Thank God we hold Father's Day once a year because if it wasn't on the calendar I don't think at this point there'd be much of an emphasis on dads on any day of the year. Barack Obama's comments about the African American fatherhood crisis is greatly welcome and needed and my hope is that it's not just a one-off for Father's Day but helps enable a larger conversation about a very serious problem our society faces.
It was good to read Bob Hebert's column this morning from the NYTimes that continues the discussion. Here's some of the depressing stats he noted and they're worth repeating here:
"In 2006, for the first time in U.S. history, a majority of all births to women under 30 — 50.4 percent — were out of wedlock. Nearly 80 percent of births among black women were out of wedlock. By comparison, when John F. Kennedy was elected president in 1960, just 6 percent of all births were to unmarried women under 30." (Referenced from the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston)
This is a major problem for our country and the world and it needs to become something that's more than just comment for Father's Day but for the rest of the year as well.