A Wisconsin legislator recently authored a controversial bill that would force the state’s Health department to claim in literature that children from single parent homes are probably victims of child abuse. The bill, proposed by Sen. Glenn Grothman , a Republican in Wisconsin’s state senate, would force the state Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board to create campaigns that would “emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.” In a state where 32 percent of the populace is comprised of single parents. Grothman’s bill reads, in part:
Section 1. 48.982 (2) (g) 2. of the statutes is amended to read:
48.982 (2) (g) 2. Promote statewide educational and public awareness campaigns and materials for the purpose of developing public awareness of the problems of child abuse and neglect. In promoting those campaigns and materials, the board shall emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.
Section 2. 48.982 (2) (g) 4. of the statutes is amended to read:
48.982 (2) (g) 4. Disseminate information about the problems of and methods of preventing child abuse and neglect to the public and to organizations concerned with those problems. In disseminating that information, the board shall emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.
When I come across silliness like this, I’m tempted to dismiss it—as I would some pesky little boy insulting me in the hallway at the middle school. Because surely, no sane, reasonable adult could propose such nonsense and think they should be taken seriously. It’s not even really worth it here to go into all the many different ways that this is ridiculous, except to say that a good 70 percent of the African American community, more than half of all moms under age 30 and a third of all moms, period, are, according to this fool, verging on criminality because they have kids but no ring.
But then I think about it some more and I recognize that I can’t just dismiss this kind of madness. The more that it goes unchecked, the more the Rick Santorums and the Newt Gingriches and the Virginia legislators of the world think that there’s widespread support in the public for insane ideas like this. It encourages them to keep at it—to get even more ridiculous in conjuring up these culture wars, designed to keep us fighting amongst ourselves and distracting us from the real issues that affect us, like the economy and unemployment, the banking industry and our 401Ks and the housing market—the dismantling of benefits and the unraveling of our country’s safety net for those in need. While we spend precious money, resources and brain power shooting down legislation that would allow the government to rape women seeking abortions, we Americans are being financially, physically, mentally and emotionally robbed by a bunch of men giggling all the way to the bank.
At this rate 100 arrogant bankers in New York have probably done more damage to American children of this generation than the whole lot of single moms put together, but I suspect that Mr. Wisconsin legislature is not trying to haul them off to the local jail.
Just a little food for thought today. Chew it, digest it and keep it in mind the next time your local elections come around. Stay home and the idiot next door will become the idiot in your state legislature—the one who will try to legally proclaim you’re a criminal because you had a baby but not a husband. Vote with YOUR BRAIN, and maybe we can keep these crazies out of office and get down to the real work of saving our country.
Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.