Star Parker

The problem in the black community is that far too few black households are headed by married couples.

Black social reality in New Orleans at the moment when the floodwaters started pouring in was fairly typical of black inner-city social reality around the country. Upwards of 70 percent of the households were headed by single parents, mostly women.

When I discuss social statistics with audiences around the country, I invariably hear gasps when I point out that the out-of-wedlock birthrate today among young white women (30 percent) is higher than it was among black women 50 years ago.

There, of course, remain residuals of racism in America today, and it's news to a lot of whites that black families were relatively intact, headed by married couples, in the '40s and '50s. Today's out-of-wedlock black births and single-parent households are triple what they were then.

The collapse of the black family took off when big government programs, particularly welfare, were launched, compliments of black and white liberals, after the civil-rights movement.

A number of years ago, then-Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, in a debate with one of the drafters of President Bill Clinton's big government health-care plan, challenged Clinton's man that government could ever care about his grandchildren the way he himself does. The gentleman assured Gramm that he did indeed care about the senator's grandchildren. Gramm retorted: "OK, then tell me their names."

It is not simply a moral claim, but a well-documented empirical one, that family and education are the keys to success in our free country. Black children don't need politicians of any color who claim to hold the keys to their future. They need parents who know their names. Two of them.


Star Parker

Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do About It.