Despite that, we three (my sisters and I) went to college and never broke the law. In my later years I have discovered siblings across the U.S. my father abandoned, some mother’s he married, mostly not. All of us have never broken the law and gone to jail, most of us went to college, and those who didn’t still live above the poverty line. I know that my story is not singular. I would have loved to have a father who was a good man. It didn’t happen. It doesn’t happen for a lot of children. However declaring over and over again that that this is the only likely outcome does no good. Yes, it’s much better to have two loving and supportive parents, and additional family and friends to support them. This entire scenario rarely happens perfectly, and when factoring in race, at least in America, even less. However, laying blame never made any difference. The study should never be about what everyone knows is a serious problem. The study should be about the parents who did it right. Despite being a single parent, despite being on welfare (a demoralizing process), despite going against family and the church to do what is best for their children. And most importantly, succeeded.

  13. One day I saw a car limping down the road with a flat tire in front of my house. A young black man was driving. I waved him over and asked if he needed help. Long story short, he pulled in. He was nervous about me, the old white guy. I offered for him to leave the car here, and we (or someone) could take the tire to be fixed. He agreed, but had no tools. I got a wrench and a jack and we went to work. He didn’t know how to change a tire. “I’ll teach you. Take this wrench, but be careful. It’s old and it will pinch your fingers. It was my dad’s.” I said a little more about my dad. He stopped, sat still for a second, and said, “My dad wasn’t much good.” He elaborated more, the usual things…his dad hadn’t taken responsibility and had left them. I was stunned that in ten minutes we had reached such a level of familiarity, and felt so bad for him. But he went on to say that he knew he had to do the right things, was in school at the junior college, etc. When the tire was changed, he shook my hand and introduced himself. I’ve never seen him since, but I consider him a friend. I hope he is doing well.

  14. Its obvious fathers dont matter. Else there woudnt be SO MUCH single moms by choice. Much more than real and whole familys these days

  15. I’m an exception having been raised without a father in the 60s and 70s and I never went to jail, did not have kids out of wedlock, raised as a Christian , worked all my life and am retired from the operating engineers trade. But not having a dad was a huge problem and I feel like there is a hole in my soul where my father should have been. I never even saw what he looked like and my mom and he were married but separated and he never came back. He is dead now I guess and I will never know who my father was.

  16. So obviously true but the Democrats don't want to help the black community in that real way they just want to blame it on racism and keep getting the votes

  17. That's one single positive thing about if you dated black women…. you will never have to do the whole "meet the father" thing.

  18. I had my son out of wedlock and felt terrible when his Father walked away, like I failed him. I prayed God send me a great Husband/Dad for us. Well I got married and he legally adopted my son too. My son absolutely loves the man that took him on as his own…there is always hope.❤

  19. I believe fathers should be fathers and be involved with their children’s but the women choose to slept with a curtain type of Men not are not mentally mature and can hardly afford to take care of themselves instead of putting blame on the Men why not put the blame on the women who choose to have the child of the men who can’t and won’t be their and/or take care of their child because i believe if we start to go after both Men & Female about unplanned childhood and unproductive sex we’ll be more effective than going after the Men about being their for their children’s. Women are the ones who give birth to the children but I don’t hear anything about them from having better choices about the man who you should be with and who could take care of the child and stop opening your legs for any fake ass thug at the club and with a cheap pickup line

  20. Just Having a father ain't always gonna solve it. There are dozens of situations where both parents are around is around but they are both no good. It's more important to have a positive male role model.

  21. The best cure for worry is work. As a man what better joy than to work for the future of your children. What better affirmation of your manhood?

  22. Is growing up without a father in the house worse than growing up with a "bad" (toxic) father who is always present and raising hell? In my opinion some of these dudes need to be absent.

  23. For all you DEMONRATS TROLLS that give the thumbs down I just want to say all od you are

  24. The marriage rate for blacks was higher from 1890 to 1940, but so was the out of wedlock birth rate for blacks during this time (and all of US history), so I don’t understand how it was more likely for a black child to grow up with both parents than a white child between 1890-1940. Any thoughts?

  25. Have You ever notice that Black Gentlemen never scream, yell, or curse. I have and thank YOU LORD CHRIST for Black Gentlemen!

  26. I am a dad and a husband,?….been married 40years…….guys you have to hang in there and
    Not leave…I love the fathers day cards I receive from my daughter when she writes messages such as……whenever I needyou you are there….peace and love to all the dads…..don't quit….you are needed by children


  27. I could point out the major issue in this video or elaborate on why talking about it is it going to work but the only realistic way this is going to get fixed is when 1. We run out of money 2. More women become Breadwinners, get divorce and are affected in the same manner as men are to the point where they decide to vote to remove alimony and Prejudice child support/custody.

