Jewish World Review May 21, 2001 / 28 Iyar, 5761
I grew up in a working-class neighborhood on Long Island, N.Y., in the late '50s and '60s. Rough edges, not silk curtains, dominated. But if a young girl got pregnant, that girl was shamed. Her whole family was embarrassed. Since abortion was unheard of in my ethnic neighborhood (Christians and Jews combined), the girl usually went away to a special school. Unwed teenage pregnancy carried a powerful stigma.
And so did drug dealing. That was the lowest form of behavior in my father's eyes. He hated those guys. He was raised in Brooklyn and saw hard drugs destroy entire families. My grandfather was a New York City cop and told me once that he didn't bother arresting suspected dope dealers on his beat -- he just applied his nightstick to a sensitive part of their anatomies.
But the worst thing a human being could do in my neighborhood was to hurt a child. Anyone even accused of molesting or beating a kid was an instant pariah. No excuses were brooked. Hurt a kid, and you had to move away.
Today, of course, things are far different in America. There is an excuse or "explanation" for almost anything. In Massachusetts, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is representing the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) in a civil lawsuit brought by the parents of a 10-year-old boy who was raped and murdered by a NAMBLA member. Forty years ago, NAMBLA could not have openly existed in America. Now, the ACLU believes that organization has a perfect right to distribute materials that encourage statutory rape. In a sane America, the Justice Department would prosecute the leadership of NAMBLA under the organized crime statutes. This is a criminal organization. What it advocates in its printed materials is against the law. But our government doesn't care, and the ACLU is actively helping these perverts.
Then there is unwed pregnancy. Seventy percent of black American babies are now born out-of-wedlock. Seventy percent! For whites, the number is 26 percent. According to the census, single-mother households are up 25 percent in 10 years -- the fastest-rising household group in the country.
Half of all single mothers in the USA are poor. Obviously, this is not a good situation for the mother or the children. Yet where is society's voice on this issue? Where are the black leaders? Why is there silence when most everybody knows that unwed pregnancy is often a permanent ticket to poverty and dependence?
And how about those dope dealers? Now, many Americans are feeling sorry for them. The new movie "Blow" features actor Johnny Depp playing one of America's biggest cocaine suppliers, George Jung. That degenerate is currently serving 20 years in a federal prison. But the director of "Blow," Ted Demme, told me he actually feels sorry for Jung. And that feeling comes across in the film.
I believe my grandfather might have given Mr. Demme a little tap, if you know what I mean ...
There is no question that many Americans are now accepting the unacceptable. It is grossly wrong for people to encourage children to have sex. It is disgraceful that so many babies are being raised without fathers. And it is horrendous to pity people who sell narcotics that enslave and kill their fellow citizens.
We the people need to get this message across, because right now, the tide has turned in
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