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Black Issues and Parenting: Any connection?


“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs)

“… thus saith the Lord … consider your ways.” (The Bible)

FOUNDING FATHERS’ PERSPECTIVE

“Discipline is the soul (of leading someone).”

“Ninety-nine percent of failures come from people who make excuses.”  (George Washington)

FACTS

“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” (John Adams)

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◊ The infant mortality rate for US Blacks is about the same as Mexico’s, and double the rate for White babies.
US News and World Report, 1/5/15. Cook, Lindsey. “Why Black Americans Die Younger” 


◊ 73% of Black children are born out of wedlock, compared to 29% of White children.
Politifact, 7/29/15. Jacobson, Louis. “CNN’s Don Lemon says more than 72% of African-American births are out of wedlock


◊ 38% of Black children grow up in a home with 2 parents, compared to 78% of White children.
Pew Research Center, 12/17/15. “Parenting in America” 


◊ Black parents spank their children the most of any other race (89%), compared to 79% of White parents.
CNN, 11/10/11. “Researchers: African-Americans most likely to use physical punishment”


◊ Kids who are spanked frequently are at a higher risk for alcohol/drug abuse, aggressive behavior, anxiety and depression, and lower cognitive development.
Brookings Institute, 11/6/14. Cuddy, Emily and Reeves, Richard. “Hitting Kids: American Parenting and Physical Punishment” 


◊ By age 2, disparities already show between Black and White children in cognitive development in both language and math. White parents of children ages 3-5 read to them 17% more than parents of Black children the same age.
US News and World Report, 1/28/15. Cook, Lindsey. “US Education: still separate and unequal” 


◊ The number of hours a mother spends with her child, ages 3-11 has little or no impact on their academic or psychological success. Statistics prove that the children would actually benefit more from the mother contributing to the family income with a job.
     Black parents spend MORE time with their children than college-educated White parents, but therefore have less family income, and their children participate in 25% less enrichment activities.
Forbes Magazine, 4/20/15. Johnson, Emma. “Study proves moms spend too much time with their kids, Liberates working moms everywhere”
Pew Research Center, 12/17/15. “Parenting in America” 


◊ 38% of Black children live below the poverty level, the most of any race. 11% of White children live below the poverty level.
CNN Money, 10/25/15. Luhby, Tammy. “The black-white economic divide in 5 charts” 


◊ The typical White household in the US has 16 times the wealth of a typical Black household.
Forbes, 3/26/15. Shin, Laura. “The racial wealth gap: Why a typical White household has 16 times the wealth of a Black one” 


◊ For parents with an income of more than $75,000 per year, their top worries about their children are a fear of bullying, and worrying that their child will get depressed.
     For parents with an income of less than $30,000 per year, their top worries about their children are that they will get kidnapped, beat up, or shot.
Pew Research Center, 12/17/15. “Parenting in America”


◊ On average, children of ALL races under 9 years old, watch 17 times MORE television per week than the amount recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Black children watch 37% MORE television than other racial groups.
Nielsen, 9/19/13. “Resilient, Receptive, and Relevant”
Time, 10/20/13. Rothman, Lily. “FYI Parents: Your kids watch a full-time job’s worth of tv each week” 


◊ Black children spend a total time of more than 90 hours/week on tv and social media, amounting to 4.5 MORE hours per day than White children.
The Daily Beast 6/13/11. Medved, Michael. “Minority Kids’ Crippling TV Addiction” 


◊ The obesity rate for Black children is 43% higher than for White children.
The State of Obesity, 2013. “Racial and ethnic disparities in obesity” 


◊ Both Black males and females are suspended more than students of any other race, a rate that is three times higher than Whites.
US Education Office for Civil Rights, March, 2014. “Civil rights data collection – School discipline” 


◊ The high school and college graduation rates for Blacks are 14% lower than those for Whites.
National Center for Education Statistics, May 2016. “Public High School Graduation Rates”
The Hechinger Report, 1/7/16. Kolodner, Meredith. “College degree gap grows wider between Whites, Blacks, and Latinos” 


◊ The unemployment rate for 17-20 year-old Blacks is 51%, compared to 33% for Whites.
Politifact, 7/13/15. Jacobson, Louis. “Bernie Sanders say real unemployment rate for African-Americans is 51%” 


◊ Although only 16% of the population, Black juveniles constitute almost 60% of all those arrested for juvenile murders, and 67% of those arrested for robberies. Black juveniles are arrested 5 times more frequently than Whites.
National Center for Children in Poverty, July 2011. Gottesman, David, Schwarz, Susan. “Juvenile Justice in the US” 


◊ Blacks have the highest new infection rate for HIV/AIDS of any racial group: 8 times greater than the rate for Whites.
Kaiser Family Foundation, 4/25/14. “Black Americans and HIV/AIDS”


◊ The average life expectancy for Whites is 5 years longer than for Blacks.
The New York Times, 5/8/16. Tavernise, Sabrina. “Black Americans see gains in life expectancy” 


SUMMARY

Using almost any quality of life indicator, Black children on the whole, lag significantly behind all other races, even those who have more recently immigrated to the US. Statistics indicate that better parenting decisions and more strongly emphasizing certain moral values could eliminate the majority – if not all of these disparities in health, education, employment, economics, criminal behavior, and even life expectancy.


POSSIBLE SOLUTION

America’s 39 million Blacks comprise 13% of America’s population. Their collective successes and failures have a greatly disproportionate effect on US society relative to their population. It should become a national priority to encourage Black parents to not allow cultural traditions and/or blaming historical prejudice to prevent them from taking personal accountability. Making corrections in parenting style could drastically increase their children’s chances for success. Simple things (changing their children’s diet, reducing their tv-watching time, insisting on respectful behavior at school), as well as more complex issues (reducing the out-of-wedlock birth rate, lowering the HIV/AIDS infection rate) could all be successfully addressed, if doing so became a national priority.

 

Brief 17A – October 17, 2016

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