Alveda King, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece, who is a Trump supporter and defended voter suppression laws in Georgia, appeared on Fox News on MLK Day and discussed Black fathers.
Former Real World reality show cast member, Rachel Campos-Duffy who is now a conservative TV personality, said, "Martin Luther King did so much for our country. But he was a special source of hope and inspiration for the Black community. I'm thinking about back when he was alive or just before he passed away, only 24%, Alveda, of Black children were born out of wedlock. And today, that number is approaching 70%."
Campos-Duffy also said former NFL player Jack Brewer, who once said former President Donald Trump was the first Black president, told her “fatherlessness was the civil rights issue of our time.”
As Alveda King nodded her head, Campos-Duffy continued, "We hear a lot of other issues talked about, about how to help the African-American community. Do you think your uncle would agree with that?"
Appearing unfazed by the factually incorrect question, King responded with, “Jack is so right. Fathers have to come back into the central part of the family. And not just the Black fathers, but all fathers across America and around the world. Fatherhood is very, very important. Babies would be even safer in the womb and at birth if the father and the mother are there united working together to raise them. So Jack, I believe is onto something.”
While it’s true that many children, Black and white, are born out of wedlock, peer-reviewed and rigorously investigated research has repeatedly debunked the myth that Black fathers tend to not be present in their children’s lives. The research warns of conflating the issue of not being married to somehow equal fatherlessness.
According to the Los Angeles Times and the National Center for Health Statistics, Black fathers, regardless of marriage, are more present in their children’s lives than white or Hispanic fathers. Additionally, parents often cohabitate without being legally married. The Washington Post reported, “The share of unmarried couples who opted to have ‘shotgun cohabitations’ — moving in together after a pregnancy — surpassed ‘shotgun marriages’ for the first time during the last decade, according to a forthcoming paper from the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
In 2015, New York Times columnist Charles Blow wrote, “While it is true that Black parents are less likely to marry before a child is born, it is not true that Black fathers suffer a pathology of neglect.”
See the Fox News clip with Alveda King, below: