The last month has been a tumultuous one for Americans following the death of George Floyd at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers. The facts don’t need to be repeated here. We know what happened and can all agree it was wrong and horrifying. Unfortunately, the injustice of his death has been almost entirely lost in the melee that followed; as protests devolved into fiery riots, and Black Lives Matter (BLM) descended on communities to fan the flames of white guilt, white privilege, and white supremacy.
That kind of hyperbole is irresponsible and inflammatory. It diverts attention away from a sundry of issues facing the black community and places blame solely in the laps of white America, as stated by Al Sharpton, “…because you kept your knees on our neck.” Supporters of BLM, not unlike Sharpton, point fingers and make baseless accusations. They claim outside forces are responsible for the plight of black America. But here’s the truth, America, the call for help is coming from inside the house. The black family is in crisis and only black America has the answer – a black America divorced from the toxicity of BLM.
This isn’t about writing off racism, ignoring history, or denying that bad cops exist. Those things are true and real and painful, and where they exist they need to be sought out and eradicated. Rather, it’s how the BLM manifesto has little to do with improving the lot of the black community. If it did, the movement would focus a lot less on sexual identity, gender identity, and being free from “heteronormative thinking,” and a lot more on strengthening the black family. Instead, the so-called commitments to fight for collective freedom confer no benefit upon black men, women, or children, and, in many ways, serve to further destabilize the black family – what little there is left of it.
The BLM goals are a blend of ingredients – pinch of Karl Marx, dash of radical feminism, that seek to build spaces for black women that are free from a male-centered environment, disrupt the nuclear family, and dismantle the patriarchy.
Free from environments in which men are centered? Disrupting the nuclear family? One of the most catastrophic problems in the black community is that black men have been missing from it for decades.
In 1960, the number of black women married and living with their spouse was about 61 percent. The U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey reported only 26% of black women were married in 2018. The statistics for black children are equally damning. In 1965, 25 percent of black children were born out-of-wedlock. Today, that number is a devastating 77 percent. Only 17 percent of black teenagers reach the age of 17 with both of their biological parents married. Contrast those numbers with the fact that when blacks were required to enter establishments through separate doors and drink from separate drinking fountains, 80 percent of black children were living with their biological parents.
The black family is crumbling, and at such a time as this when BLM could take a strong position to heal the lives of black men, women, and children, it punts – blaming white people, blaming white supremacy, blaming everyone else’s privilege, while, at the same time, relegating black men to the shadows, and maintaining the status quo of father absence.
The manifesto isn’t so bold as to state the intent directly. It doesn’t have to. The plan to push men out of the conversation is abundantly clear from what the BLM manifesto doesn’t say.
The BLM belief statement is silent about black men. Men and fathers are never mentioned. It is completely and unapologetically silent.
BLM makes no commitment to support black men. It doesn’t endorse efforts to promote male leadership in the community. There are no commitments to create environments that hold black men responsible to raise and provide for their children. There is no mention of partnering with the faith community to develop cohesive family structures, despite the fact that blacks are the most church-attending ethnic group in America. There are no proposals to work more closely with non-profit organizations to expand initiatives promoting fatherhood and healthy parenting.
Can BLM really believe black lives matter when they ignore 50 percent of the black population?
What BLM is particularly skilled at is keeping blacks angry and disincentivized by fueling the belief that external controls are causative rather than contributory to situations in the black community. Racism is real, but it’s not causative. Police brutality is real, but it’s not causative. The one truly causative factor is fatherlessness.
The Moynihan Report, a well-known U.S. Department of Labor study written in 1965 by Daniel Moynihan, then-Assistant Secretary of Labor under Lyndon Johnson, was stunningly prophetic in many ways. While it had detractors on both the right and the left, Moynihan wrote about the state of the black family. He stated:
“There is no one solution. Nonetheless, at the center of the tangle of pathology is the weakness of the family structure. Once or twice removed, it will be found to be the principal source of most of the aberrant, inadequate, or antisocial behavior that did not establish, but now serves to perpetuate the cycle of poverty and deprivation.”
Moynihan went on to say that the viability of the black family needed to be restored in order to break those cycles.
The viability of the black family can only be restored by returning black fathers into the lives of their children, yet BLM overtly turns its back on black men. The manifesto is silent, and as long as it stays silent – as long as BLM doesn’t acknowledge that black fathers matter, black children will continue to grow up in poverty, commit more crime and spend more time in jail, drop out of school at higher rates, and perpetuate the cycle of poverty, crime, and fatherless with high rates of teen pregnancy.
BLM professes to embrace racial equality while sowing the seeds of racial division. It advocates liberation while keeping a repressive fist on the poor and marginalized. BLM seeks justice while at the same time inflicting injustices on the lives of black children. It is morally reprehensible to advocate the removal of men from their rightful position in their families. Without fathers, and without the leadership and guidance fathers provide to their families, there will be neither equality, nor liberation, nor justice for the children who suffer in their absence.