Star Parker, founder and president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE), recently spoke at a forum in Greensboro, North Carolina, about how the lack of family values and the left’s victimhood lie are hurting the black community, particularly black men.
With the breakdown of the family, too many black men grow up without fathers. Children who grow in homes with married, biological parents generally are better off physically, emotionally, and financially. Children in female-headed households are less likely to graduate from high school, and more likely to get suspended or expelled, get pregnant out of wedlock, and end up in the criminal justice system.
Men in prison tend to come from female-headed households. The Greensboro News & Record reported that only a quarter of black children in the U.S. are raised by two parents.
“We cannot overlook this aspect of black family life,” Star said. Family values matter.
Liberal columnist Leonard Pitts, Jr., said the problem is more than about behavior or fatherlessness. Ending up in the criminal justice system, however, certainly starts with an individual’s behavior. Black people don’t have less moral agency than anyone else. People commit crimes because they want to commit crimes. Dealing with the police and going to prison are foreseeable consequences of breaking the law.
Black males fare at the bottom in education, having disproportionately higher discipline rates, but lowest overall academic achievement as measured by standardized tests in Guilford County Schools. And that’s a trend in the state and nation.
Parker said while marriage is the capstone to a civilized society, public policy also plays a role in what has contributed to the unraveling of black families and thus the lives of black men. Until some of those policies are reformed, there will continue to be dysfunction, she said.
Star believes black parents should have the option to send their children stuck in bad schools to better ones — school choice. She criticized the victim mentality taught to black children.
Blaming a third party for failures, whether an individual, a group of people, or so-called institutional racism, is easy. Too easy. The last thing black parents should be teaching their kids is that “racism” will hold them back. It is human nature to say it’s someone else’s fault. We’re supposed to rise above our natures and strive despite perceived obstacles.
Children should begin their life journey from a position of strength, not weakness.