Peace and Freedom

The warnings that Daniel Patrick Moynihan sounded 50 years ago have come true. Will liberals ever forgive him?

By Jason L. Riley
The Wall Street Journal

  Daniel Patrick Moynihan, President Nixon’s assistant for urban affairs in 1969.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan, President Nixon’s assistant for urban affairs in 1969. Photo: Corbis Images
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Will liberals ever forgive Daniel Patrick Moynihan for being right?

Next month marks the 50th anniversary of the future senator’s report on the black family, the controversial document issued while he served as an assistant secretary in President Lyndon Johnson’s Labor Department. Moynihan highlighted troubling cultural trends among inner-city blacks, with a special focus on the increasing number of fatherless homes.

“The fundamental problem is that of family structure,” wrote Moynihan, who had a doctorate in sociology. “The evidence—not final but powerfully persuasive—is that the Negro family in the urban ghettos is crumbling.”

For his troubles, Moynihan was denounced as a victim-blaming racist bent on undermining the…

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