During his announcement of a new program to help young people in America’s inner cities, senior pastor at More Grace Ministries in Louisville, Ky. dropped a bomb of truth.
Rev. Cecil Blye told the reporters there that government policies and programs are the root cause of the problems they are dealing with.
“The paradigm of government as parent has destroyed the black family and made black fatherhood irrelevant,” Blye reportedly said at the National Press Club. “Our welfare policies have incentivized co-habitation, single motherhood, and unemployment.”
Blye, the national vice president of Stay True to America’s National Destiny (STAND), went all the way back to the 1960s and the War on Poverty.
“Fifty years ago President Johnson gave us the notion of the Great Society,” he said. “Fifty years later we see there can be no great society without great morality.”
“Fifty years later we see there can be no Great Society when government involvement incentivizes family disintegration, making it more profitable to cohabit than to be married,” he continued. “We see fifty years later that there can be no Great Society when government involvement incentivizes joblessness making it impossible to make a judgment to take a low-skilled job when you‘re making more money on the government dole.”
Blye said there needed to be a “great awakening,” one “that saves our cities by strengthening our families and incentivizing personal responsibility and enterprise.”
While Blye’s comments might be controversial to some, they aren’t to anyone who’s been paying attention. Black economist Walter Williams has written about this for decades.
Most of the problems faced by the black community have their roots in a black culture that differs significantly from the black culture of yesteryear. Today only 35 percent of black children are raised in two-parent households, but as far back as 1880, in Philadelphia, 75 percent of black children were raised in two-parent households — and it was as high as 85 percent in other places. Even during slavery, in which marriage was forbidden, most black children were raised with two biological parents. The black family managed to survive several centuries of slavery and generations of the harshest racism and Jim Crow, to ultimately become destroyed by the welfare state.
Thomas Sowell agrees:
If we wanted to be serious about evidence, we might compare where blacks stood a hundred years after the end of slavery with where they stood after 30 years of the liberal welfare state. In other words, we could compare hard evidence on “the legacy of slavery” with hard evidence on the legacy of liberals.
Nearly a hundred years of the supposed “legacy of slavery” found most black children being raised in two-parent families in 1960. But thirty years after the liberal welfare state found the great majority of black children being raised by a single parent.
Because the government set up a system that encouraged single families in two ways.
First, means-tested welfare programs such as those described above financially enable single parenthood. It is difficult for single mothers with a high school degree or less to support children without the aid of another parent. Means-tested welfare programs substantially reduce this difficulty by providing extensive support to single parents. Welfare thereby reduces the financial need for marriage.
A second major problem is that the means-tested welfare system actively penalizes low-income parents who do marry. All means-tested welfare programs are designed so that a family’s benefits are reduced as earnings rise. In practice, this means that, if a low-income single mother marries an employed father, her welfare benefits will generally be substantially reduced. The mother can maximize welfare by remaining unmarried and keeping the father’s income “off the books.”
This impacted all demographics, but black families more than others, which is why Blye feels the need to speak such truth to power.
The question is, will anybody be listening? For decades others have made the same case, with little to show for it in terms of correcting the problems and the government programs that helped created them.
While action on the local level is fantastic, if Blye and others honestly contend the problem is government, then action needs to be taken on all levels to correct it.
Here’s video of Blye’s comments. Feel free to comment on them below: