Saturday, March 22, 2008

System unfair to black fathers

Leonard Pitts Jr.'s recent column "Children bear the burden when fathers walk out" excoriates "selfish" African American fathers who "abandon their children [and] harden themselves against their cries of need." Pitts cites Larry Patterson, Jr., a 19-year-old black father who, after police tried to pull him over, allegedly sped away, smashed his car, and escaped, leaving his infant daughter in the backseat. Patterson is "unique only in degree," Pitts writes-for black men today, it's "Every man for himself."

Pitts' generalization is unfair. He is correct that some African-American fathers have behaved irresponsibly. However, he fails to see that many black fathers have been driven away by shortsighted, angry mothers and a family law system which does little to protect fathers' loving bonds with their children. When citing the reasons for father absence, Pitts mentions "divorce" only in passing. Yet divorce and the breakups of unmarried couples are major causes of African-American fatherlessness.

Despite the stereotype of the feckless and irresponsible male, research shows that the vast majority of divorces are initiated by women, not by men. Even for unmarried couples, it's doubtful that many dads wake up in the morning and say to themselves, "My child loves me and needs me, my girlfriend loves me and needs me-I'm outta here." Yes, some mothers have good reasons for these breakups. Yet, as Jonetta Rose Barras, the African-American author of Whatever Happened to Daddy's Little Girl, explains, many black fathers are simply being "kicked to the curb."

When a divorced or separated mother does not want her children's father around anymore, she can usually push him out, particularly if the father does not earn enough money to pay for legal representation. Courts tilt heavily towards mothers in awarding custody, and enforce fathers' visitation rights indifferently. In most states, mothers are free to move their children hundreds or thousands of miles away from their fathers, often permanently destroying the fathers' bonds with their children.

The system which allows women to easily obtain domestic violence restraining/protection orders was set up to help battered women. However, many mothers instead employ them to get rid of inconvenient husbands or boyfriends. The Family Law Executive Committee of the California State Bar and family law professionals in various states have recently noted that these orders are often issued with little or no evidence or due process. Once in force, a father can be arrested and jailed for violating the order if he visits or even calls his kids. The orders begin as temporary, but are sometimes extended for years at a time.

With divorce or separation comes child support. The Urban League's 2006 report on the state of black America concluded that the child support system and its abuses often drive African-American men out of their children's lives, and either underground or into crime. Half of uneducated African American men ages 25-34 are non-custodial fathers. Many of them are still a part of their children's lives. Yet the child support they struggle to pay usually does not go to their children, but instead goes to the state to reimburse the cost of public assistance, including welfare, for the mother and children. Some fathers even live with their children and their children's mothers, yet their wages are still garnisheed to pay child support to the state, greatly contributing to the breakdown of these fragile families. Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton recently acknowledged this problem in her Youth Opportunity Agenda.

The benefits that involved black fathers-even divorced or separated ones-can provide their children are substantial. For example, a recent study of low-income African-American and Hispanic families by Boston College found that when nonresident fathers are involved in their adolescent children's lives, the incidence of substance abuse, violence, crime, and truancy decreases markedly. The study's lead author, professor Rebekah Levine Coley, says the study found involved nonresident fathers to be "an important protective factor for adolescents."

There are many reasons why some black fathers aren't there for their kids. Sadly, there's nothing we can do to make the Larry Pattersons of the world into good fathers. But there's a lot we can do to help keep many decent, loving African-American dads in their children's lives.


Death Threats and Thousands of Hate Emails from Homosexual Activists Hit Oklahoma Politician

Oklahoma House Representative Sally Kern has received thousands of emails in light of a recorded speech posted on in which she called homosexual practices more dangerous to the United States than terrorism. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is examining the 17 thousand emails Kerns has received for legally threatening content.

"It [the homosexual lifestyle] has deadly consequences for those people involved in it.... [they] have more suicides. there's more illness, their life spans are shorter. studies show that no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted more than, you know, a few decades," said Kern in her speech. "This stuff-it's deadly and it's spreading, and it will destroy our young people. It will destroy this nation. Not everybody's lifestyle is equal, just like not all religions are equal," added Kern.

Kern's speech was accessed more than 500 thousand times the week after the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund posted it on "While this speech is remarkable in its statements, it is not unique. For every bit of hateful rhetoric we hear, scores of other anti-gay statements go unchallenged," stated the Victory Fund of Kern's speech. "Her comments are so inappropriate and beyond the pale that she's demonstrated that she's not fit for service in public office," said Patrick Sammon, president of the gay and lesbian advocacy group Log Cabin Republicans. Openly gay House Representative Al McAffrey has called for a public apology from Kern.

Kern rejected accusations that her comments were hate speech. "I am totally against hate speech. The account given on YouTube took my words out of context and omitted other parts stringing certain words together to make it appear I was engaging in hate speech. I was not and would never do such a thing," wrote Kern in an email to, a gay and lesbian political advocacy blog. "The homosexual agenda is real, the movement is aggressive, and it is a very real threat to the sacred institution of marriage and the traditional family unit. They are actively seeking to remove conservatives from the political arena. My talk was to a Republican group and I was speaking about the homosexual agenda to defeat conservative Republicans," Kern told PamsHouseBlend. "They want to silence anyone who does not approve their lifestyle. They want their freedom but don't want those who disagree to have their freedom," continued Kern.

