Seventy percent of black babies are born to unmarried parents. There's the answer to Cosby's question about where are the parents. At least one is not there physically (usually the father) and the other is trying to make enough money just to survive. The mother's ability to keep watch over her children is limited. This is mostly the legacy of the failed welfare state. Until welfare reform, children were paid when they had babies out of wedlock. It was a subsidy not unlike the incentives given to illegal immigrants to break our laws and get a check. If you subsidize what you claim not to want, you get more of it.
The other problem has been the "blame whitey" mentality of so-called "black leadership," many of whom have done well financially, thanks to their unbroken loyalty to the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, but who seem less interested in poor blacks getting theirs. As Mark Green has written for the National Center for Public Policy Research, "Ever since Republicans first passed civil rights legislation in 1866, opponents of more rights and freedom and equal status for blacks have lost every battle. They have, however, convinced blacks that conservatives seek to oppress us. That's another lie. The attention we give to hating white conservatives, who actually seek to uphold moral virtues and fight for our independence from government, keeps us from paying attention to our own problems."
School choice, which many liberal Democrats oppose with every fiber of their hypocritical beings, would help turn things around for black children. Instead of a peer pressure to conform to sex, body piercing, ridiculous clothes, academic failure and language few outside their friends can understand, positive peer pressure in private schools would give them the tools they need to succeed on their own and the pride and satisfaction that go with it.
Reruns of "The Bill Cosby Show" on the cable TV channel Nick at Night remind us what all functional families should look like. Viewers see a man and a woman who love each other and their kids. No government program can create such a family. But plenty of government programs and failed black "leadership" have contributed to the ones that Bill Cosby rightly and powerfully laments.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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