Fatherless America Essay

Fatherless America Essay-78
“But the philosophical goal was lacking,” he remembered. Supreme Court ordered the Jackson schools closed until they could desegregate.*Blankenhorn, 40, grew up with the civil rights movement all around him. Blankenhorn endeavored to heal racial rifts by launching something called the Mississippi Community Service Corps, providing tutorials and “black-white dialogue.”Now preachin’ and teachin’ and social workin’ as a community organizer, Blankenhorn harked back to the “moral drama” of civil rights.

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“Fatherless America” has instantly become a catch phrase.

Far from promising a trouble-free voyage, he has begun by making giant waves.

“The most important issues had to do with raising children, with finding a way for men and women to live together and raise their children.”Half-facetiously, Blankenhorn recalled how at 29, he decided that “what the world needed was another think tank"--a research group devoted exclusively to family issues.

Hovering around “the left of the political structure” in that heyday of the Reagan Revolution, Blankenhorn said he was troubled by the rise of “the very conservative think tanks, the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute.

No social pattern is more divisive, more dangerous or more steadfastly denied, he has asserted for close to a decade.“The trend of fatherlessness is so big now, the dimensions of the crisis have grown so large,” said Blankenhorn, founder and president of the Institute for American Values here. But Blankenhorn thinks the problem is even broader.

In David Blankenhorn’s view, virtually every social ill in this country can be attributed to the single cause of fatherlessness. And we can’t ignore him anymore.” For the first time, Blankenhorn said--citing data from his just-published book, “Fatherless America” (Basic Books)--more than half of U. children will spend “a significant” part of childhood without a father in the home. Thirty percent of all children are born to unmarried women, he reports, and for African American children, the figure is 68%.

Nobody knows if you mean abortion or Woody Allen.” He has also strived, right from the beginning, to avoid “sanctimonious finger-pointing” in any political direction.

“I don’t like hearing people say, ‘We’re in a pickle, and it’s all because of this group or that group,’ ” Blankenhorn said.

“He embraced this issue very early on.”But Blankenhorn said that in taking on the plight of mothers, fathers and children in contemporary America, he carefully sidestepped at least one buzz term.

“I don’t like the phrase ‘family values,’ ” he said. It has political baggage that I don’t like, and it never has been used in a precise way.


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