Bush supports Black marriage, but nothing else

By Malena Amusa Aug 08, 2007

The Enquirer ran an upbeat article about federal programs under the Bush administration aimed at helping Black couples stay married. Black marriage in turn is supposed to solve social ills that plague Black communities. The story reported:

A movement now under way hopes to multiply such successful marriages. Locally and nationally, programs are being offered – many funded by federal or state grants – with the goal of strengthening relationships and promoting the benefits of marriage, particularly among African-Americans. The movement has gained momentum since 2002, when President Bush, citing research that shows children do best when raised in healthy, stable, two-parent households, launched his Healthy Marriage Initiative. Critics have questioned the effectiveness of marriage-skills programs, which often are aimed at low-income couples, and say such programs could increase domestic violence by encouraging women to remain in dangerous relationships. Proponents claim just the opposite: The voluntary programs improve marital happiness and help reduce domestic violence. Regardless, the effort faces big challenges. Statistics compiled by the federal Administration for Children and Families show that while all races are affected by divorce, single-parent homes and declines in marriage rates, the impact has been greater in the African-American community:

While it’s true Black marriage is at an all-time low and Black divorce, high, the idea that marriage is a cure disregards the fact that other socio-economic factors are perhaps the cause of broken families. So again, our administration is looking to target a symptom of a crisis and really not its root. The fact remains, if Bush wants to see happy Black people, then reform has to happen in the halls of schools, our criminal justice system, hospitals, and job offices. Because the inequality Blacks face on the market translates to the instability of Black families. In addition, pushing heterosexual marriage as a cure mishandles the reality of different types of families formed by LGBT couples, and also, other arrangements, for example between a grandfather and an aunt of a child living under one roof. What do you think?