Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The real face of out-of-wedlock births

Bristol Palin and child


"A generation ago, unwed motherhood was often explained as a consequence of discrimination and poverty. Back then, unwed motherhood seemed a problem affecting black America only: The first serious modern work on unwed parenthood was written in 1964 under the title, "The Crisis of the Negro Family."

Discrimination, however, cannot explain why 28 percent of white women who gave birth in 2007 gave birth unwed, a higher rate than for black women in 1964. Among America's new largest ethnic minority, Hispanics, an outright majority of mothers, 51 percent, are not married."
CNN.com

If 28% of White women who gave birth in 2007 were not married then considering there are more White women in the U.S. than Black women, doesn't this mean that ...

If there are 32 out-of-wedlock births per 1000 for Whites, and considering that Whites constitute the largest ethnic group in the U.S., doesn't this mean that more White babies are born out-of-wedlock than in any other group?

And if that's the case then why are African Americans the poster children for out-of-wedlock births?

In 2004 White women had a total of 4,112,052 babies. Black women had a total of 616,074. That's according to the Centers for Disease Control National Vital Statistics Report for 2004.

White out-of-wedlock births: 28% of 3,222,928 = 902,419.84
Black out-of-wedlock births: 72% of 616,074 = 443,573.28

So a little over 900,000 White babies were born out-of-wedlock in 2004 and almost 450,000 Black babies were born out-of wedlock in 2004. Which means twice as many White babies are born out-of-wedlock than Black babies.

Multiply White out-of-wedlock births by 5 years and you get 4,512,099.2. Multiply Black out-of-wedlock births by 5 years and you get 2,217,866.4.

So in the years 2004 to 2009 4.5 million White babies were born out-of-wedlock and just 2.2 million Black babies were born out-of-wedlock.

Twice as many White babies are born out-of-wedlock in the U.S. as Black babies. Now isn't it obvious then why the media and others use percentages rather than real numbers when talking about out-of-wedlock births and race.

Why do we fall for the okie-doke so easily? For years we have been hearing that 72% of Black children are born out-of-wedlock and we've sighed and thought how terrible that was. And though it's true that having 72% of births occur out-of-wedlock is not a good thing, why didn't anyone look at the raw numbers to see what was really going on?

We, African Americans, have been preached to by everyone from The President to Bill Cosby about having children out-of-wedlock but no one checked the numbers. If they had then we would have realized that we are simply part of, not just a trend here in the U.S., a Western trend as the out-of-wedlock birth rate in Europe is extremely high too.

"The percentage of babies born to unmarried women in the United States is starting to look more like that in many European countries, the data shows. For example, the proportion of babies born to unmarried women is about 66 percent in Iceland, 55 percent in Sweden, 50 percent in France and 44 percent in the United Kingdom." Washington Post.com

Instead we have allowed ourselves to be made to feel as though this was some sort of Black pathology rather than a huge societal and cultural shift. And in the process many have fallen pray to these misleading numbers by figuring if so many other Black people are having babies out-of-wedlock then why not me. A self-fulfilling prophecy.

We have to begin to vet data that purports to show us in a bad light. We have to actually read the data and replicate all of these studies done on us by who knows who. We have to stop listening to and believing people just because they're on a stage or on C-Span when they speak ill of us. Otherwise we will continue to believe the worst about ourselves rather than knowing the truth.

When we hear someone state that this or that percentage of African Americans are this or that we need to ask questions. We need to know who is feeding us these percentages and why. What's their agenda? We can't blindly believe what is said about us. History ought to have taught us that by now.



Statistical data from here


8 comments:

Desertflower said...

Great post!

It's so sad that they want to have us believe all that crap!

Honey I tuned out to all the media hype bulls)%* a long time ago.

According to them we do everything wrong!!! LOLOLOLOL!!! And of course they do everything right

Yeah right! *roll eyes*

Jason said...

"When we hear someone state that this or that percentage of African Americans are this or that we need to ask questions. We need to know who is feeding us these percentages and why."

As a child, I was made to believe that I was a member of an exclusive group because I was born out of wedlock.

Excellent post Val!

Moanerplicity said...

It's only when the unexpected happens to those who are supposed to be 'privileged' that America really takes a good hard look at itself.

Suddenly it's not a case of THEM vs US... & everything is not so black & white as the media, the government & society would like us to believe.

One.

Val said...

@Desertflower

You're right, the media is full of it.

"According to them we do everything wrong!!! LOLOLOLOL!!! And of course they do everything right"

That's why I'm so happy we have blogs to get our word out.

Val said...

@Jason

The issue here is perception. It's not out-of-wedlock births so much as the way the media portrays Black people.

Val said...

@Lin

It is totally not black or white. The media for so long has had its way not its our turn to speak up.

field negro said...

Great post Val. Just lurking over at your place, but I will be back.

Peace.

Val said...

@Mr. Field

Thanks and come back anytime.

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Soldier Of Love

I've lost the use of my heart
But I'm still alive
Still looking for the life
The endless pool on the other side
It's a wild wild west
I'm doing my best

I'm at the borderline of my faith,
I'm at the hinterland of my devotion
In the frontline of this battle of mine
But I'm still alive

I'm a soldier of love.
Every day and night
I'm soldier of love
All the days of my life

I've been torn up inside (oh!)
I've been left behind (oh!)
So I ride
I have the will to survive

In the wild wild west,
Trying my hardest
Doing my best
To stay alive

I am love's soldier!

I wait for the sound
(oooh oohhh)

I know that love will come (that love will come)
Turn it all around

I'm a soldier of love (soldier of love)
Every day and night
I'm a soldier of love
All the days of my life

I am lost
But I don't doubt (oh!)
So I ride
I have the will to survive

In the wild wild west,
Trying my hardest
Doing my best
To stay alive

I am love's soldier!

I wait for the sound

I know that love will come
I know that love will come
Turn it all around

I'm a soldier of love
I'm a soldier

Still waiting for love to come
Turn it all around
(4x)

I'm a soldier of love
I'm a soldier

Still waiting for love to come
Turn it all around
(3x)

Still waiting for love to come

Miss Keri Baby!

Tracee!

Solange!

Solange!
The only interesting Knowles

un·for·get·ta·ble: Earning a permanent place in the memory; memorable: an unforgettable experience.

Alicia says...

Rest in Peace Mitrice

Rest in Peace Mitrice
Mitrice Richardson