Christelyn D. Karazin
Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn
By Christelyn D. Karazin
Last week, I caught wind of an NFL football player who had so many kids by so many different women that when asked, had trouble naming all his eight children by six different mothers. Oh, and four of the eight are three years old--and they are not quadruplets.
This is an embarrassing and shameful example of how the out-of-wedlock epidemic in our community (now at 72%) is becoming so normalized as to make many of us apathetic. But as we throw up our hands and tsk-tsk, not enough outrage is given to the children of this chaos: Fatherless children are nine times more likely to end up in jail, 10 times more likely to be drug abusers, nine times more likely to drop out of school, and 20 times more likely to have behavioral problems than children from intact homes.
Bob Herbert, a black New York Times columnist, penned a piece, Too Long Ignored, in which he bemoaned, "That the Black Community has not been mobilized en masse to turn this crisis around is a screaming shame. He goes on to suggest that solving the crisis requires heroic efforts, not from the government or the wider American society. "This is a job that will require a campaign on the scale of the Civil Rights Movement, and it will have to be initiated by the Black Community."
Well Bob of the New York Times, here we are.
On September 22, 2010, I have had the honor of organizing the first-ever online civil rights march, dubbed "No Wedding No Womb!" (NWNW) A confederation of like-minded bloggers, authors, artists and entertainers are banding together to say: ENOUGH! Fifty-six bloggers have signed on to date, and more join daily. We blog in tandem, no unison. Each participant will bring forth his and her own truth, experiences, and suggestions for change.
"No Wedding No Womb!" is a declaration and acknowledgement that the out-of-wedlock situation in the black community has reached a critical mass. It is a call for both men and women to take into account the trauma that motherless or fatherless children experience when procreating is taken so cavalierly.
"The Black Community is only as strong as the sum of its parts. Fractured families leave weakened individuals. While it's wonderful that women are spearheading this initiative, ultimately it's up to the males to step in and live up to their responsibilities as well as police the behavior of those who've fumbled," says NWNW soldier, Faith Dow, blogger for Acts of Faith In Love and Life.
Me and my writing partner, Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn, have managed to band liberal and conservative, Republican and Democrat, pro-black lovers, pro-interracial lovers, online heavyweights and lightweights in a call to action. September 22, which happens to be the 148th anniversary of President Lincoln's signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, aims to loosen the shackles of the economic and emotional enslavement caused by the normalization of baby mamma and daddy-ism.
"The destruction of the black family is the direct cause of the destruction of the communities we live in," says NWNW participant, Lamar Tyler, a filmmaker, and blogger for the widely-acclaimed BlackandMarriedwithKids.com, and guest blogger for Essence.com.
But whose fault is it? Frankly, I'm less concerned about who's to blame. I see a lot of black men and women pointing fingers and breathing fire at each other, but if they shut up for one minute and looked down into the eyes of the child that witnesses this vitriol, they'll see hurt, anger, pain, resentfulness. Hatred of men. Hatred of women. Irreparable damage that will express itself in a host of self-destructive behaviors.
In this ridiculous blame game, people want to excuse and dismiss, call for a study, blame slavery, blame white people, blame rap music... the list goes on. And while everyone is rushing to defend their actions, nobody will ask the kids what THEY think about not having the God-given right to have both parents who are functional and committed in the home.
Nobody asks, because everyone knows the answer. And so the cries of children are smothered by adult actions of self-indulgence and lack of foresight. It's uncomfortable to hear that you've done something wrong, and I understand that; but frankly, I don't care about a little hurt feelings. "No Wedding No Womb!" is about our children, who are our future, and who need us to fight for them with all we've got.
I should know. I am a 'baby momma' to a wonderful, beautiful and intellectually-gifted 12-year-old girl.
To find out how you can participate in or support the No Wedding No Womb! Movement, go to www.noweddingnowomb.com and click the "No Wedding No Womb!" button on the top of the navigation bar for additional details and a full list of confirmed participants.