  28. After the manufacturing jobs were given to China, and Women received resources for kicking their men out of the household, what did they expect? The policy is nonsensical. A low paying job that is inconsistent with the cost of living isn't going to cut it. No disrespect to this man's father. I respect and share his work ethic. It's just not that world anymore. The most one can expect is for men to go against biology and never have children to begin with. The rise of the Redpill confirms it.

  29. My Mom and Dad split up when I was 4. My Mom got MS and died later on, and I was raised by my father. Yet, I feel like the luckiest man alive. Thanks Dad.

  30. Dear Father, Dear Son should be mandatory book read by all races in school.
    Read by all children because it’s Common Sense that applies to all.

  31. Elder is one of the most articulate and morally (and physically) courageous commentators on modern American culture and society.

  32. Hmm

    So assuming that we're paying $50,000 USD per house, we could have built 400,000,000 Homes for the needy, literally (actual cost vs profit margins, b/c margins will gouge this mind you), instead of wasting $20,000,000,000,000 (trillion) on Poverty Programs, could have built 400 million homes?

    400 MILLION homes?

  33. According to afro, the black media authority. 38.7 percent of African American minors live with both parents. 74.3 percent of white minors live with both parents.
    Link for proof:

  34. While teaching at school for about 5 years, one thing became obvious, every, and I mean EVERY, boy with a behavioral problem had a bad father, or more often than not, no father at all. It never varied. Welfare will never replace what a father can provide a son.

  35. As a person who grew up with a single mother… I often look back and wish I had a father figure in my life… instead I ran with a rough crowd and learned from the older males how to be a man, but that lacked the discipline… 🤷🏽‍♂️🤷🏽‍♂️🤷🏽‍♂️

  36. I seen the title and I had to have a look. Yet to view the vid. In my experience it seems white fathers simply do not matter in Ireland. — 1:11 — Does correlate with the rise of modern day feminism which has been corrupted to shouting and incoherent logic? Back to vid — 2:54 — no no no I vehemently disagree "this makes it all too easy for men to abandon…" no no sir, with respect. Is it not in too many cases women not wanting the man when material needs / cash is not an issue? Just asking — subbed, liked and bookmarked. Thank You ~ Philip.

  37. Boys need a father or they end up in prison, poor, bullied or dead. Fathers turn boys into men. There are extremely few exceptions to the rule.

  38. Boys need a father or they end up in prison, poor, bullied or dead. Fathers turn boys into men. There are extremely few exceptions to the rule.


    Oh, I don't know what I'm talking about?

    Go tell an Irish grandmother, an Italian grandfather, and Spanish nun that they're all "white".

  40. Does not matter father absent, it"s matter of what discipline and responsibility your mother has to bring up child. Now many women lose it, they put their feeling first, not their kid…also the welfare independent people

  41. From the founding of our country we knew what worked. Any women that had a child out of wedlock was shunned. and she and her child received no aid form the government. That is it folks, case closed, end of discussion. So what will the GOP do under Trump, absolutely nothing.

  42. I’m white but if I didn’t have a father I would without a doubt have gotten myself into tons of trouble, i love my mother dearly but it was my dads intimidating presence that kept me in line.

  43. I used to work in the Juvenile prison system teaching High School English. I asked my students if any of them had fathers in the home? All of them didn't. The single greatest factor as Mr. Elder points out in this video, resulting in these young men's incarceration. The welfare state has destroyed and enslaved the black community. It's the Democrats' new plantation.

  44. I agree. I wish I had a father for my child, but I have chosen to be a single mother by choice and used a donor after being widowed, and I am in the minority of single mothers. Most single mothers are in "situationships". It is not good.

  45. Can't any blame be put on the incompetent black mother's? They are so strong and proud but raise their kids to be criminals. I guess it is the men that are 100% at fault?

  46. The comment section is hilarious. The Video is about black males and yet Idiots start to bash feminism as if feminism has anything to do with this.
    I grew up without a father and my life is fantastic. Fathers are not as important as mother. Being a single parent is hard mostly because of financial reasons…anyway The Video is mostly addressing that black people reproduce too much and that the males just piss off and leave their wives/women alone

  47. I was a juvenile delinquent and was incarcerated many times. I had no father around and my mom was a welfare queen. My dad wound up dying in a car crash when I was 9, I think it and an effect on me that I wasn’t aware of at the time. I’m 42, happily married with 2 boys ages 6 & 1. I’m thankful my mother loved us growing up.

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