Wednesday, December 21, 2005

my broom's in the closet

so, for work today, i'm reading this transcript of a panel on the black church and pro-marriage policies. it was fascinating. it was not only a frank discussion of the limits of the black church as a hive for social policy, it sort of aired the ideological fissures in what most of us monolithically call the 'black community' (though everyone was pretty on board with not trusting the current administration with anything.) and it made me think of the earlier exchange with a commenter who made me own up to my classism.

the numbers quoted about the rate of out of wedlock births in the black community were sort of shocking; i hadn't realized they were that high. and the conclusion that marriage is good for economic empowerment seemed a ... rational ... one. (seemed, i say.) but there seemed to be a gap in the discussion somewhere.

as a tactic in a larger strategy to eliminate widespread illegitimacy, marriage seems ideal. as a tactic in a larger strategy to stave off poverty for the community, marriage again seems suitable (as long as there were jobs, the panelists made clear.) as a way to reclaim young black manhood, marriage seems to be a positive, as well. (hm.) basically, for poor people who don't want illegitimate children and for young men who don't want to end up in jail, marriage is a good thing. but what if you aren't poor, don't have kids to worry about and you're not on your way to prison? what then?

i can't put my finger in the gap i sensed, but it'll come to me. i'm sure of it.

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