Black Lives Matter and the Systematic Destruction of the Nuclear Family As I sit down to write an op-ed piece on the destruction of the nuclear family, I am angry. I am angry and I am conflicted because I have so many emotions that are roiling around in my gut and I don’t know if I am eloquent enough to put it on paper. I was not raised in the traditional nuclear family: biological mom, biological dad, and their biological children. I was raised in a more modern nuclear family: biological parent, step-parent, and siblings (biological, half, or step). When I married, I became a stepmom and created my own modern nuclear family. My husband and I worked hard together. We worked on our relationship, our marriage, and our family. We grew into a family unit and raised his children. When it was time to expand our family, my husband and I sat down to discuss having another child. We looked at our careers, finances, and opportunities. When the time was right, we had our daughter. We knew we could only afford to have one more child, as we were currently raising two sons. We wanted to be able to provide for her the education and experiences she needed. We wanted to go on vacations, send her to private school, and contribute to our retirement so we wouldn’t struggle. We wanted to live in a nice house, in a nice neighborhood, and have nice things. We wanted to create a human that would have strong morals and ethics, would work hard, would obey the law, and would pass her legacy on to her family, should she choose to have one. And now I am angry because apparently this makes me white privileged and ultimately racist. Family privilege, a concept coined by Bethany Letiecq, a professor in the Family Science program at George Mason University, claims that the heterosexual white marriages provide unearned and unacknowledged advantages to its members and that our current society values those privileges over all other family types. Letiecq argues: “[T]he most effective way to mitigate [this] privilege would be to eliminate the family. Without parents, grandparents, siblings, or any kin relations, we could all become equal.” Because you don’t have what I have, the only and best course of action would be to take it away from me, because it’s inequitable? That literally makes no sense. Destroy undeniably the best familial system because it’s not fair that some people have it, but others don’t? When we look at the statistics of the country as a whole, marriage is a vital institution within a community and, despite random media anecdotes, still ever present in today’s society. And because of that, it is causing an issue for Marxist groups like the BLM. The current divorce rate has fallen over 25% in the past decade and is currently where it was in 1970. There are currently 15 divorces for every 500 marriages. That’s a far cry from the “half of marriages end in divorce” rhetoric you hear people mutter like good little myna birds. Statistically speaking, when you look at the economical demographics, 26% of poor families are married, 39% of working-class families are married, and 56% of middle and upper-class families are married. I am not a sociologist, but you don’t need a degree to disseminate the outrageous amount of data that correlates to the benefits of being raised in a two-parent household. This is not an argument against same sex marriages, any child will benefit from living in a household with two adults who love and care for each other and the child. Family scholar Richard Reeves says: “Modern marriage is not principally about money, sex, or status. It is about children.” Reeves’ research shows that contemporary adults continue to marry only after they are equipped to teach their children the skills they have learned. Additional research finds that children growing up in two parent households are likely to develop soft-skills like self-control and perseverance, skills that are crucial to school and the workforce. So how does raising a child in a loving home equate to racial inequity and white privilege? According to Christina Cross, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University: “Black Americans have the highest rates of single parenthood and nonmarital births in the country, and this divergence from the two-parent family ideal is routinely implicated in the lower levels of educational attainment and higher rates of poverty and unemployment in the black community.” On average, 70% of black children across the country are born to single mothers and those mothers are far more likely to be poor and pass that poverty on to their children. The Children’s Defense Fund, which was created in 1973 to address the needs of low-income children and specifically children of color, claimed in 2004: “[I]t is morally and economically indefensible to that a black preschool child is three times as likely to depend solely on a mother’s earnings.” If you are raised in a culture that is used to seeing children growing up without fathers, having grandmas and aunts that care for you and your children, as their grandmas and aunts did before them, then there is no shame creating babies when you are no more a baby yourself. In a culture where being a “baby mama” is normalized and lyrics are sung by popular artists (“It’s about time we had our own song/Don’t know what took so long/Cuz now-a-days it like a badge of honor/To be a baby mama”), it’s hard to believe that there are other alternatives out there. Alternatives to raising a child alone or with the help of extended family, relying on child support or government assistance because you think the concept of a nuclear family is a racist social construct that is only afforded to the middle-class whites. You don’t have to subscribe to the minivan, the soccer mom, or even monogamy to understand that the nuclear family is the best option for children. I can assure you that Social Services and therapists don’t have caseloads full of children with parents who are engaged and focused on their kids. Research article after research article uncovers the benefits of raising children in two parent homes. Former NFL athlete Marcellus Wiley succinctly explains that children in broken homes (single parent) are “5 times more likely to commit suicide, 6 times more likely to be in poverty, 9 times more likely to drop out of high school, 10x more likely to abuse chemical substance, 14x more likely to commit rape, 20x more likely to end up in prison, and 32x more likely to run away from home.” When asked his thoughts on BLM, Wiley said: “Two things: My family structure is so vital[ly] important to me, not only the one I grew up in but the one I am trying to create right now. Being a father and a husband — that’s my mission in life right now. How do I reconcile that with this mission statement that says, ‘We dismantle the patriarchal practice. We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement.’” If the nuclear family is so successful at ensuring a child is brought up in a supportive, creative, and loving environment where they have better odds at finishing their education, securing a good job, and passing that on to their future offspring, why is it so important to destroy it? This is where it all gets interesting. Joyce Ladner, first female president of Howard University, wrote: “One must question the validity of the white, middle-class, lifestyle from its very foundation because it has already proven itself to be decadent and unworthy of emulation. It’s ‘decadent.'” It is unclear by which definition of decadent Ladner means: either the middle-class lifestyle is luxuriously self-indulgent, or it reflects a state of moral and cultural decline, neither of which makes much sense. While it is still hotly contested by those who fail to do their own research, despite the group leaders flat out admitting it, the Black Lives Matter is a Marxist group that is hell bent on the destruction of the nuclear family. You can argue that they are not, but it is typed in black and white on their website: “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, especially our children.” That in itself doesn’t sound all bad, after all it takes a village to raise a child, right? Wrong.