The Mother to Be


Republican vice-president candidate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s 17-year-old daughter is pregnant—and for her Party—the Party of Moral Righteousness—this doesn’t seem to be much of an issue.

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t give a damn. But this isn’t Brittney Spears’ little sister, this is the woman who wants to be the next vice-president of this country and who is running on the ticket of a Party who has made moral issues a cornerstone of its platform.

Let us not forget the Republican’s Personal Responsibility Act from their 1994 Contract with America, which after being vetoed by President Clinton, was changed to the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act and signed in action in 1996.

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act did several things. It replaced a program known as Aid to Families with Dependent Children or AFDC, required recipients to begin working after 2 consecutive years of receiving benefits, placed a lifetime limit of 5 years on benefits paid by federal funds, and encouraged two-parent families by discouraging out-of-wedlock births.

I am 30 years old. This means that I spent my teenage years in the 90s, a time when teenage pregnancies were at an all time high for Black girls. I can still remember extended bellies of many of my classmates—beginning in middle school through high school.

From radio and television PSAs to billboards and sex education in rap music, Black teenage girls were being told at every corner to not get pregnant and were encouraged to get on the pill or use condoms if they were sexually active.

And quiet as it’s kept, during this same period many of these same girls found themselves on the cold steel of an operating table counting backwards from 100 as they were put to sleep only to wake up without the fetus they went to sleep carrying. Something else Republican’s are staunchly against…abortions…especially government funded abotions.

Am I only one that finds it odd that Republicans, in all of their moral highness, don’t want sex educations in schools, don’t want unwed teenage mothers to collect welfare, don’t want to fully fund our nation’s foster care system, but at the same time don’t want those same teenage mothers to have access to abortions?

Anyway—my generation gave way to countless number of unwed Black teenage moms who found themselves collecting welfare checks and food stamps, living in the projects or Section 8 approved units, and living a life that was centered around the 1st and 15th and eventually just the 1st of the month.

Those mothers are around the same age I am today, and truth be told I could have ended up as one of those same mothers I speak about.

The only reason that Palin’s daughter’s pregnancy is not an issue for the Republican Party is that Palin and her family is wealthy. Her daughter’s pregnancy is not going to result in another woman collecting welfare. Palin’s grandchild is not going to end up in foster care being cared for with taxpayer dollars.

Hypocritical? Yes. But, typical of a Party whose number of personal sex scandals is neck and neck with their Democratic counterparts.

I am not worried about Palin’s daughter’s pregnancy opening the floodgates for more unwed teenage girls to get pregnant. She’s about as unknown to most teenagers as McCain is.

Just remember that for all the attention and money invested in keeping Black girls from getting pregnant, that with the ‘country first’ crowd, it’s alright for rich unwed teenage white girls to reproduce.

Now what’s that really all about?