Sunday, December 6, 2009

Why Aren't the Liberals Interested in Poverty?

photo: Banksy

On the Secular Right blog, Heather Mac Donald asks, "Where are all the black fathers?"
It is an iron-clad rule, presumably taught in journalism schools, that when discussing black single mothers and their children, one must never, ever ask: Who and where is the father, and how many fathers are there? Tens of thousands of articles have been written about the struggles of black single mothers, and the appearance of their children is always treated as a virgin birth. Not only are there no fathers in sight in such articles, there is no curiosity about where the fathers are and why they’re not stepping up to the plate. ... But no amount of government programs can possibly compensate for the wholesale exemption of males from the responsibility of caring for their children. The fiction of the inner city virgin birth makes for a booming social service sector, but it otherwise spells disaster for a culture.
Where are they?

Oh, you know exactly where they are...

Conservatism, through its endless denial of how human society works (i.e. basic principles of economics, sociology, psychology, biology, neurology, and every -oly that actually took the time to study the reasons behind why we do what we do), stuck its head firmly in the sand and pretended that poverty would just "go away" if we continued to ignore festering social problems and went on thinking that we're all just snappy rational actors who choose our lots in life.

It denied that people are created by the societies in which they live. It influenced public policy and social thought, seeking to strip away any effort on the part of society to help people achieve equal access to success. It sought to limit access to quality public education. It sought to limit access to drug treatment and prevention. It sought to limit access to affordable mixed-income housing. It sought to limit access to public television programming.

It sought to limit progressive taxation to pay for any of these programs. It sought to limit minimum wages. It sought to limit the regulation of environmental pollution in poor communities. It sought to limit criminal rehabilitation programs, and instead maximize punishment for drug crimes. It sought to limit public parks. It sought to limit gun control laws that might have prevented the explosion in inner-city violence.

Lets continue. It sought to limit multiculturalism. It sought to limit the celebration of other forms of expression than the standard norms. It sought to elevate one particular "American" culture to a moral standing above all others - which just happened to be white, heterosexual, Christian, patriarchal and wealthy. It sought to limit intellectual inquiry and free thought. It sought to limit the types of journalism and academic study that intended to gather data and develop theories of how and why so many people have been so marginalized and mistreated throughout history. It sought to brand any who took part in such activities as traitorous and Unamerican.

So what happened to all those dead-beat black fathers?

In short, Ms. Mac Donald happened.

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