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.