Article Comment 

Selby Parker: Response to column




"Absent fathers: King's Dream?" by Scott Colom was featured in the Clarion-Ledger on Sunday, Jan. 29 and twice referenced Mississippi in regards to absentee fathers. 


Much has been written regarding the "exploitation" of African-Americans, but nothing to causation.  


As a native Mississippian for some 77 years, I have lived with the stigma of a maligned state. Mississippi and the South's dark history is well recorded, but little concern has been given to the insidious and strategic planning to foster missions and goals by self-serving corporate and individual interests.  


The well-organized effort, ca. 1960, to spread the poisonous flower of racism has ultimately led to the social pathologies we now find in two cities: Jackson, Miss., and the District of Columbia. 


The Democrat Party's desire to control 'politics' by "the one man one vote," has led to unintended consequences for African-Americans and the nation as well.  


The thinking at the time was simple: " Give me an African-American child until age 7, and I will give you a Democrat." 


One statistic stands out to support this contention. The number of children, black and white born out of wedlock was 5-10 percent in the nation in 1960.  


African-American families earlier supported parenthood, by either marriage or common law relationships and ascendance of the black male was generally supported by most communities in the South. 


When Washingtonians boasted after Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) that the District of Columbia would demonstrate model schools for the nation, they never foresaw the current social pathology in the district:  


-- 1 in 5 District residents live in poverty. 


Poverty rate higher than the national average, 19 percent. 


-- More than half of family households are run by single parents. 


-- 70% of the children are born out of wedlock.  


-- Decline of more than 39,000 blacks in the past decade, with 12 percent unemployment. 


-- Low school performance, violence, crime, and teen parenthood all characterize the District of Columbia along with a $500 million budget gap in fiscal year 2010. 


Jackson, with a 79.4 percent African American population, is suffering similar social pathologies as well. While that is universally expected of a maligned Mississippi, the comparative statistics between Jackson and the District of Columbia are not.



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