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Strengthen Our Community

In 1962 my maternal grandfather, my father by adoption passed away leaving our grandmother to raise my brother and myself. She had only an 8th grade education and the only time that she had worked outside her home was during World War 2. There was a little life insurance and a monthly Social Security benefit check each month. The loss of my grandfather’s pay check from the Florida Road Department meant that we were now poor. Looking back however I never considered us to be in poverty.

Poverty defined is:

the state of being extremely poor or

the state of being inferior in quality or insufficient in amount.

If we do a Google search for Systemic Racism, we get pontifications from any and every group, from the Conference of Catholic Bishops to Ben & Jerry’s the ice cream guys. They all point to the same set of indications that Systemic Racism is real; the Wealth Gap, Employment, Incarceration, Drug Arrests and Infant Mortality. We all must get busy and do something about it. This correlation is now nearly universally accepted, so much so that any challenge will be met with anger, accusations and even violence. The effects are evident but the cause, I'm very certain, is more complicated than a two word accusation.

I could talk about government programs and administrations which have had more positive or negative effects on the outcomes for people of color. But realistically the ups and downs from Democrat to Republican administrations and back again are significant and measurable but are cyclical and are quickly erased when the economy takes a nose dive.

Instead I want to talk about what God tells us through His Word and connect the obvious and logical dots regarding what is really going on and how to fix some of the problems.

Ecclesiastes

4:1 …I saw the tears of the oppressed-and they have no comforter…

4:9-12 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work; If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the (one) who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Alexis de Tocqueville ventured to pronounce that “almost all the disorders of society are born around the domestic hearth, not far from the nuptial bed.”

Tocqueville ominously says, “whenever the spirit of family ends, individual selfishness reenters.”

There are three proven keys for avoiding poverty. Statistically if a young person holds themselves to all three there is only a 2% chance for living in poverty.

  1. Finish High School at a minimum
  2. Work full time
  3. Wait until at least age 21 and get married before having a baby

When we examine the data disparities between Black and White families, we get a much clearer picture of the problems.

 

Children in single-parent families by race in the United States

Black or African American

Number

6,281,000

Percent

66%

Non-Hispanic White

Number

8,766,000

Percent

24%

DATA PROVIDED BY National KIDS COUNT

The net worth of a typical white family ($171,000) is nearly 10 times greater than that of a Black family ($17,150), according to the Federal Reserve's 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances. 

Why such an extreme differential in net worth between the two groups?

The lower percentage of Blacks who are married, as compared to the general population provides some insight. A married couple has the enhanced ability to share expenses, invest in and maintain a home, provide for children and invest for the future.

"Young men who grow up in homes without fathers are twice as likely to end up in jail as those who come from traditional two-parent families...those boys whose fathers were absent from the household had double the odds of being incarcerated -- even when other factors such as race, income, parent education and urban residence were held constant.
(Harper C, McLanahan SS. Cited in Father Absence and Youth Incarceration. Journal of Research on Adolescence. 2004.)

Are there racist feelings and responses in our society? Certainly. But to allow ourselves to be told that our ability to prosper and be successful is based upon what some White people did 60 or 150 years ago while ignoring our current decisions and choices keeps us in a perpetual cycle of failure. In a poverty of the mind and emotions.

Restoring the nuclear two parent family as God designed would erase many of the conditions that we now want to attribute to Systemic Racism.

 

 


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