A little something I spotted in the news today: 72% of black babies born to unwed moms; data revive debate | Moms | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle Looks bad on the surface, doesn't it? Keep reading. The story focuses on Black folks but.. I don't care. I have a problem with something far below the headline. "The rate (of unwed mothers)for the overall U.S. population was 41 percent." Say what you will about the media presenting the problems of one racial group over another.. calling the bias anti-white or racist, and you can make arguments for both of those theories. Honestly I'll leave that to others, because, as I said, it's not my biggest concern. I'm personally wondering... why isn't the headline "2 out of 5 children born in America are bastards"? Yes, I used a bad word. A word that may even require this post to be screened before it hits the message board. You know what else it is? It is an accurate word. The word is supposed to be derogatory and carry shame because the concept the word describes is supposed to carry shame. I'm not completely heartless. I understand that.. life is a funny place, and strange things happen. hormones exist, and sometimes kids do stupid things. It happens, but it should not be THIS common! There's a difference between compassion for mistakes and flatout approving of them. 2 out of 5 says to me we are, as a society, approving of it. I was always careful, EXTREMELY careful to father no children. I am even a married man, and I will not father a child until I am sure I can provide a living for that child. The intermittent labor jobs, computer repair, and freelance writing I do? Not good enough. Can't raise a kid on that, so I won't do it. I have my failings as a man; I understand that I must tackle them first before I bring a child into this. Until I can make absolutely certain that my wife having a job is entirely optional, I am not ready to father a child. My friends all tell me I'm nuts. They tell me to go ahead, and that "the government" will take care of it. I'm told that "the government" will ensure that I am never homeless and starving, so long as I have a child. When I tell them that the concept of that is distasteful to me, I'm looked at as if I have a third head. to me it makes no sense, their attitude. A child is not to be the parent's security blanket. It is not the purpose of a child to bring in extra food stamps and welfare. It is the purpose of a father to provide for his children. If a child were to come along before I was capable of providing for that child.. you bet I'll take the welfare for as long as I need to.. but I would feel shame during that time period and be doing everything I can to rise above that shame and hold my head up as a man. But that's not where it stands anymore. Where it stands now, a father has become entirely optional. There is no shame in having.. well.. a bastard. this transcends race, it is a selfish reaction to a cultural phenomenon. the poorest of the poor have children to make their own lives easier. It's sickening, and you know what else? I have no solution to this. I can't think how to fix it. I don't know what to do. Even if I were "in charge" of the country I still wouldn't know what to do. You can't take the welfare away, because that will harm those who need it. You have to take the benefit of the doubt and.. dare I say it.. even allow people to BE lazy because, at the end of the day, it is not the child's fault; the child does not deserve to starve just because they were born to.. well.. to scum. Do we take the children away and then have the state raise them? A cursory glance at the molestation and abuse rates in state-run foster homes tells me no. the existing foster/ward of the state system needs to be overhauled before we can think of that.. not even counting the fact that tearing a child away form it's mother is horrible. Do we turn to the churches for help? A cursory glance at missionaries going to foreign countries and refusing to provide aid to those who will not convert, and the hours and hours of forced prayers church-based charities force the indigent to attend (thus ensuring a cycle of homelessness. Don't attend prayers? Can't get a bed. Have to be at prayers 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening? Good luck holding a job) tells me no. We can't force churches NOT to do things like that, because it is their choice who they aid. The government cannot tell churches what to do with their money, and it's evil to suggest it should be allowed to. Do we leave things how they are? A cursory glance at the rising crime rates since the 1960's tells me no. Something has to break. Something has to change. something has to be done... but I don't have any answers. On this, I am just another of the faceless crowd of people who complain about a situation without offering a solution. I am background noise. On this, all my learning and all my intellect comes to nothing. I can do what I do, and try my best to do right by my kids (when we begin in on them) but I cannot think of any way to ensure my children grow up in a safe society. A society where negative actions are accompanied by shame, and the people who want to do the right thing aren't looked at like they are insane... I know I want something safe and.. even moral, for my children, but the more I see the world around me the more I can't see what to do to fix it. There's no denouement to this rant, no trumpet-blowing self-righteous "I know what to do because I'm so smart" finish. There's only the same confusion I feel whenever I think about these things. The only thing I can think to do is raise my kids on small land in the middle of nowhere, willingly entering poverty to try to keep them with good family and a small, caring community. I'd rather be poor in the mountains than rich in the city but... that's only MY family. How do I help everyone else? What can _I_ do to fix it, to make things better, to ensure that there's still some safety left for my own grandchildren and their grandchildren? No idea, I'm clueless, I might as well be insentient. All I can think to do is harm none, and hope my own children spread this to others.