Mainstream Hindus in American society don't always keep close track of the cultural trends in mainstream American society, or cultural trends in the other major ethnic groups. But it's probably time that changed, since trends that affect all other ethnic and cultural groups will eventually affect Hindu-Americans. A recent article from Yahoo News describes how out-of-wedlock births among practically all major racial groups in America have skyrocketed since the 1960s. It would be far-fetched to believe that the Hindu-American community will not eventually be dragged along with the rest.
The black community's 72 percent rate eclipses that of most other groups: 17 percent of Asians, 29 percent of whites, 53 percent of Hispanics and 66 percent of Native Americans were born to unwed mothers in 2008, the most recent year for which government figures are available. The rate for the overall U.S. population was 41 percent.
This issue entered the public consciousness in 1965, when a now famous government report by future senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan described a "tangle of pathology" among blacks that fed a 24 percent black "illegitimacy" rate. The white rate then was 4 percent.
Many accused Moynihan, who was white, of "blaming the victim:" of saying that black behavior, not racism, was the main cause of black problems. That dynamic persists. Most talk about the 72 percent has come from conservative circles; when influential blacks like Bill Cosby have spoken out about it, they have been all but shouted down by liberals saying that a lack of equal education and opportunity are the true root of the problem.
Jesse Washington, "Blacks struggle with 72 percent unwed mothers rate," 6 Nov. 2010, Yahoo! News, 7 Nov. 2010 <http://news.yahoo.com/...>
Of course, the 17 percent out-of-wedlock birthrate for "Asians" lumps in a lot of different groups; out-of-wedlock births among Hindu immigrant families from India may in fact be considerably lower. But the point of the article is that for other groups it had in fact been much lower at the onset of the 1960s and has skyrocketed since then. For example, the "white rate" of out-of-wedlock births is cited in the article as being 4%. (Note, this figure of 4% as of the 1960s is too low. About that time, it was according to government data around 10%, but the point is still valid--for whites and for other groups it was much lower than it is today.)
Since every other racial and immigrant category in the United States has at one time or another jumped on the "illegitimacy" bandwagon, the Hindu-American community will probably do likewise. This also means that if something pre-emptive is to be done about it, Hindu-Americans will have to start talking about it not only within the community but with others outside the community, too.
Shri Shri Sita-Rama Ki Jaya! Shri Laxmana and Shri Hanuman Ki Jaya!
On behalf of the Samprajña Institute, I would like to wish you and your family a wonderful and auspicious Diwali.
Jaya Shri Rama,
Krishna Kirti Das
p.s. To those who received our recent newsletter, we apologize for the formatting errors that made the text difficult to read and links even more difficult to find. A clean version of the newsletter is available to read on our website at this link: http://samprajna.org/node/74.
The Samprajña Institute was represented at the Hindu Mandir Executives Conference, 2010, by president Krishna Kirti Das. The conference was held on a weekend from October 22 – 24 in Houston, Texas at the Sheraton Hotel near the George Bush International Airport. Krishna Kirti along with Divya Selvakumar of the American World Hindu Services co-chaired a panel discussion titled Hindu Public Policy.
A gurukula is a traditional school that is run by an acharya, a brahmana who teaches young boys both primary educational topics and moral behavior. Gurukula literally means the “house of the guru.” From the age of five, boys who have been accepted as students by the acharya go away from their own families to live in his ashram as members of his own family until they have completed their studies.
Over at George Mason University's Mercatus Center is this paper: "Postwar British Socialism and the Fabian Society (Chapter 7 from The Clash of Economic Ideas)":
[Abstract:] After Labour‘s landslide victory in the 1945 election, in Castle‘s words, "What we set out to do was to ensure that this system of fair shares and the planning and controls continued after the war, and when we won, that‘s what we did." She was right about the "fair shares" (government rationing) and controls. Prices controls and rationing of consumer goods continued for years after the war. Labour‘s postwar program of nationalization was the fruit of many decades of intellectual activism by the Fabian Society, a democratic socialist movement long led by Sidney Webb, Beatrice Webb, and George Bernard Shaw. In Labour‘s 1945 election victory, over 200 members of the Fabian Society were elected to Parliament. The shift from the doctrine of free markets and free trade to the doctrine of extensive government control was partly caused by the influences of the Fabian Society in Great Britain.
A recent recall of more than 500 million eggs potentially infected with salmonella in the United States creates a sales spike in the purchase of locally produced eggs.
Scott Rasmussen on the importance of figuring out what premises voters share when devising a poll:
The division of Americans into these groups has real significance for the way polls are conducted and how their results are interpreted, according to Mr. Rasmussen. One reason some polls offer misleading results, he says, is that the premise behind questions asked isn't always shared by those queried. "Many pollsters have asked voters whether policy makers should spend more to improve the economy or reduce spending to cut the deficit. But I found that 52% of Americans think more government spending hurts the economy and only 28% think it helps," he says. "The trade-offs pollsters offer voters often don't make sense to them. How you frame the question often obscures the results you get."
John Fund, "America's Insurgent Pollster," 21 Aug. 2010. Wall Street Journal, 21 Aug. 2010 <http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703579804575441330559553568.html>.
According to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the West is losing to Islam, and she thinks that's a bad thing.
Our civilization is not indestructible: It needs to be actively defended. This was perhaps Huntington's most important insight. The first step towards winning this clash of civilizations is to understand how the other side is waging it—and to rid ourselves of the One World illusion.1
How does she think the West is losing to Islam? She thinks that Islam is outspending the West in terms of exporting its culture:
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's independence day speech indirectly reveals a likely public policy failure, which in the long term could result in the eventual transformation of India into a Maoist state, much as how Nepal itself is well on its way toward becoming a Maoist state. In Manmohan Singh's speech, these two paragraphs in a nutshell show how the government views the problem and what it therefore sees as the solution. Some comments follow (bolding in quotations added):