Reality Check: Marriage Doesn't Actually Fight Crime

Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page makes what he says he knows will be a controversial point about the institution: It's not a societal cure-all.

Posted:
 
marriagecrime575
Getty Images

Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page makes what he says he knows will be a controversial point about the institution: It's not a societal cure-all.

I know from past experience that I'm going to upset some folks by saying this, so brace yourselves: Marriage is very important and beneficial to the raising of children, but there's little evidence that it fights crime.

I bring this up in response to the sincere, well-meaning readers who say that we won't be able to do anything -- anything -- about urban violence until we reverse the decline of marriage in African-American households.

I'm as troubled as any other concerned black parent about the rise in out-of-wedlock births in black America since the 1950s. But I am even more troubled when I hear people who should know better try to lay every social problem, including the nation's current gun violence debate, at the feet of single-parenting -- as if nothing else mattered.

Heather Mac Donald, a writer and analyst at the conservative Manhattan Institute, helped set this tone in a widely circulated 2010 essay in City Magazine on black-on-black violence in the Chicago neighborhood where President Barack Obama worked for four years as a community organizer ...

Read Clarence Page's entire piece at the Dallas News.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.

Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Comments
The Root encourages respectful debate and dialogue in our commenting community. To improve the commenting experience for all our readers we will be experimenting with some new formats over the next few weeks. During this transition period the comments section will be unavailable to users.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your continued support of The Root.

While we are experimenting, please feel free to leave feedback below about your past experiences commenting at The Root.