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Good article on marriage in today's AJC


JDaveG
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The writer is focused for most of the article on what she calls the "black marriage crisis," but my observation is we all could learn a lot from what she writes.

Marriage crisis is root of poverty

By Linda Malone-Colon

Ask yourself: When is the last time you heard a public leader talk about the crisis in marriage and family and why it is urgent that we give our attention to this crisis and its consequences? The answer is probably never or rarely.

What is being proposed by these leaders to address the dramatic increases in children born out of wedlock (72 percent for African Americans), divorce, cohabitation, those who never marry and the decline in marital quality?

What are these leaders saying in response to the growing scientific evidence that the breakdown in marriage and family relationships impacts the mental and physical health, educational attainment and delinquent behavior of our children? What about the evidence that this weakening of family relationships is related to increased poverty and to a battery of social and health-related problems for adults?

There are urgent calls to action to address the economic, health care, educational and environmental crises, as there should be, but no national calls to action to address marriages and families. Why not a marriage and family stimulus package?

Unfortunately, marriage has become politicized and marriage-strengthening efforts have been associated with a conservative political agenda. Also, conversations about marriage in the public square are often diverted to or focused on same-sex marriage. While this is an important issue in its own right, the urgency of the black marriage crisis and the 72 percent of black children who are born out of wedlock demands our unqualified and focused attention.

While black public leaders have rightly championed issues of economic and social justice, we have too often neglected the importance within the black community of the health of our marriages and families. The research is clear and unequivocal that as the family fails, issues with poverty, education, health and crime increase. We need champions for healthy marriages and families in the black community to be received as teammates and partners in the broader movement for black uplift.

There have been concerns about airing our dirty laundry in public. Yet, the decline of marriage and family among African Americans (and all Americans for that matter) are on public display and obvious. To act as if they are not is irrational and irresponsible.

There is also concern that marriage-strengthening efforts give blacks false hope. There is an implicit suggestion by some that to inspire African Americans (particularly low-income African-American women) to have healthy marriages gives them hope that they can achieve something that is likely to be unattainable. After all, there simply aren’t enough African-American men available to marry. Fewer available African-American men does in fact present a major but surmountable challenge and demonstrates the need for black women to consider other options (including marrying outside the race).

The urgency of the black marriage and family crisis requires that our public leaders speak up and act to strengthen them. Americans must hold these leaders and themselves accountable. We can no longer allow silence on this issue.

Linda Malone-Colon is chair of the Hampton University Department of Psychology in Hampton, Va., and will be executive director of the National Center on African-American Marriages and Parenting at Hampton University, which is hosting a summit on marriage, parenting and families today.

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Hmm...as a black man, I can't say I disagree with the writer. It IS a crisis, but I sincerely believe it's going to have to start with INDIVIDUALS improving themselves 1st. Just my opinion.

My thought as well. This is not a problem that has been caused by a "group," nor is it one that can be remedied by a "group."

It IS a societal problem, and our view of marriage as an institution has been in the crapper for years now. But that does not mean we can bisect our society into groups and say this is a "black" problem or a "man" problem or a "poor" problem or whatever. Divorce and illegitimacy rates are up in ALL sectors. What we need to do is talk about the problem and its solutions, not the groups most or least affected by the problem.

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The "problem" will be solved when necessity requires it be solved. People do what they can rather than should in most cases. We're going in the crapper on so many levels it's not funny. in fifty years I think everyone will look back and wonder how we let it happen. I'll be dead or as good as dead by then bu tI truly wonder what life will be like for my children when they are my age.

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We must preserve the sanctity of marriage. It is sacred. The homosexuals are causing this mess. If there were no homosexuals the divorce rates would be way down. Everyone knows that homosexuals cause the moral decline in marriage. Just look at Massachusetts, where the divorce rate has plummeted to 2% since gays were allowed to marry 5 years ago.

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We must preserve the sanctity of marriage. It is sacred. The homosexuals are causing this mess. If there were no homosexuals the divorce rates would be way down. Everyone knows that homosexuals cause the moral decline in marriage. Just look at Massachusetts, where the divorce rate has plummeted to 2% since gays were allowed to marry 5 years ago.

Is that a true stat re Mass divorce rate...2%...overall? Incredible if so.

