Star Parker

November has been a banner month so far in California for assaulting the traditional family. Last Tuesday, California voters rejected Proposition 73, which would have required parental notification before allowing a minor to receive an abortion. The week before, California's wacko 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that parents do not have "exclusive" right in their children's sex education.

Now, in the state of California, a 15-year-old girl has full and exclusive sovereignty over the production and destruction of life. However, her 40-year-old parents have only limited jurisdiction over the values that this child learns and how she lives her life.

The absurdity speaks for itself.

Aside from the angst that comes from watching the long-term implosion of a society, I have immediate concerns that California's assault on the traditional family is simultaneously an assault on blacks and the poor.

The nation's highest rate of teen abortions is among blacks. It is more than double the national average and more than three times higher than the rate among whites.

Data compiled by the Heritage Foundation show that teens from homes headed by single, never-married women are twice as likely to be sexually active than teens from homes headed by married couples. Black children are three times more likely than white children to be living in a single-parent household and are three times more likely to be poor.

So despite arguments from Planned Parenthood and other liberal advocates that inserting government between parents and their children protects children, things are quite the opposite. The reality of the black community is testimony that the formula for keeping children poor, and assuring that their children will be poor, is to destroy the integrity of the family.

Government subsidization and protection of irresponsible behavior has gotten blacks into the social black hole in which they now find themselves. Black kids are not suffering because they need more rights. They are suffering because they are not learning, from an early age, about responsibilities and consequences.

It's not an accident that in polling before the Proposition 73 vote, blacks supported the initiative. It's also not an accident that 75 percent of blacks supported the ban on gay marriage that passed in Texas in the week past.

Blacks are increasingly appreciating that the No.1 challenge in our community is the restoration of family. This is a challenge under any circumstances. All the more so today, in the midst of a prevailing culture that increasingly goes in the opposite direction in the values it promotes.

The 9th Circuit Court ruling upheld a decision by a local school district to ask kids ages 7 to 10 to respond to a questionnaire asking explicit questions about their sexual feelings.

Parents sued claiming that the school had intruded on their fundamental right to "control the upbringing of their children" regarding matters of values and sex.

No, said the court. Parents have no "exclusive" right here. The school is their partner in raising their children. According to the court's Justice Reinhardt, parents have no right "to prevent a public school from providing its students with whatever information it wishes to provide, sexual or otherwise, when and as the school determines that it is appropriate to do so."

This is a supposedly free country, right? However, you don't have a choice whether to send your kid to school. And, if you don't have resources, you don't have a choice but to send your kid to a public school where, certainly in California, the government will be your partner in teaching your kid values.

The very decision of the court tells you what values the government will teach. Marginalize the traditional family and have Justice Reinhardt, or his equivalent, join you as the co-parent of your kids.

Poor black kids, already coming from broken homes, are forced into broken schools where they are taught the very values that will increase the probability that they will stay poor, as will their children. And liberals think they are our friends?

Blacks see and feel the crisis. We are trying to rebuild our families and communities.


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.