Sunday, March 26, 2006

Decline of values and morals continue in Black America.

Culture: Scratch that, it's happening with all groups in America, but what did people expect when you continue to justify everything as being the same as marriage? Moral relativism is a the heart of this problem. it change social norms and the group at the bottom of the social ladder is most vulnerable. This would be blacks.

I grew up in a time when two-parent families were still the norm, in both black and white America. Then, as an adult, I saw divorce become more commonplace, then almost a rite of passage. Today it would appear that many -- particularly in the black community -- have dispensed with marriage altogether. But as a black woman, I have witnessed the outrage of girlfriends when the ex failed to show up for his weekend with the kids, and I've seen the disappointment of children who missed having a dad around. Having enjoyed a close relationship with my own father, I made a conscious decision that I wanted a husband, not a live-in boyfriend and not a "baby's daddy," when it came my time to mate and marry. My time never came. For years, I wondered why not. And then some 12-year-olds enlightened me. "Marriage is for white people." That's what one of my students told me some years back when I taught a career exploration class for sixth-graders at an elementary school in Southeast Washington. I was pleasantly surprised when the boys in the class stated that being a good father was a very important goal to them, more meaningful than making money or having a fancy title. "That's wonderful!" I told my class. "I think I'll invite some couples in to talk about being married and rearing children." "Oh, no," objected one student. "We're not interested in the part about marriage. Only about how to be good fathers." And that's when the other boy chimed in, speaking as if the words left a nasty taste in his mouth: "Marriage is for white people."
The study about young black men falling further behind the rest of society by the NYTIMES and Stanley Crouch dovestails into why black women are leery of marrying too young.
Crouch: "Once upon a time, black lower class did not mean welfare dependents, teenage mothers and young men who had served time before they were in their mid-20s. It once meant blue-collar workers, almost all of whom agreed that knowledge would result in freedom, while ignorance would result in slavery. ....Originally, perhaps because there was once such resistance to black education, achieving an education became a high cultural goal. Taking care of one's family and staying out of jail were also high achievements. But with the fall of shame and the emergence of a cultural relativity that would seem to accept almost any kind of behavior, things have gone badly for black males. Once the pimp or the hustler was no longer thought of as slime and started to be seen as just another guy working his way through capitalism, black lower-class values had reached the bottom. Now that we are there, it is important to understand that the job ahead for our society is not introducing something new but reasserting a set of survival principles based on excellence, which once had a strong position and can have one again. "

Back to the Wash Post:

Traditional notions of family, especially the extended family network, endure. But working mothers, unmarried couples living together, out-of-wedlock births, birth control, divorce and remarriage have transformed the social landscape. And no one seems to feel this more than African American women. One told me that with today's changing mores, it's hard to know "what normal looks like" when it comes to courtship, marriage and parenthood. Sex, love and childbearing have become a la carte choices rather than a package deal that comes with marriage. Moreover, in an era of brothers on the "down low," the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and the decline of the stable blue-collar jobs that black men used to hold, linking one's fate to a man makes marriage a risky business for a black woman. "A woman who takes that step is bold and brave," one young single mother told me. "Women don't want to marry because they don't want to lose their freedom." Among African Americans, the desire for marriage seems to have a different trajectory for women and men. My observation is that black women in their twenties and early thirties want to marry and commit at a time when black men their age are more likely to enjoy playing the field. As the woman realizes that a good marriage may not be as possible or sustainable as she would like, her focus turns to having a baby, or possibly improving her job status, perhaps by returning to school or investing more energy in her career. As men mature, and begin to recognize the benefits of having a roost and roots (and to feel the consequences of their risky bachelor behavior), they are more willing to marry and settle down. By this time, however, many of their female peers are satisfied with the lives they have constructed and are less likely to settle for marriage to a man who doesn't bring much to the table. Indeed, he may bring too much to the table: children and their mothers from previous relationships, limited earning power, and the fallout from years of drug use, poor health care, sexual promiscuity. In other words, for the circumspect black woman, marriage may not be a business deal that offers sufficient return on investment.
A depressing domino effect is happening and taking down black America with it.

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