Is too much attention to the “heroism” of the single mom diminishing the importance of dads?  

An excellent article by Leonard Pitts, recently published in the Miami Herald  reflected on just named most valuable NBA player Kevin Durant’s comments about his mother’s extraordinary efforts that led to him being the man he is today.  When it came to remarks about his father, who deserted the family when he was an infant, his words were expectedly brief characterized as an up and down road with the support his father had given “from afar.”  Pitts’ point is that the absence of fathers matters.   He goes on to say that we have evolved a society wherein we pretend the opposite is true.  The disappearance of fathers is now nearly the norm.  Almost one in four American children lives in a household without their biological dads.  For black kids it’s a little better than half.  Pitts describes the new morality that says it’s okay for a man to wander away from his child because he is immature, selfish and young.  For a woman her clock is ticking and she really doesn’t need a man for anything more than sperm.   If we tell ourselves this new ethic is not a problem, that the disappearance of a father leaves no scar, we are ignoring the statistics showing an increase in poverty, drug use, educational failure and incarceration that correlates with the absence of a father.

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