6.15.2007

Hurting the Children Through Father Absence

In Father absence "decimates" black community in U.S. (Reuters - 6.14.07), Joyce Kelly writes about the tragedy of so many children growing up in America without fathers.

More than 19 million children -- about one in four -- were living in households where no father, biological or other, was present, according to a Census Bureau report in 2005.
But the burden falls more heavily on African American children, while a huge number of Latino and White children are also deprived.

Some 56 percent of black children lived in single-parent families in 2004, with most of those families headed by mothers. That figure compared with 22 percent of white children and 31 percent of Hispanic children.

Phillip Jackson, executive director of the Chicago-based Black Star Project, which helps children in mainly minority schools, is quoted as saying:

"Father absence...has hit those communities with the force of 100 hurricane Katrinas."
Some will argue that in some cases the children are better off without their biological fathers in their lives--and that's probably true. But the point is that there are so many men--African American, Latino and White--that care so little for their offspring to do the right thing in the first, second and third places.

The level of selfishness and disregard for the lives of their children (and often for the children's mothers) is of truly horrific dimensions. And worse is that we're just letting it happen to more and more children.

"It is literally decimating our communities and we have no adequate response to it."