The NY Times reports that things are looking better for black families.

The number of black children being raised by two parents appears to be edging higher than at any time in a generation, at nearly 40 percent, according to newly released census data.


According to the bureau’s estimates, the number of black children living with two parents was 59 percent in 1970, falling to 42 percent in 1980, 38 percent in 1990 and 35 percent in 2004. In 2007, the latest year for which data is available, it was 40 percent.

That’s definitely good news.  Let’s look at the reasons the Times suggests for this change.

Demographers said such a trend might be partly attributable to the growing proportion of immigrants in the nation’s black population.

Oh, so some of this can be attributed to intact black families coming in to the country.  Well, that doesn’t speak to the families already here.  How about them?

It may have been driven, too, by the values of an emerging black middle class, a trend that could be jeopardized by the current economic meltdown.

So indeed black have been doing quite well during the Bush administration.  You’d never know that from watching the news and listening to rappers dis’ Dubya.  Still, very good to hear.

So then, anything else>

The Census Bureau attributed an indeterminate amount of the increase to revised definitions adopted in 2007, which identify as parents any man and woman living together, whether or not they are married or the child’s biological parents.

Ah, I see.  By simply revising the definition of "parents", the Census Bureau can manufacture some good news.  As James Taranto (who gets the hat tip for pointing out this article) notes:

And why stop there? Suppose the Census Bureau were to redefine two as meaning "one." Voilà, any child who now lives with "one" parent would have an intact family. Instantly the rate would go from 40% to nearly 100%. Wait, make that nearly 200%.

Some may object that the middle of a financial panic is not the best time to start redefining numbers, a practice that could have unintended and undesired consequences for interest rates, currency exchange rates, asset values and so forth.

So here’s a more modest idea: Why not redefine together to mean "on the same planet"? So long as at least one man and one woman live on Earth, whether or not they are married or the child’s biological parents, every child is being raised by two (or more) parents, and this will remain true at least until we begin colonizing space. Hey, it takes a village!

Next: ending tyranny in the world by redefining tyrant to mean "lame-duck president."

In the original article, Prof. Robert Sampson, a Harvard sociology professor, call it "a positive change".  Right.  Kids are living with cohabitating "parents" instead of a married couple, the numbers look better partially because of intact families coming from other countries / cultures, and all this in spite of a burgeoning black middle class.

The good news is that the statistics are up.  The bad news is that actual change in the culture is not the reason we have the good news.

Filed under: CultureDougRace Issues

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