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Father's Day call to action: Restoring the black family

father son
Unsplash/Joice Kelly

This year Father’s Day happens to coincide with Juneteenth celebrations. Juneteenth or June 19th was celebrated for decades before it became a federal holiday as the day of freedom for millions of enslaved blacks after the Civil War. Ironically, the American black community has been re-enslaved to government dependency, and it needs another emancipation.

For 100 years post-civil war, 1865-1965, the black family was strong despite an economic depression and the added burden of Jim Crow laws, circumstances that kept most black Americans from achieving the American dream.  However, today’s problems come from 50 years of self-inflicted wounds brought by slick politicians, local leaders profiteering from people in their own communities, and social welfare programs that slowly removed God and fathers from families.  As a result, the vast majority of black children will celebrate “Baby Daddy Day,” not Father’s Day.   

We have known for decades that fatherless homes are an existential threat to the black community. This Father’s Day, join me in a national “Call for Action.” All stakeholders in the black community in the United States should unify around one issue: Getting fathers back in the home.

Despite sanctioned segregation, most black children celebrated Father’s Day much like the rest of America because approximately 80 percent of black families included a father.

Family, faith, and education were the cornerstones of the community. Even with racial barriers in place, black Americans still felt a sense of pride and love for America and the flag. 

As Civil Rights leaders worked to remove barriers to freedom in the late 1960s, LBJ’s introduction of the Great Society welfare state was a Trojan Horse that would re-enslave families and usher in the destruction of the black family in nearly every major city in the United States.

These programs were heavily marketed in black communities with one of the eligibility requirements being that no father could reside in the home. As full rights of citizenship were opened to a new generation of black Americans, “free housing and monthly stipend” were dangled in front of unwitting families often by progressive liberals and leaders in their own communities.

The bait and switch resulted in a 50-year cultural genocide which brought the decline of two-parent families from 80% in 1965 to 80% fatherless homes in our lifetime without one national initiative to reverse the trends.

For 50 years, we have witnessed state-sponsored child abuse. Our government financially incentivizes fatherless homes while inflicting tax penalties on married couples. As a result, children have suffered for years.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Center for Disease Control, we know that children from fatherless homes account for (1-5 are not race dependent):

  • 63% of youth suicides.
  • 90% of all homeless and runaways.
  • 85% of children that exhibit behavioral disorders.
  • 71% of high school dropouts.
  • 75% of rapists motivated by displaced anger.
  • 38% of all abortions in the U.S. (3x pop. representation).
  • #1 cause of death for black males ages 1-19 years is homicide.                

It’s time for national action. What does a national Call for Action look like? To begin, let’s define what it is not. It is not political speeches and a demand for money from federal or state governments.  It is not blaming the “white man” or the police, and it’s not a woman-led movement. The emphasis should be on black men reclaiming the idea of servant-leader masculinity, personal responsibility, commitment to marriage, and being present throughout the life of their children.

Institutions and stakeholders from the black community are also needed in this endeavor in order to make this transformational shift far-reaching and long-term. Institutions like Bible-teaching churches, fraternities, sororities, and non-profit community organizations. Unfortunately, the list does not include teachers, school administrators, and university professors. As a rule, they will not be advocates for this movement. In fact, they will be detractors.    

Let Father’s Day 2022 be the day that is remembered as the turnaround in the black culture which resulted in 80% two-parent families in 2047 — 25 years from now. We owe it to our forefathers, and we owe it to our children’s children. Happy Father’s Day to them.

Kendall Qualls is a Republican candidate for Governor of Minnesota. Prior to his candidacy, he was president of TakeCharge, which is an organization committed to supporting the notion that the promise of America works for everyone regardless of race or station in life. He is a former Army officer and healthcare executive. Kendal has been married for 35 years and has five children.

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