Obama Urges Substitute Fathers Instead Of Intact Families

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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President Barack Obama’s new report on fatherless kids doesn’t include a single mention of the words “marriage” or “married.”

The report admits that fatherlessness almost doubles the failure rate among African-American and Latino kids, yet it calls for government to arrange substitute fathers for huge numbers of fatherless boys and girls instead of binding fathers to their kids via marriage.

“The President is calling on Americans interested in getting involved in My Brother’s Keeper to sign up as long-term mentors to young people,” according to the White House press statement that accompanies the report, which is titled “Opportunity for All: My Brother’s Keeper.”

“This effort will engage Americans from all walks of life to sign up to develop sustained and direct mentoring relationships that will play vital roles in the lives of young people,” it declares.

The White House’s focus on substitute fathers will likely widen economic gaps, which have widened to record levels under his administration. Wealthier Americans — including many outspoken liberals such as Obama and his wife — tend to follow the traditional “life script” of education first, then marriage, then childrearing, even as they promote family “diversity” for others.

In contrast, government does little to help lower-income Americans recognize or stay on that script.

Obama commissioned the report following the 2012 Florida shooting of African-American youth from a broken family, Trayvon Martin. He was shot by a Hispanic-American neighborhood watch volunteer during a late-night fight.

After Martin’s shooter, George Zimmerman, was found innocent of all charges, Obama acknowledged that African-Americans men are more likely than others to commit crimes or be victims of crimes.

Most African-American youths are raised by single mothers. Roughly half of Latino births are fatherless.

The White House’s push for state-provided substitute fathers reflects the Democrat Party’s post-1960s collective hostility to independent families.

As the progressive-led party of big government, the party has a self-interest in downplaying independent families. For example, its effort to win support among gays has given it a political incentive redefine the long-evolved child-rearing institution of marriage as a status-boosting amenity for pairs of adults, including gays and lesbians.

The report defines families broadly, saying that “families today are headed by opposite-sex couples, same-sex couples, single parents, grandparents, and other family members.”

In contrast, the GOP’s social conservatives — although not the GOP’s libertarian wing — have long championed the evolved institution of nuclear families and of fathers, and has decried progressives’ efforts to create a government-centered mechanism for raising children.

The White House’s release calls for the elevation of government-managed communities over autonomous two-parent families, which have for centuries provided the core Western institution for birthing and raising the next generation.

“Boys of color are too often born into poverty and live with a single parent… too many of these boys and young men will have negative interactions with the juvenile and criminal justice system, and the dream of a college education is within grasp for too few,” it says.

But instead of calling for policies that aid marriage, the White House wants government-directed progressive groups to substitute for fathers. “Our society can and will do more to help remove barriers to all young people’s success, because America prospers not only when hard work and responsibility are rewarded but also when we all pull forward together,” it says.

“Rebuilding that core American value — community — is why the President launched My Brother’s Keeper, an initiative designed to determine what works to help young people stay on track to reach their full potential,” it said.

“Family “ or “families” ” are only mentioned 61 times in the long report, even though it repeatedly recognize the importance of fathers to boys.

“Parents, guardians and other caring adults play the most important roles in determining young people’s life trajectories from cradle-to-college-and-career. In fact, a child’s greatest advantage is the love and support of a strong and stable family,” the report says.

But the report pushes for a greater government role.

“Community” gets 34 mentions, ”government” gets 15 mentions, “federal” gets 54 mentions, “state” gets almost 60 mentions, and “local” gets 32 mentions.

The report also downplays the economic impact of progressive policies, such as the top-priority effort to boost immigration.

From 2000 to 2013, the nation accepted 26 million immigrants and guest workers, sharply increasing the supply of labor.

Classical economic theory says any rise in the labor supply will force down wages, especially for people with fewer skills and less education.

This year, Obama has continued to push for GOP approval of the Senate’s 2013 immigration bill, which would double the inflow of guest-workers and Democrat-leaning immigrants to 4 million per year.

That inflow would provide roughly equal the number of Americans who turn 18 each year. The inflow would shift more income form wages earners to investors, even though investors are now earning a record share of the nation’s annual income.

The Brothers’ Keeper report does not discuss the economic impact of mass immigration.

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