My mother called me last night incensed by George Will's op-ed in the Sac Bee. Both my mom and I have the guilty pleasure of respecting Will's columns from time to time. In fact, once when my mom and I were driving back from Dulles, we heard him interviewed on C-Span, and he used the phrase "low emotional metabolism" to describe men born before WWII. I love that phrase.
Anyway, I finally brought myself to read this, after regrouping from our lobby experience.
Here is a sample:
Will uses these three "rules" to build this specious argument:
What Will doesn't actually say, although clear his argument implies clearly that Single, poor Black mothers who give birth are to blame for inner city chaos and crime. So, to refresh your minds, here is what Dan Quayle said back in 1992:
What bothers me about this argument strategy, besides the old tactic of "blaming the victim," is that it is so simplistic.
Will (and Quayle) both assume that there is equality of opportunity in the United States. They also assume that the plight that these African American mothers find themselves in is the result of immoral choices, chosen from a full range of possibilities available to them. Sure, in a perfect world, with no Racism, with access to excellent education and jobs, with affordable healthcare, a woman who raises a child in poverty, because she is too lazy or too immoral to provide well for her child, can be judged and condemned. But, we don't live in that world.
I still don't understand why conservative males think that a "father" is what keeps families out of poverty. That only holds if the father makes more money than the mother, which isn't always the case among African Americans. I also don't understand what is so magical about fathers that they are the ones capable of raising well behaved, honorable, and polite sons and daughters. It is also fathers who beat their wives, who hurt their children, and/or who abandon their families. And, so, if the single mothers of the world were married to them, the single best thing they could've done for their kids was to remove them from any access to their father.
There are plenty of other well-supported arguments that could be made, which would explain the reason why inner cities are ravaged by crime and chaos. To blame this all on single mothers, with no mention of, nor upbraiding of the men who impregnated these women, is just plain mean.