A Person’s Bad Decisions Can’t Be Blamed on Capitalism

LeeThomas2009-05-15.jpg “Thomas Lee, one of the men featured in the documentary “A Father’s Promise,” watching a video of himself from 1996.” Source of caption and photo: online version of the NYT review quoted and cited below.

(p. C11) The program, with Al Roker as host, follows up a “Dateline NBC” report from 1996 that recorded several births among black women at a Newark hospital and interviewed the unmarried fathers of the children as they earnestly vowed to be there as their babies grew up. The piece was an attempt to look at the alarming rate of fatherless households among blacks.

It is, of course, a problem that has not gone away since 1996, and Mr. Roker’s program tracks down three of those newborns and the fathers who promised to stand by them. That none did — jail, joblessness, depression and general irresponsibility intervened — somehow isn’t surprising.
. . .
. . . the Rev. Eugene F. Rivers of Azusa Community Church in Boston explains in very personal terms why he discounts the easy economic explanations that so often get the blame for fatherless households.
“I had a child out of wedlock,” he says. “That was a bad decision. I can’t say capitalism did it to me.”

For the full review, see:
NEIL GENZLINGER. “Television Review; ‘A Father’s Promise’; Old Pledges Are Broken, Young Hope Stays Intact.” The New York Times (Sat., February 7, 2009): C11.
(Note: ellipses added.)

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