New Visions Commentary

The National Leadership Network of Conservative African-Americans

Feminists Fight Congressional Support for Good Dads


by Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson

A New Visions Commentary paper published December 1999 by The National Center
for Public Policy Research, 501 Capitol Court, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002,
202/543-4110, Fax 202/543-5975, E-Mail [email protected], Web
http://www.nationalcenter.org. Reprints permitted provided source
is credited.


When I look back and see what has happened to the black family and community as a whole because of the absence of good fathers, I shudder to think of the destruction to come. I believe that, if this issue is not dealt with honestly, we will someday have disorder that will be beyond our capability to control.

In my ministering, I come in contact with many young men who are contemptuous of their fathers. Having been left by their fathers and living in an environment where they see only weak men like drug addicts, unemployed men and men not in charge of their homes, they are emotionally barren. For most, their entire life experience is spent under the influence of women, and this totally consumes their spirit, mind and body. These young men are highly emotional, intensely angry and very reactive. They have no respect for manhood.

But the hatred these boys feel is still not as strong as their longing for a father figure in their lives. Something must be done to fill this void in order for our families and community to grow and develop.

Congress is now considering legislation that may help to promote fatherhood, but it is under assault by radical feminists who reject the concept of marriage and family altogether.

The House of Representatives recently passed Congresswoman Nancy Johnson's "Fathers Count Act" by an overwhelming margin. The Senate may take up a similar bill from Senators Pete Domenici and Evan Bayh in 2000. Realizing that an intact family is a good way to fight poverty as well as raise happy and well-developed children, the Johnson bill allocates government spending for "fatherhood initiatives" to keep families together and boost a sense of duty that might be wavering for some fathers.

In the Johnson bill, $235 million will be spent over five years to "promote marriage [and] good parenting through counseling, mentoring [and] disseminating information" about things like relationship skills, money management and the encouragement of timely child support payments and visitation in the event splits occur. It also promotes "help[ing] fathers and their families avoid or leave cash welfare" through job assistance and training and other welfare-to-work programs. In a welcome change from previous policy, this bill contains a "charitable choice" provision to allow church-based groups previously ineligible for such support aid to participate (these groups are sometimes the only provider to poor communities). In addition, existing groups promoting fatherhood can get grants to continue and expand their work.

Radical feminists from the National Organization for Women (who hate men, I might add), however, are trying to derail this bill. They make the ludicrous claim that the government "would place more women and children at risk." They say this bill would force a mother and child to stay with an abusive father or tilt a custody fight in a father's favor. Incredibly, NOW executive vice president Kim Gandy is quoted as saying, "I think promoting marriage as a goal in and of itself is misguided."

Congresswoman Johnson counters that "NOW is ignoring what is now broadly accepted by liberals, conservatives and moderates, that children in single-parent families are more likely to suffer abuse, do poorly in school and have poorer prospects to live above the poverty level in their adult life." She also notes that the bill promotes involved and responsible fatherhood regardless of marital status.

It is clear that the radical feminist agenda is the destruction of the family as we know it. They are sharply aware that taking the father out of the home is the key to achieving this goal. They also know that, over the last thirty to forty years, the government has largely been their ally in this endeavor. There's no way in hell, with an ultimate victory so close, that they would ever consent to helping fathers back into homes.

I have seen - up close - the utter destruction that has been inflicted on the black community when welfare helped push fathers out of the home. The resulting chaos - unwed pregnancies, homes without order, gang violence, drugs and mayhem - has been unprecedented. This chaos has now spread all over America and across racial and economic lines thanks to hateful elitist feminists.

It is time Americans woke up to this fact, and begin to seek wisdom from those who want to help, not destroy.

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(Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson is the founder and president of the Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny, which is dedicated to rebuilding the family through rebuilding the man. He can be reached at [email protected].)


Note: New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21.


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