The Family Leader’s Marriage Vow & McWhorter’s article

The New Republic printed John McWhorter’s comment on the truth of one very controversial statement in The Marriage Vow, that a slave child was more likely to be raised by a two-parent household than a Black child now. His comment was that, in truth, the statistics as bare statistics indicate that that is true.
McWhorter clearly labeled the Marriage Vow as bigoted, but that’s not enough for some people. Anything that departs from the narrative of all Black people bent under a whip out in the fields is a racist plot to deny the evils of slavery and let White people off the hook.
My wife is going to have some fun presenting this to a friend of hers who, she is sure, will react like some of the commenters to the New Republic article. McWhorter is painted as defending slavery, period. There is no interest in looking at what his point was – patently that it is a shame that we have allowed society to deteriorate to the point that fewer Black children grow up in two-parent households than during the horrors of slavery – but only to condemn him and anyone who would trot out facts as racist troglodytes.
Going against the images people build up in their minds is the major problem we have in education. Many of my students have been handed a view of mankind, of history, of society, that does not square with the facts; but that doesn’t matter. What matters is maintaining the image and filtering everything else out.
Just how does it deflect the evils of slavery by pointing out that economic and social conditions in the present-day U.S.A. make it difficult for African-Americans to maintain two-parent families? Instead of a thoughtful look at that, commenters go off on tangents about why are two-parent families better (because they reflect the ability of two people to form a traditional family – that is not defending traditional family models and, in fact, McWhorter makes clear he is not setting up the two-parent family as an ideal).
This set of comments shows how difficult it is to have a discussion about these things. McWhorter was crystal clear in his condemnation of the Vow and his view of the Family Leader’s positions on a variety of topics. But moral outrage is so cheap b/c it is easier than thinking the situation through and informing yourself, easier than just reading the article.
From the Slav
With respect to family structure Saunders (1986:109) points to Gutman
(1976), who examining evidence for African American family structure
before and after the U.S. Civil War, found  “the normal American slave
family was . . .a stable nuclear unit.”  Saunders also cites similar
evidence in B. W. Higman (1970, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1978 for Barbados,
Jamaica,  and Trinidad), in Craton (1978, for Jamaica) and in her own
data for The Bahamas.

Saunders, Gail (1986). Slavery in the Bahamas: 1648-1838. Printed by
the Nassau Gardian.
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