No Fathers Not Slavery the Problem


by Lou Binninger

            When certain black-Americans blame their unemployment, lack of success, educational underachievement and incarceration on events happening to Africans in the 18th and 19th centuries, can anyone think of other ethnic groups suffering injustice and then later generations getting a free pass by society?

            How about the children of Israel or Jews that have suffered worldwide with more than 6 million of their people killed during WWII. Furthermore, for thousands of years they were enslaved, persecuted and exterminated.

            They asked to return to their homeland of Israel following WWII, it was granted them, and the place was a disaster. Though they were and are regularly threatened with annihilation they complain not, but have caused their desert home to bloom and thrive.

            African slaves were bought to the 13 Colonies and throughout the Americas for farm labor and held “against their will.” Land in Liberia was purchased by the U.S. and an offer made to freed slaves to return to Africa. Very few did.  Today, Africans want to move to America.

            In 1975 and thereafter millions of democracy-loving Vietnamese were killed, put in re-education camps or drowned trying to float their way to freedom. Most of the tens of thousands of refugees in Hong Kong were forcefully repatriated to Vietnam to be treated as traitors by the communists.

            A quick review of the hundreds of millions of dead representing hundreds of ethnic groups suffering persecution ( in Soviet Union, China, North Korea, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Africa and elsewhere) may offer perspective to American blacks wanting reparations, entitlements etc.

            There is no evidence that slavery, 150 plus years ago, is still affecting blacks today. The true culprit is the modern welfare state and the War of Poverty launched in the 1960’s by Democrat President Lyndon Johnson. Welfare, not slavery caused the black family to fail quickly. Economists have known this all along but the slavery excuse must live – on.

            Black economist Walter Williams says, “The No. 1 problem among blacks is the effects stemming from a very weak family structure. Children from fatherless homes are likelier to drop out of high school, die by suicide, have behavioral disorders, join gangs, commit crimes and end up in prison. They are also likelier to live in poverty-stricken households. But is the weak black family a legacy of slavery?”


            In 1960, only 22 percent of black children were raised in single-parent families. Fifty years later, more than 70 percent of black children were raised in single-parent families. Did slavery cause the increase in single-parent black families after 1960?

According to the 1938 Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, that year 11 percent of black children were born to unwed mothers. Today about 75 percent of black children are born to unwed mothers. Is that a delayed response to slavery? The black family was stronger the first 100 years after slavery than during what will be the second 100 years according to Economics Professor Williams.

At one time, almost all black families were poor, regardless of whether one or both parents were present. Today, around 30 percent of blacks are poor. However, two-parent black families are rarely poor. Only 8 percent of black married-couple families live in poverty. Among black families in which both the husband and wife work full time, the poverty rate is under 5 percent. Poverty in black families headed by single women is 37 percent. The welfare state, not slavery or racism has doomed black families.

Are blacks lazy? In every census from 1890 to 1954, blacks were either just as active as or more so than whites in the labor market. During that earlier period, black teen unemployment was equal to or less than white teen unemployment. As early as 1900, the duration of black unemployment was 15 percent shorter than that of whites; today it's about 30 percent longer.  Labor laws and regulations promoted by liberals and their unions that cut off the bottom rungs of the economic ladder and encourage racial discrimination are the problem.

Labor unions have a long history of discrimination against blacks. Frederick Douglass described this in his 1874 essay titled "The Folly, Tyranny, and Wickedness of Labor Unions," and Booker T. Washington did so in his 1913 essay titled "The Negro and the Labor Unions." However, today's black politicians and hucksters blindly give support to labor laws pushed by unions and white liberal organizations.

Many black 12th-graders’ science skills are at the level of whites in the sixth grade. They write and do math about as well as white seventh and eighth-graders. So, an employer hiring or a college admitting the typical black high school graduate is in effect hiring or admitting an eighth-grader. Don’t be surprised by the deficient outcomes from lousy union schools.

Liberal politicians, civil rights leaders and academics who assert that every problem confronting blacks is a result of slavery and discrimination perpetuate the lie and the delusion.  The truth sets people free.