"I have said and will continue to say that they have every right to choose that lifestyle and I will defend their right to do so. But I do not have to agree with it and speaking against it is not hate speech," added Kern. "There are indisputable facts that show it's a deadly lifestyle.... What is wrong with me as an American exercising my free speech rights on a topic that is a very big issue today?" Kern told


Religious Believers Happier than Atheists and Agnostics: Study

Another study has found that sincere and active religious belief makes people happy, the Daily Mail reports. Statistical analysis has shown repeatedly that church attendance, family life and stable marriages are the building blocks of a happy life.

Prof. Andrew Clark of the Paris School of Economics, and Dr. Orsolya Lelkes of the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research presented their research at the conference of the Royal Economic Society in Coventry. They said that religious believers are happier overall than atheists or agnostics. More than this, regular church attendance and an active prayer life make people even happier than passive belief alone.

Data gleaned from thousands of Europeans and British people say that religion can help people cope with life's disappointments and difficulties including the most stressful, such as the death of loved ones, divorce and unemployment. Religious believers have higher levels of satisfaction and suffer less psychological damage from life's troubles.

Meanwhile, church attendance in Britain and elsewhere continues its decades-long decline. Recent figures show a 500,000 fall in typical Sunday attendance in Britain since the last comparable research in 1998. Although these numbers can be seen most clearly in attendance at the Church of England and despite what is being called the "anomalous" and probably temporary rise in attendance at Catholic churches caused by an influx of eastern European immigrants to the UK, Catholic church attendance has also plummeted since the high point of the early 1960's.

But the numbers of people who believe is falling even faster than attendance at weekly church services. People who identified themselves as members of the official state religion have dropped by 40 per cent since 1983. A 2005 study said that only 50 per cent of children are likely to retain the religious faith of their upbringing. The report suggested that the decline in religious belief through the generations is already too far gone for any reversal.

The author one study, Dr. David Voas, said the loss of faith in Britain "is not temporary or accidental, it is a generational phenomenon - the decline has continued year on year. The fact that children are only half as likely to believe as their parents indicates that, as a society, we are at an advanced stage of secularisation." In 2000, a survey found that half of all adults in the UK say they have no religious affiliation, a 13 percent increase from 1983.


Australia's Rudd government idiotic: Rudd thinks Aborigines are just unlucky (or something)

They're DIFFERENT, not the same. All men are equal only in the sight of God (if God is that blind. He certainly is said to treat sinners and the virtuous differently). Rudd must know that NOTHING will bring Aborigines up to white health standards because nothing will make Aborigines behave like whites. Everything that could be tried has been tried. The Aborigines were healthier BEFORE the government started intervening in fact.

But even under the missionary supervision of yesteryear Aborigines had lots of health problems due to poor levels of hygeine etc. If people insist on living unheathy and risky lifestyles it is their right but they ARE going to die younger because of it.

There must be something about being a Labor Prime minister that brings on delusions of omnipotence. A lot of us still remember Bob Hawke's declaration that "By the year 2000, no Australian child will be living in poverty". Nothing remotely like that change happened, of course. Same will go for this load of baloney

OK: I know Rudd's not an idiot. He's just cynically buying applause from gullible people

Programs to tackle smoking and to train more indigenous health workers are the first down payments on reaching the Federal Government's target of ending the health and life expectancy gaps between indigenous and non-indigenous people. At the Close The Gap summit in Parliament House in Canberra yesterday, the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, signed a statement of intent with health and indigenous groups, promising to bring equality to health standards by 2030. Mr Rudd has pledged to end the 17-year life-expectancy gap within the next generation and halve the infant mortality gap within the decade. [How??]

The Olympians Cathy Freeman and Ian Thorpe attended the event. Freeman urged the Government to "stay focused" on its commitment. Mr Rudd announced $14.5 million in funding to tackle the high rates of smoking in indigenous communities [Are you going to forbid it?] which contribute to chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Another $19 million was announced to encourage more indigenous people to become health workers.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Tom Calma, hailed the statement of intent as a "monumental development". "Benchmarks and targets for achieving these fundamental human rights for indigenous Australians are not only possible, but are now firm commitments. Let us hope that an indigenous baby born in 2030 has the same life expectation, the same access to quality health services and the same life outcomes as non-indigenous Australians," Mr Calma said.

But the Opposition said the Government had breached its claimed bipartisan approach to indigenous issues by leaving it until the last minute to consult it about the pledge to close the gap. The Opposition Leader, Brendan Nelson, was invited to speak at yesterday's event, but Mr Rudd left the function as he started to speak. A spokesman for Dr Nelson said that if the Opposition had been consulted it would have suggested the pledge to achieve health equity should have referred to the importance of addressing alcohol abuse, school attendance, policing, home ownership and employment outcomes. "We want to see this initiative work yet some people would question whether this was truly reflecting the spirit of bipartisanship," the spokesman said.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


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