Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

The Damage Done

black, father, racism, children, race

In his Washington Post op-ed, “The dangerous myth of the ‘missing black father,’” Mychal Denzel Smith argues that “responsible fatherhood only goes so far in a world plagued by institutionalized oppression.”

He asks:

If black children were raised in an environment that focused not on bemoaning their lack of fathers but on filling their lives with the nurturing love we all need to thrive, what difference would an absent father make? If they woke up in homes where electricity, running water and food were never scarce, went to schools with teachers and counselors who provided everything they needed to learn, then went home to caretakers of any gender who weren’t too exhausted to sit and talk and do homework with them, and no one ever said their lives were incomplete because they didn’t have a father, would they hold on to the  pain of lack well into adulthood?”

Hmmm. The first question answers itself. If all children get everything they “need to thrive,” it is assumed they’ll thrive. The second question is impossible to know . . . at least until the creation of that perfect utopia with universal material abundance, a flawless education system and indefatigable single-parents.

Fatherlessness is not just a black problem. And let’s agree there are great single-parent (or no-parent) homes as well as terrible two-parent homes.

Still, fathers are nice. Oftentimes they help children thrive, in part by providing “electricity, running water and food” as well as “love” — both tough and nurturing. Proclaiming that fathers would not matter in a society where everything’s automatically supplied is . . . simple-minded.

Often called socialism.

Smith raises the issues of “racist drug laws, prosecutorial protection of police officers who kill, mass school closures . . . the poisoning of their water.” He’s right: having a father won’t magically solve those.

But it would solve the problem of not having a father.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

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black, father, racism, children, race


Original photo by Sunil Soundarapandian on Flickr


By: CS Admin


  1. John F. Brennan says:

    Mr. Smith’s op-ed is myopic, this is not a racial problem or issue. The unintended consequences of War on the Poverty has stripped and discouraged paternal involvement across the entire lower economic strata, and it had been destroying families and upward mobility regardless of race, creed, color or national origin since its inception. 

  2. drrik says:

    The worst part of the WaPo op-ed is the mindless assumption of the father as primarily a meal ticket. And the socialists rush in to give themselves credit for trying to provide taxdollars to make up for the lack. They are oblivious to the most important role: that of role models for their sons to be and for their daughters to better choose an adequate mate, the role of the family being to ultimately provide functional members of society.  Instead they have substituted a crippled family unit that generates members more suited for chronic dependency. And they are vested in gsining political points by subsidizing this warped vision. Without the subsidy,  it would extinguish, because it cannot sustain itself. 

    • JFB says:

      The welfare system and child support enforcement systems are in place and have allegedly solved the economic issues of the missing “meal ticket”. Therefore if the present programs were efficacious the problems would be diminishing and being resolved.
      That does not appear to be the case as it appears in ALL subgroups of the subsidized lower income brackets family formation and stability is NOT improving.
      It is clear that a different approach would be wise, and is indeed necessary. Yes, drrik, it might well be wise to engage the tried and true motivator which has worked for mankind with the minimum of administration, economic necessity..

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