Reality Check: Marriage Doesn't Actually Fight Crime

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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.

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