Detroit Raw by Sam Riddle
Single moms should be presidential priority
Politicians, preachers, presidents, activists and other purveyors of word banging love to speak of family values and helping American families. Yet, the plight of single moms is given a hopeless-like shrug and is rarely mentioned in the mega prayer missives fired by mega churches with very deep collection plates navigating the satellite and cable broadcasting realms.
How many times have I heard the maybe not so well intentioned lament: “Well, they shouldn’t make babies they know they can’t take care of.” Okay, she didn’t cross her legs — he wouldn’t wear/buy a rubber, the over the counter morning after pill wasn’t — so where is that pacifier?
The children are with us.
In Detroit, at least 60 percent of children live in poverty with all attendant poverty evils such as inadequate medical care, including obesity and lead poisoning; the worst schools; and that pipeline from school to prison.
Most poverty-crippled children live in households headed by single moms. This stark Third World-like data would generate American foreign aid were Detroit not an impoverished American city adrift in American hypocrisy where American dollars are strewn world-wide while Americans languish in poverty, hunger and some house-squat enduring bone-chilling cold without legit heat risking death by fire as they jack electricity for dangerous space heaters.
Tragically, I am understating the issue. Single moms and even single dads are hurting in Detroit and often have to resort to street savvy to make ends meet for their households. That is not good for them or their children given the consequences of street employment that dangles glittery short-term opportunity with long-term pain once the employee is busted, killed or addicted.
Detroit children are humans.
Detroit children deserve better from their nation, state, city and parents that have contributed to the statistically significant destruction of any semblance to a family structure of late. Of course, there are real families with real family values in Detroit. They may well be the dwindling exception.
It is as if we have been conditioned to our own genocide. It is that serious in Detroit. We are on the battlefield for our very existence. We must stop wallowing in victimhood and assert our man and womanhood and do what we can with what we have to take control of primary responsibilities, namely our children, and fight like hell to ensure they are fed, clothed, educated, have decent shelter, good character and develop critical thinking skills so they will be assets to our community. A healthy dose of self reliance and self loving respect as we kick self pity to the curb will assist greatly in this effort.
Even as we must continue to protest profit protecting democracy-destroying minions of Gov. Snyder, we must protest forced dehumanization and accept responsibility by helping our people, especially parents of school-age children, learn to read; we protest dehumanization by organizing community clean-ups house by house, block by block, simply picking up and disposing of trash and other crap that makes neighborhoods so damn ugly. We protest dehumanization when we go to school to meet with and listen to and work with those that attempt to teach our children. We protest dehumanization and accept responsibility when we teach our children to choose right over wrong in both their behavior and the language they use with parents, teachers, peers and the community at-large.
Churches can begin adopting single mom or single parent households — say one family for every 50-100 church members. Define what you can do to help these families, keeping it simple, such as free daycare while the parent works or goes to school; provide space for literacy or job training classes; assist with clothing, food, transportation, character education, after school tutorials and parenting classes.
During a time when the Michigan GOP is attempting to cut $683 million in food assistance, kicking over 211,496 off the food program, President Obama should make single moms as much a priority as gun control, gay marriage, global warming and some yodeling ass hole in North Korea to ensure wholesome American child development in Detroit and other impoverished American locales.
We must never let haters cause us to lose hope or dislike ourselves and never let haters make you weak in your faith. Keep The Faith. Stay On The Battlefield.
Sam Riddle is an Honorably Discharged Viet-Nam Era veteran who dropped out of high school and enlisted in the U.S. military, later earning his GED. Sam’s degrees include a B.A. (Michigan State University) and a Juris Doctor (University of Michigan Law School). Sam is active in prisoner rights issues after being caught up in political corruption and serving 30 months in federal prison. Sam currently serves as Political Director for the Michigan National Action Network founded by Reverend Al Sharpton and is a Life Member of the NAACP. He can be reached at https://www.facebook.com/sam.riddle or https://twitter.com/samriddle