It's a problem many recognize, too few discuss, and even fewer know how to address, but the problem is persistent and is leading to a generation of failed children.
Too many children grow up without a father at home.
Thankfully this week leaders in Florida stepped up to begin addressing the fatherless crisis.
Wednesday, I was proud to stand with Speaker of the Florida House of Represenatatives, Chris Sprowls, and Fla. Rep. Thad Altman, Dost. 52, on the Capitol steps in my home state of Florida.
We were there to advance meaningful policy in support of American families.
Specifically, this legislation, introduced during Black History Month (February), will tackle the issues head-on by encouraging responsible fatherhood, alleviating the crisis of at-risk boys, and supporting foster children — especially those who age out of care.
Too many in this nation prefer to play the blame game regarding why the Black community has fallen behind.
Invisible superstructures like "systemic racism" and "oppression" are tapped as the culprits of all our problems, while the glaring issues in front of our very noses are ignored.
Unfortunately, the true underlying causes of many of the issues we see plaguing the Black community are seldom mentioned publicly: the destruction of the nuclear family and the emergent fatherhood crisis across the country.
The data is in — fatherlessness lies at the root of nearly every social problem in the country. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about one in four children, or just over 18 million in total, live without any father in the home.
Similarly, the U.S. has the highest rate of children living in single-parent households among any country globally. For Black children, the number who grow up in single-parent homes is roughly 6 million — or 64% of the total population.
The effects of this epidemic of fatherlessness span issues ranging from education and health to crime, and so much more. For example:
To the mind of this writer, it's borderline criminal the manner in which the Black community has been used for purposes to advance progressive agendas, rather than offer genuine solutions.
America’s politicians still refuse to step up and confront the underlying problem — that far too many Black children in America are growing up without a father.
This writer sees this reality firsthand — daily.
As head of the Jack Brewer Foundation — in Florida — I see Black children arriving at school who are fatherless. Thus, there is no male figure to lead them, push them to greatness, discipline them when they fall short, or help them grow through their most formative years.
That's the actual sin staining America today. As a country, we are better than this.
For real change to occur, Americans need to stand firm and fix the problems that we created. Our country gives massive tax incentives to corporations. It's past time to focus on the family, creating specific tax incentives to stabilize the American family.
Similarly, we need to stop disincentivizing marriage with a broken tax code, a set of laws and rules penalizing two-parent households.
Additionally, we need to stop perpetuating the education gap by passing school choice. In the Sunchine State we have seen the school choice model work for parents, teachers, and kids.
We also need a full-court press approach to fatherhood, spearheaded by a national effort —from Washington, D.C.
We urgently need athletes, celebrities, public figures, and business leaders to speak on the joys of fatherhood, highlighting the true heroes that fathers are for their children.
And, we need politicians to speak honestly about our problems and focus on fixing them —not just repeat the same tired points of a narrative for decades dividing us up by race, while aggressively pushing a Left political agenda.
As a Black man who had two children, raised in a home without me there everyday, I understand this issue from both sides.
I was blessed with the resources of playing pro football and having a family that helped me afford the travel and custody time to fill the gap, but the vast majority of our fatherless are not as blessed as my kids were, so we must fight for them — not just repeat the same tired points of a narrative for decades dividing us up by race, while aggressively pushing a Left political agenda.
It’s time for all of us to dig in and fix this — now.
Jack Brewer, formerly of the NFL, played for the Vikings, Giants, Eagles and Cardinals. He is America First Policy Institute’s Chairman of the Center for Opportunity Now, and former White House appointee on the Congressional Commission for the Social Status of Black Men and Boys. Read Jack Brewer's Reports — More Here.
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