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TheRootDC
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Posted at 02:17 PM ET, 04/04/2012

Trayvon Martin’s death raises the question: Where is the American black family?

I’ve avoided writing about the Trayvon Martin situation because liberals assume I should have an opinion because I’m black and so was Martin. When something happens to a black person and it garners national news attention, the mainstream media trots out “the voices of black America.”


Rev. Al Sharpton, left. (Ed Linsmier - REUTERS)
This is offensive not only because the leftist mainstream media has appointed race baiters such as NAACP, the Rev. Al Sharpton, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and Michael Eric Dyson as our spokespeople but also because it assumes blacks are like children who need others to think for them. White people don’t have white spokespeople speaking on their behalf and would never allow the mainstream media to dismiss their ability to think as individuals.

The killing of 17-year-old Martin was tragic and needs to be thoroughly investigated. His killer, George Zimmerman, should be arrested and questioned along with witnesses. Martin’s race could have been a motivation in Zimmerman pursuing and killing him, but we don’t know. Racial profiling certainly exists; I've experienced it firsthand and witnessed young black men dressed in suits or jeans trying to catch a cab in D.C. and be ignored.

Juan Williams’s Wall Street Journal article sums up what black activists are conveniently ignoring in their outrage over a single black teen’s death: that “nationally, nearly half of all murder victims are black. And the overwhelming majority of those black people are killed by other black people.”

Instead of wearing hoodies and participating in what I call hollow racial protests, the NAACP, black congressmen and concerned citizens need to be showing outrage at the cancer called the breakdown of the American black family. Since the 1960s, the crumbling black family has led to more black men in prison, greater number of high school dropouts, suspensions, etc. Finally, the biggest problem is 70 percent of black children are born to unwed mothers.

Rep. Bobbie Rush and others shouldn’t be spending time wearing hoodies on the floor of the United States House of Representatives, reinforcing negative stereotypes of the thug life (drug dealers with pit bulls, jailhouse fashion, women described derogatorily and illegitimate babies in tow).

Williams notes that Hollywood glamorizes these images in movies and music videos, which has “young black people internalize it as an authentic image of a proud black person.”

“There is no fashion, no thug attitude that should be an invitation to murder. But these are the real murderous forces surrounding the Martin death — and yet they never stir protests,” wrote Williams.

Blacks organizing protests around Martin’s death ignore the white elephant in the room: the disintegration of the black family over the past almost 50 years, which is responsible for driving the black race into economic decline.

In his 1965 research paper “The Negro Family: the Case for National Action,” Daniel Patrick Moynihan, then assistant secretary of labor, revealed that the breakdown of the black family was contributing to higher black dropout and incarceration rates and lower wealth achievement compared with whites.

Moynihan warned, “The white family has achieved a high degree of stability and is maintaining that stability. By contrast, the family structure of lower class Negroes is highly unstable, and in many urban centers is approaching complete breakdown.”

Moynihan further noted that there was an alarming trend in the number of black families headed by single women and the rise in illegitimate births among blacks. In 1964, 23.6 percent of black births were to unwed mothers; today it’s 72 percent. Moynihan reminded us of what holds true today: When teenagers have children, they are less likely to finish high school and climb the economic ladder.

The unemployment rate for black teens in 1965 was 29 percent; today it’s 40 percent. Since the days of President Johnson, Democratic policies like welfare have only worsened the problem for blacks by rewarding black women with taxpayer dollars for raising fatherless children. Moynihan’s report reads like it was written yesterday, rather than nearly 50 years ago.

“In a word, the tangle of pathology is tightening,” wrote Moynihan. Indeed it is. The destruction of the black family is where blacks should be firmly directing their outrage, not in hoodie protests “full of sound and fury” and achieving nothing.

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By Crystal Wright  |  02:17 PM ET, 04/04/2012

Categories:  The Root DC Live

 
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