Almost 50 years ago, when the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed, the national out-of-wedlock birthrate was 7%. Today it is over 40%. According to the CDC, the out-of-wedlock birthrate for white children was just 2% in the 1960s. Today it is 30%. Among black children, the out-of-wedlock birthrate has skyrocketed from 20% in the 1960s to a heartbreaking 72% today. The Hispanic out-of-wedlock rate, which has been measured for a much shorter period, was below 40% in 1990 and stands at more than 50% as of the 2010 census.
When President Obama tried to speak to this crippling dynamic in 2008, he was basically told to shut up by Rev. Jesse Jackson. The Chicago-based activist said: "Barack was talking down to black people," then he added a vulgar threat about what he wanted to do in response. The moment revealed the high cost of speaking honestly about social breakdown in black America.
One of these days, Williams may even admit that we lost the "War on Poverty."