- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Dear Mr. President, I know this is a very busy week as you vacation with your family, try to stay on top of nation’s affairs and prepare your remarks for the dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial Sunday.

Indeed, that’s why this column is addressed to you.

There’s something you need to say at the MLK ceremony while you have a captive audience and before the nitty-gritty of inside-the-beltway politics overwhelms your energy and muddies your intentions with 2012 election demands.

On Sunday, exploit the opportunity to tell America that it’s time to reinstitutionalize the family structure.

The words you use can be easily scripted, as you already sounded the theme a couple of years ago, remember? It was 2009, and you pulled together a video that talked about your mom. In it, you said: “She’d wake me up at 4:30 in the morning, and we’d sit there and go through my lessons. And I used to complain and grumble. And she’d say, ‘Well, this is no picnic for me either, buster.’ ” Well, “buster,” revisit your own words.

Remind all within earshot that yours was a single mom.

Remind them that your dad had left your mom, but that she made sacrifices to ensure that you would not end up with a life like those other little boys, black and white, who were abandoned by their fathers.

Remind them that illegitimacy and the steady disintegration of the mother-father child-rearing unit has led to disjointed, unstructured configurations ofno fathers and single fathers, and emancipated girls who are urged to sign onto welfare rolls, leave home and get their own place at very young and inexperienced ages.

Remind them that parenthood without benefit of marriage subsequently leads to new, unforeseen pressures, such as child care arrangements, unscheduled parental-leave headaches and tighter family budgets.

Remind them that motherhood and fatherhood are blessings, not entitlements.

Picture your sweet-faced daughters, Malia and Sasha, and remind listeners that the collapse of the family - a married mother and father - has led and will likely lead to devastating social consequences, the bottom line being children who face higher risks of such social pathologies as delinquency, substance use, criminality and unwed pregnancy.

Remind listeners young and old, Mr. President, that becoming a parent means more than merely having your name ascribed to a birth certificate or even paying child support.

Tell them that when you are blessed with a child, the richest of all inheritances handed down to a child is a stable and loving two-parent household.

Remind them of King’s dream and the fact that the color barriers were deconstructed long before abortion became a form of birth control, the Berlin Wall came tumbling down and hip-hop became mainstream.

Point to yourself as a living example of those realities.

Because on Sunday you will personify, as did King, a pivotal moment in history, offer more than rhetoric and cadence, and historical citations and reflections.

Those are important components to your remarks.

But remind them, “buster,” that while a two-parent household is no cakewalk, a one-parent household is “no picnic.”

• Deborah Simmons can be reached at [email protected]



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