OP-ED: We Must Rekindle the Essence of America - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.

Originally published in the December 2014 Juniper Berry Magazine

OP-ED: We Must Rekindle the Essence of America

(part IV) ‒ It was never my intention to make my essence of America series extend into part 4, but much has happened on the geopolitical and social justice scene since the June/July edition of the Juniper Berry that requires further scrutiny into just why America as a World Superpower is on a steady decline. In prior articles, I mentioned several contributing factors, such as, Corporate Greed, which is only focused on the bottom line: and Political Narcissism, which is politicians only concerned with protecting themselves and not putting Americans first. The passage of ObamaCare, which exempts congress from the Affordable Care Act, was passed strictly by the Democratic Party; this illustrates the point. Whether or not them not reading the Bill before they voted to pass the Bill is malfeasance or misfeasance is a question for legal scholars, but for working folks like you and I it clearly hurts in the pocketbook. And, of course, there is the matter of comprehensive immigration reform which means all-inclusive ‒ not good for America. Yes, a common language is all important to having a growing productive economy; however, equally important is addressing the fact that illiteracy has become a major drag on education, which dictates the quality and versatility of our future human resources and the markets that Americans can gain their fair share of.

As noted above, since the June/July issue of the Juniper Berry was distributed, several new headlines have SCREAMED-OUT just how incompetent or complicit the Obama administration has been in events around the Globe. I will keep the focus of this article on immigration both legal and illegal, illiteracy and the positive effect of family values as the basic unit of society which forecast economic growth and an appreciation for all Americans of just what a civilized society can accomplish: New Yorkers and visitors from foreign countries are amazed as they sail about Manhattan Island and pass the State of Liberty, visit St. Patrick's Cathedral, walk through Central Park, spend a day at the Museum of Natural History or just gaze up at the new Freedom Tower and then enjoy an up-lifting Broadway Musical. This is what a civilized, literate society has accomplished.

With regard to the importance of the family, I have lifted several sentences from Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio's August 9, 2014 Tablet article entitled Reunderstanding the Natural Law. His article underscores the importance of the family in society:

The Gospel of the Family reminds us that the family is the natural place for development. It is the foundation of the society and the state, the primordial human society. The family as the Church understands it is the fundamental cell of society. It is where we learn to live with each other, in spite of our differences with one another, as the Church has constantly taught. The family is the place where a person is able to emerge from his or her individualism. (The article also notes that St. John Paul the 2nd said, The Church goes by the way of the family.)

Clearly, the concepts expressed in Bishop DiMarzio's article should be embraced by secular America today. However, when President Lyndon Johnson ushered in the Great Society, it was the beginning of the disintegration of the family — Welfare or eating another man's bread without paying for it obviated the need for a father's financial support and his continued presence within the family. So, it is no surprise that more than 50 years later, society is paying a heavy price for this ill-contrived social experiment.

While the absence of the father is prevalent in many young families, the percentage for black families is very high; today 71% of black children are born out of wedlock. Although wedlock is no guarantee that the father will be sitting at the dinner table throughout a child's young life, every child will know who his father is. And, it is the these children who have suffered by growing up in fractured families for generations, starting with their great-grandfather, and have been denied the presence, guidance, comfort, support and protection of a loving father at home. Moreover, the presence of a father with a job that is commensurate with his skills brings dignity and respect into the household; it also precludes various boyfriends from living in the house. The sanctuary of the house is reflected in the positive growth of the children.

In addition to all the aforementioned benefits to the child, the taxpayer is relived of much of the monetary burden of raising a child who does not know who his father is. Although I have not seen any statistical reports to verify my opinion, it is my observation that most complete black families attend church and live their life in accordance with the Christian/Judeo teachings in the Bible. And, for the most part, it is their children that are attending the colleges and universities. It is their children that will be able to contribute to society in a positive way. Superior intellect is a rare gift and children who grow up in a stable, well-structured household have the greatest opportunity to nurture this gift. These are the children that sit at the nerds' table. Incidentally, there are no bullies at the nerds' table because at this table the students are more interested in the depth of each other's minds rather than the color of their skin or their ethnicity. Although I have highlighted the plight of black families, far too many white and Hispanic families also suffer from the absence of a loving father.

In support of my premise that literacy is one of the great challenges that the United States of America faces as we move further into the 21st Century I recommend that my readers view: Waiting for Superman; it is a 2010 documentary film from director Davis Guggenheim and producer Lesley Chilcott. The film analyzes the failure of the American public education system by following several students as they strive to be accepted into a charter school.

In view of the horrendous educational challenges America faces today, getting U.S black and Hispanic children up to speed at their respective grade levels is a task in and of itself. There are Spanish families, regardless of their immigration status, that after more than 30 years of living in America, have yet to learn English and assimilate into the American culture. Therefore, it is unconscionable that President Obama, with the aid of Congress, has failed to seal our southern border. This failure has resulted in overloading already struggling school districts, localities and municipalities with thousands upon thousands of fatherless and motherless children who are illiterate. He has released thousands of illegal criminals back into our society to ply their trade again. Frankly, not only has he devalued our military, our currency, our public education system, and the safety of our neighborhoods, he has devalued our American Citizenship.

For those living in Elizabeth Crowley's council district, we have had to tolerate the construction of new schools to accommodate children who do not live here. And now our new ultra liberal mayor has continued with Bloomberg's Sanctuary City policies so we have to tolerate viable businesses being turned into homeless shelters with all the concomitant conditions that have not been planned for. Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio are accepting illegal aliens into New York with open arms. So, what's in Texas doesn't stay in Texas. I say, enough is enough!

Pray for our veterans during this holiday season and always. E. Pluribus Unum.

**The views expressed in this column represent only those of the author and not the board or membership of the Juniper Park Civic Association.

December 2014 Juniper Berry Magazine

December 2014 Table of Contents