Is the lack of black fathers the true reason for racial disparity?

THIS article talks about this issue.

Basically if more black children were raised by a married Dad and Mom they would turn out better. They would stay out of trouble with the law and do better in school.

Now personally, I know raising kids is much easier with my wife and I. During times when either one of us is gone things get difficult fast. We also have 2 incomes. In comparison with many of my coworkers who are single parents, many hardly have any time to work with their kids. I overhear them on the phone saying “tell him to get out of the bathroom and work on his spelling words”.

Some more articles:
Black Fathers talk about What Its Like to be Home with Their Children

Black Dad’s Count website

Please read the article and tell me what you all think.

Here is another good article

If you think a lack of Black dads is a big problem, then hopefully you’ll stand with us for serious law enforcement reform, since corrupt, biased, and outright racist law enforcement institutions result in thousands and more Black dads being arrested and ultimately imprisoned for longer sentences than faced by whites who are convicted of the same crimes. And Black dads are much less likely to get good legal representation, so that they are much more likely to be convicted even if they are innocent.

If you really care about Black dads, then the only position on law enforcement is that of BLM.

It’s a symptom not a cause.

While I think you may be on to something in the larger sense, your choice of article and source definitely poisons the well. Any one that talks about “leftist” or tries to minimize systemic racism in order to push its own contention is going to to be suspect anywhere but Trump-land these days.

I do think that children who are raised by single parents have a different and somewhat more challenging set of circumstances, but I don’t think it’s the absence of a father that is the issue. I’ve known plenty of kids with a single parent, and they’re ok. Maybe not perfect, but then who is. And I’ve known as many or more who were equally or more screwed up by abusive, distant or otherwise less than ideal parents. Which is really the key- children need GOOD fathers, or at the very least GOOD male role models. Girls need them to model the sort of romantic life partners to look for in later life, and boys need them to be able to observe how to behave and how to navigate life. Both genders need them for the love and support they provide.

I get the impression that not only are a lot of the mothers in the black community single mothers, the fathers are absentee, or at the very least more disengaged. And not setting good examples for how to behave for either gender; the very act of fathering children outside of committed, long-term relationships is a prime example of being a poor example.

So I suspect that it’s more a question of children growing up without good male role models who are consistently in their lives, than it’s a question of marriage rates or nuclear families.

A couple decades ago, aid to dependent children was not available to families in which a father lived in the house. The men got into the habit of not being fathers and the kids grew up without role models.

That may not be the only reason but it certainly contributed.

Anyone know if there still incentives that encourage single parent families, even if indirectly?

No, systemic racism in the United States is the true reason for racial disparity. Please, do try to keep up.

For example, the true issue is non-involved fathers. But… why is that necessarily a black issue? What is the difference between a white kid and a black kid w/o a father in a society w/o systemic racism? None, right? So I find the framing of this question to be a little :thinking:

The “good” news here is that lower-class whites are rapidly following blacks into the realm where single parenthood is the norm. The stats on single parenthood by race took a disastrous turn for blacks starting in the early '60s and for poor whites in the late 80s.

If indeed the problem is just, or mostly, lack of fathers then the white irredeemable underclass the OP seems to see in the blacks today will be exploding into the many 10s of millions pretty soon. It takes a few generations for the effects to really cement into place. And they’re darn hard to eradicate.

And if we don’t see that permanent white underclass develop then there must be a different reason. Perhaps systemic racism. Perhaps the difference between the black underclass being predominantly urban and the white underclass being predominantly rural. And the difference that makes in media visibility.

Nevertheless it’s “interesting”, and not in a good way, that so many culturally conservative low-class whites can be actively emulating a social habit that they decry in US black society.

These rules are no longer legal - but unless our society drastically changes, there will always be incentives that encourage single parent families at least indirectly. The only way around it would be to determine a person’s eligibility for benefits based only on their own income without looking at any income the spouse might have - and I can’t imagine that ever happening. For example, it’s not uncommon for a couple to either not get married or to get divorced because one of them needs Medicaid coverage and being married will make them ineligible because the spouse’s income will put them over the limit. Same thing for public assistance - if a woman lives with her children’s father, his income will be counted when determining benefits. If they live apart and he pays child support , some or all of that child support may be disregarded when determining eligibility for public assistance.

Actually the work requirement to qualify for food stamps encourages “no-parent” families, also known as latch-key kids.

Canada does not have such rules, AFAIK. But Quebec at least has rules that encourage people to stay on welfare. People on welfare are forbidden to take courses and if they do volunteer work, their welfare is reduced by the amount they would have made if they had been paid at the minimum wage.

Slavery ended 150 years ago, absentee fathers are happening now.

There are over 4 million black households with single parents. There are about 460,000 black males in prison. Cutting the numbers of imprisoned males in half and assuming that all of those are fathers who would otherwise be living with their families it would only reduce the number of single mother black families by 5%.

Half a million! Thanks for helping me make my case. Wow, as many as half a million families could be affected. That’s probably over a million kids, if not more. A million American kids!

This is the equivalent of All families matter. 65% of black children are growing up in single parent homes. That is by far the highest percentage of any group.

It’s also false, according to the data, that single-parent families are holding back black boys. It’s something else. I started a thread about it a while back: Extensive Data Shows Punishing Reach of Racism for Black Boys (NYT article)

This is what the data shows: black boys raised by two parents at income X are no more likely to be financially successful (as compared to white boys) than black boys raised by a single mother at income X. Of course, with two parents in the home, incomes are likely to be higher, but this is no different for white or black boys. Whatever is affecting black boys and men is separate from this phenomenon, according to this data.

In other words, whatever is holding back black boys is holding back black boys who are raised by two parents in the home in about the same amount as it’s holding back those black boys raised by a single parent.

Well, there were absentee fathers during Slavery.

Bur for black Americans the end of slavery was just the beginning to get social justice; another century would pass before the nation came to fully embrace the idea. And there is a lot of work to be done.

I work in juvenile detention, and have only anecdotal information. I looked briefly for statistics to back what I have noted personally, but mostly came across articles like this one.


I have been perplexed a few times with situations where a teen, or multiple teens from the same family, have a white mom and a black dad, and the mom is, frankly, terrible to the point of going to prison on charges of drug dealing, while the dad is a law-abiding employed citizen who wants to be an involved parent but cannot manage to either get or retain custody of his children. In the worst case, while drug-dealing mom was incarcerated, the dad could get custody, and he would make his daughters stay on the straight and narrow, go to school, etc. However, once mom was released from prison, the three daughters would be returned to mom over the dad’s objections. Mom would go back to letting the girls run around, skip school, use alcohol and drugs, and eventually everybody got arrested. I saw that cycle happen a couple of times with that family. I can’t say how typical that sort of situation is, but I can say that sometimes it does get that stupid. Sometimes the lack of involvement by black fathers is caused by the court and family services, not by the father’s own choice. If anyone can come up with statistics on that, I would love to see it.

It depends on what racial disparity. For instance the poverty rate among white single mother lead households is three times higher than the poverty rate among black married couple lead families. The difference in percentage in poverty between white and black married couple lead families is only 4.5%. The difference in poverty rate between married and single lead families is 36%.

I’d be very curious to learn which political party ideology was responsible for those rules.