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Yes, I believe they have the lowest divorce rate in the country, and it actually got lower since gay marriage became legal there.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bruce-wilson/divorce-rate-in-gay-marri_b_267259.html

Truly remarkable. The gay thing has zero to do with it. Red herring. I wonder what is the underlying cultural reason though. Democrats? :lol:

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Unfortunately, marriage is the leading cause of divorce. :(

Would like to see the rate of divorce from kids who were raised by divorced parents as opposed to those who had parents that stayed together. I once had a friend who said that people got divorced more now because they didn't believe in living with their mistakes...but somebody does...like their kids.

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I'm married and my parents were married and still are.. But I don't feel comfortable telling other people in society what they should or shouldn't do with their personal relationships...If you want to have children out of wedlock, stay single your whole life or marry a cornish hen, I could care less.. Just show me respect as a person and teach those around you to do the same..Marriage isn't for everyone...

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All of these Hollywood "marriages" are a sign of the flippancy towards marriage by popular culture these days. It may work for them, because Angelina can just pay for several live in nanny's to watch her 15 kids all day long, but poor single parents have no choice but to go to work, sometimes two or three jobs, which means their kids are left to their own regard. When left with no supervision or reprimand, are there any kids alive that would willingly do their homework instead of running around on the streets with their friends?

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I'm married and my parents were married and still are.. But I don't feel comfortable telling other people in society what they should or shouldn't do with their personal relationships...If you want to have children out of wedlock, stay single your whole life or marry a cornish hen, I could care less.. Just show me respect as a person and teach those around you to do the same..Marriage isn't for everyone...

I agree with not telling people what to do with their lives and the showing of respect (mutual). BUT, I have seen 1st hand what happens when fathers refuse to take responsiblity for their kids, whether it be financially or from a just plain lack of invovlement other than finacnially.

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I agree with not telling people what to do with their lives and the showing of respect (mutual). BUT, I have seen 1st hand what happens when fathers refuse to take responsiblity for their kids, whether it be financially or from a just plain lack of invovlement other than finacnially.

I agree. But being married has nothing to do with taking responsibility for your kids emotionally and financially..

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I agree. But being married has nothing to do with taking responsibility for your kids emotionally and financially..

Children in general do better in all aspects of life when their natural parents are married to each other.

Now, that doesn't mean children cannot do well when their natural parents are not married to each other, nor does it mean that some children whose natural parents are not married to each other cannot do better than other children whose parents are married. But saying it has "nothing to do" with taking responsibility for your kids emotionally and financially is not accurate. Being married and raising kids in a stable household with both parents is the best possible situation for children. Just because everyone doesn't do it does not mean the alternative is now equal to the ideal.

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Because when one's natural parents are together, there is an example of a loving relationship for the child to enjoy and learn human interaction from. The ideal parents have a loving, lifelong relationship. I don't know that straight/gay or married/unmarried is as much the issue as those factors, it's just that most relationships that fit that description are straight marriages.

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Because when one's natural parents are together, there is an example of a loving relationship for the child to enjoy and learn human interaction from. The ideal parents have a loving, lifelong relationship. I don't know that straight/gay or married/unmarried is as much the issue as those factors, it's just that most relationships that fit that description are straight marriages.

I'm not going to go on a day-long hunt to find the research (I may try to do it tonight, though), but my recollection is that it's not straight/gay per se, nor really married/unmarried, so much as having both natural parents in the home raising the child in a loving relationship. Even step-parents have issues that typically do not plague natural parents.

Again, not to say that step-parenting is bad. But the ideal is both parents married to each other.

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I work with a mixed bag of people. Out of 20 people 1/3 are black women and all have children and none have ever been married.

I did my part to fix this problem. I divorced a white woman with a kid and married a black woman with a kid. Now, if the rest of you guys would do your part......

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I'm not going to go on a day-long hunt to find the research (I may try to do it tonight, though), but my recollection is that it's not straight/gay per se, nor really married/unmarried, so much as having both natural parents in the home raising the child in a loving relationship. Even step-parents have issues that typically do not plague natural parents.

Again, not to say that step-parenting is bad. But the ideal is both parents married to each other.

step parenting can be very hard from what I have observed. I just think it is impossible to love a step child quite the same as blood. It's a primal thing.

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