[Marxism] Obama Calls for More Responsibility From Black Fathers

Ruthless Critic of All that Exists ok.president+marxml at gmail.com
Tue Jun 17 18:18:43 MDT 2008

On Tue, Jun 17, 2008 at 2:49 PM, Bonnie Weinstein <giobon at comcast.net> wrote:

> First of all, there are plenty of white, single-mother families around who
> are also not getting child-support from the white fathers of their children,
> but they do not make the news.

I think it is not very useful to use words like "plenty of" etc,
without quantifying them, especially since the data is so easily
available. What percentage does "plenty" mean? It could mean different
things to different people. So, a Marxist (a scientific materialist)
should be precise when talking about these issues.

"Between 1995 and 1999 the proportion of white families on welfare in
the US fell from 35.9 to 30.5 percent. In contrast, the black and
Latino proportions rose from 36.9 to 38.3 percent and from 20.1 to
24.4 percent respectively. For the same period, white families [on
welfare] in New York State dropped from 19.9 to17.1 percent. The black
and Latino proportion jumped from 34.6 to 42.1 percent and from 37.2
to 38.2 percent respectively (www.acf.dhhs.gov)."

Source: "Race, Class and Welfare Reform"
By Mimi Abramovitz

> The whole point is that it is undeniable--check the stats yourself--that
> drug use is equally distributed among all ethnicities and classes

This is correct.  Drug use is roughly equally distributed among all
ethnicities and classes.

> yet the
> justice system only seems to incarcerate those among the lowest economic
> rungs of existence who, undisputedly, are predominantly non-white and
> piss-poor.

This, from what I've read, is because in poor neighborhoods drug
dealing/drug activity often happens in the open air (in street
corners) while in suburban areas it tends to happen inside people's
houses -- in living rooms. So it's easier for the police to
locate/arrest the arrestees in poor neighborhoods. Of course,
conscious racism probably also plays a part.

> Then, once you have been convicted of a "crime" and served your
> "time" you come out of jail virtually unemployable--especially if you have a
> felony record.


> And, after spending time incarcerated--if you owe back child support which
> you certainly will by the time you get out, and plenty of it--it's likely
> your driver's license has been taken away from you and, if you do manage to
> get a job, your wages will be garnished to pay back the past child support
> accumulated while incarcerated, in addition to your maintaining current
> payments--many times as a prerequisite to parole or probation!

But again, let's actually look at the statistics. What proportion of
males have felony convictions on their record, and what proportion of
males in the USA do not pay child support to their children?

About one in every 37 U.S. adults was either imprisoned at the end of
2001 or had been incarcerated at one time, the government recently
reported. The 5.6 million people with "prison experience" represented
about 2.7 percent of the adult population of 210 million as of Dec.
31, 2001, according to the study by the Justice Department's Bureau of
Justice Statistics. The report looks at people who served a sentence
for a crime in state or federal prison.

Source: "5.6 million in U.S. have prison experience, study says",

Meanwhile, the number of noncustodial fathers who are (1) poor and (2)
do not pay child support is approximately 2.5 million as of 2001.

Source: "Child Support and Fatherhood Proposals: Testimony before the
U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Human Resources
Committee on Ways and Means" by
Elaine Sorensen, <http://www.urban.org/publications/900422.html>

Thus, assuming reasonably that of the 5.6 million with prison
experience, about 80% or so are males with children, we're left with
about 4.4 million fathers with prison experience. And yet, only 2.5
million are delinquent in paying child support -- which seems to mean
that between 1-2 million people have not been delinquent in paying
child support in spite of having prison experience! So it is not at
all true, it seems,  that going to prison automatically means
inability to pay child support later.

> Blaming absent fathers for the poverty, oppression, exploitation and all out
> war against the poor as is being carried out by U.S. Imperialism and their
> cronies is unconscionable!

Has Obama "blamed absent fathers" exclusively, for poverty"? Can you
please quote the lines where he does this?

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