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Solution to a Better America = Family Unit

From Issue: Volume XXI - Number 16

By Taylor Ramsey

American author, Alex Haley, wrote of the struggles of African Americans and many of you know of his work that includes “Roots” and “The Autobiography of Malcolm X”. He once said “In every conceivable manner, the family is the link to our past, bridge to our future”.

As you know, my writings on this page show I strongly believe in family values and I believe the family unit is the basis for all that makes America great. What struck me with Mr. Haley’s remarks were the words he used in indicating how important he felt the family is in relating to our past and to moving into the future. He said, “In every conceivable manner”. Please take a moment to stop reading and think about what those words were meant to express.

If you were lucky enough to be raised in a family with older members you were probably treated to stories of the past, learned of traditions and actually, without even trying, you gathered valuable lessons. You were probably introduced to discipline and shown the proper way to act and conduct yourself. You discovered that your family was there to support you in your endeavors and stood behind you in the hardships you faced AND they were there to celebrate your accomplishments, provide encouragement and once a year they were there just to celebrate YOU!

Generally speaking if you were born into a two parent situation you were probably not poor, you achieved higher grades in school and went on to earn more as an adult.

I completely understand there are serious situations where single-parenthood can’t be avoided. In 2011 over a third of babies born (35.7%) in America were born to unwed mothers. If the mother was between 20-24 years of age the babies born out of wedlock accounted for 62% of those births. No need to mention the numbers when it comes down to categorizing by race. To me it does not matter what the racial breakdown of the mother is, what matters, generally speaking, is that a third of new mothers and their sperm donors in the U. S. are selfish. They make personal choices, they thought of themselves first, did not consider or care what conceiving a baby might mean for them, society or for the child.

I will not take the space, but the numbers illustrate that a child born to one parent, again generally speaking, will be poor, will not have the insight into life a father might bring, will have trouble in school, have more of a chance to end up in the criminal justice system and earn less in their lifetime. Yes there are exceptions, but they are not enough.

Some children are born into households with 3 generations of welfare recipients living under the same roof. Many of them with no man around to provide assistance, income or advice. It seems as if the government has taken on that role. I pray for those kids. Will they have a chance of learning what a family is, how to rely on themselves to contribute to society and their well being or will they just get in line someday?

President Obama spoke on the economy last week for over an hour at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois and he never mentioned one word about the family unit as a solution or of personal responsibility that could solve so many of the problems he spoke of. He did say “We’re not a people who allow chance of birth to decide life’s biggest winners or losers.” Mr. President, sorry, but it seems one third of the babies in America are subjected to “chance”.

In my opinion, the only and best way to eliminate poverty, poor education and raise income levels is to reduce the number of unwed mothers. The goal is to build a strong family unit.

I feel as if we are in denial. We want to ask the government to take care of us, to turn the course of poverty and make everything in our lives “right.” Folks, the truth is, government has no business making things “right.” Our founders were correct in that they intended to make our opportunities equal. Because of the civil war and the heroes who fought so hard to bring new civil rights laws to us, we all possess the right to make our own decisions, take responsibility for our actions and build what we can out of life. I propose that the most important building block for all of this to happen on is the family unit.

Mr. Haley was wise; “In every conceivable manner, the family is the link to our past, bridge to our future”.