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Tavis Smiley: ‘Government Programs’ Have ‘Led To’ Black Family Dissolution

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PBS host and author Tavis Smiley argued that while having two parents isn’t a panacea to poverty because “racism is real” “government programs” “have led to” the dissolution of the black family on Thursday’s “O’Reilly Factor” on the Fox News Channel.

Smiley said that he is glad to hear the president talking about poverty, and “Two parents are better than one. Let me underscore, the right two parents. But you all talk about the black family as if it just collapsed like a sort of souffle. There are reasons for the dissolution of the black family. Clearly, some folk make bad choices, but there have also been government policies that have gotten in the way. For example, there have been policies on the books for years, where if you have your baby daddy in the house with you, then the government cuts your check. They cut those resources, but I thought we wanted the family to come together, so there have been government programs that have led to this dissolution, as well as bad choices.”

He added, “I had two parents and I grew up in poverty. I have brothers and sisters, I’m one of 10 kids. I have been blessed to do extremely well. But I have nine brothers and sisters who are still fighting their way out of poverty. So, just because you grow up in a family with two parents, doesn’t mean that you don’t have to struggle in this world. Because racism is real. Discrimination is real. These gaps, these disparities between black and white economically are real.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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