To the editor:

Carrie Olinger’s letter to the editor of a few weeks ago requested that reparations be paid to Blacks in Minnesota to close the wealth gap citing that the average income for Blacks is $37,000 vs. $73,000 for whites. This gap will not be closed by paying for more entitlements. The real issue I suspect is education level. In looking at the most recent numbers I could find, about 1 out 5 Blacks in Minnesota have a college degree vs. 2 out of 5 for whites. In addition, 1 out of 5 Blacks have not obtained a high school diploma vs. only 1 out of 25 for whites. I suspect education levels greatly affect annual income. One reason for the disparity might be that since the “Great Society” welfare spend enacted in the 1960s, Black families with two parents in the household have been reduced from over 60% to about 20%. Without the strength or two parents that encourage the importance of education and discipline to their children, these income numbers will still be a problem, and giving additional entitlements won’t help. A different strategy is needed that encourages family structure and penalizes parents who walk away from their children and leaves only one parent responsible for bringing up the child. Single parent families have a very tough challenge.

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