THE TRUTH HURTS: Bill Cosby's edict on fatherless homes, violence rings true
Fatherless black youngsters statistically 'much less likely to graduate from high school'
As the old song goes, "Sometimes I feel, like a motherless child." It seems that society has discounted the momentous effect that homes without fathers have an equally hard row to hoe. Comedian Bill Cosby has long called out black Americans for failing to give their families guidance with a strong male authority figure in the home, and now it appears that statistics back him up.
The top three factors most strongly related to gun homicides are growing up in a black community, not having a father present and dropping out of high school. " . the very factors that Bill Cosby has been discussing," Costello says.
Cosby had earlier decried the large numbers of young black people in their teens and early 20s who had been murdered with firearms, including his only son, Ennis. The younger Cosby, a Columbia University doctoral student was shot to death in 1997 during an attempted robbery while changing a flat tire on a Los Angeles freeway ramp.
The socioeconomic conditions in which many African American youngsters are raised are the determining factors, Costello says. "This is certainly not about having black skin.
"Some of the black-race effect is due to the number that are single parents," he pointed out, including the fact that fatherless black youngsters are statistically "much less likely to graduate from high school than are members of other races."
Costello did the study at the request of state Delegate Ken Plum (D-36th). Virginia is one of 41 "shall issue" states that require authorities to issue gun permits to all qualified applicants.
The top factor appears to be not finishing high school. According to the National Fatherhood Initiative, nearly two-thirds, or 64 percent of African American children are raised in homes without their biological fathers present, compared to 33 percent of all children in America.
Poverty, respect for life as measured by the abortion rate, the high population density in urban areas, and self defense all "weakly correlated with gun murders," the data indicated.
Cosby has beseeched the black community to shoulder responsibility. "It's important that we look at these murders and find out why, and [what's] behind them," Cosby said. "Dr. [Alvin] Poussaint and I have found that it's because children are born and they're coming up and they don't have an idea of who clearly is the biological person, the father or the mother, and sometimes both. And this hurts. And then there's the old saying, 'Hurt people hurt people','" the veteran actor and comedian said.
Cosby and Poussaint, a psychiatrist, were co-authors of a 2007 book, "Come On People: On the Path From Victims to Victors" in which they wrote: "No matter how useless or hopeless a father may think he is, his role is simply to be there."
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