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“Evidence” how Fatherlessness leads to poverty which obviously leads to a life of crime — Exhibit #1, Maryland Judge Robert M. Bell

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I ran across this while fetching some information from one of my pet-peeve situations, and to post over at Lackawanna County’s (scranton political times).  After all, hadn’t  Lackawanna gotten some T&A — excuse me, I mean “TA” (Technical Assistance) from here, in 2002 with their Unified Family Court?

UBaltimore School of Law’s Center for Children and the Courts

But I pick up on details, and wondered whether Judge Bell was related (as in, married) to another Judge Bell who had addressed this particular center.  On reading his bio, I determined it’s time we start spreading the good news:  Fatherlessness does NOT lead to a life of poverty and crime,

At least not among those without fathers — but perhaps it may encourage criminal behaviors in those getting fatherhood grants which claim it does — after all, they are not well monitored… and it’s tempting…. and HHS/OIG/OAS can’t be everywhere at once….


Anyhow, just a notation “for the record” that no matter what President Obama says in his speeches, or on fatherhood.gov — single mothers aren’t all they’re scapegoated to be, nor are low-income people the plague of the earth.  In fact, because low-income parents, moreover, are just a little more vulnerable to being used as lab-rats in some TANF diversionary marriage-promoting program…. they at least are providing jobs for the white-collar sector or  among PhD & PhD candidates obsessed with measuring behaviors and doing test-runs of family court “outcomes” at the behest of the Tzar Secretary of “Health and Human Services” (or, the Navy, etc.)   As such, thank God for ’em, right?  Anyhow:


Exhibit #1 in Evidence “to the contrary” about Fatherlessness, plus sharecropping explained for those who are too young to remember and too busy getting their Mental Health TeenScreen to care or understand:

From the American Bar Association’s The Judges’ Journal (Winter 2011). Reprinted with permission.

An Interview with Chief Judge Robert M. Bell

By Judge William D. Missouri

Judge William D. Missouri retired from the Prince George’s County Circuit Court on September 4, 2010, having served since 1987. He currently sits after being recalled to the bench pursuant to the Maryland Constitution. Judge Missouri is vice chair of the ABA’s Judicial Division, chair of the Diversity Committee of the Judicial Division’s National Conference of State Trial Judges, and actively involved with numerous other ABA committees. He can be reached at wmissouri@co.pg.md.us.

In Baltimore in 1960, 12 African-American students, mostly from Dunbar High School, entered a downtown restaurant. They were refused service and subsequently arrested and convicted for trespassing. One of the Dunbar students, Robert M. Bell, led an appeal of the verdict in a landmark civil rights case, Bell v. Maryland, which eventually was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court and brought an end to de facto racial segregation in Maryland.

Chief Judge Robert M. Bell was born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, on July 6, 1943, and raised in Baltimore. After graduation from Dunbar High, he pursued his education first at Morgan State College, where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1966, and then at Harvard University Law School, where he received his JD in 1969.

He soon began his historic odyssey through Maryland’s legal system. He began his legal career as an attorney at the firm of Piper and Marbury. He then became a judge on the Maryland bench, which he has served for more than thirty-five years.

. . .(personal background — “fatherless”)

I know that you were born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, but at what age did you travel to Baltimore, and do you know what went into the decision to move to this area?

Well, my mother moved to Baltimore when I was about a year-and-a-half, along with my two brothers and me. I suspect that the decision to come was largely made as a result of the breakup of my mother and father. And, of course, it was also the time when there was migration north from the rural south. I know that my mother’s brother, one of her older brothers, had settled in Baltimore and was urging her to move up, and she was attempting to better her condition since she was simply a sharecropper.

Chief, most people are not going to understand what a sharecropper is; would you be kind enough to give a brief explanation as you understand it?

As I understand it, it is where you farm land owned by a larger farmer, a white farmer. In North Carolina, in those days, he supplied all of the food and shelter, and at the end of the year when the crops came in, you settled up. Unfortunately, most of the time, when you settled up, you didn’t do too well. Indeed, usually, the only one who made any money was the man who owned the land.


Bell was born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, on July 6, 1943. His father, Thomas, a laborer, and his mother, Rosa Lee Bell, a house cleaner, separated when Bell was very young. His mother raised all three of her sons as a single parent. “I don’t remember ever having lived with him,” Bell said of his father to CBB. Bell grew up in a tough, impoverished African American neighborhood in east Baltimore. “I fought a good bit when I was growing up, going to and from school,” he commented to CBB. “And of course I was stopped by the police from time to time. My mother was concerned that I got in at a decent hour and didn’t run in the streets too much.” During his elementary school years, Bell read Perry Mason detective and mystery stories and began to think about becoming a lawyer.

Demonstrated for Civil Rights

At the age of 16, Bell found himself on the wrong side of the law. While he was president of the student body at Dunbar, a then- segregated high school, Bell helped orchestrate a sit-in at Hooper‘s cafeteria, which also was segregated. He and the other demonstrators were arrested and eventually convicted of trespassing.

OK, OK, so he committed SOME “crime” as a youngster.  just think, in our time he might have been sold as a “Kid for Kash” into a diversionary program (Luzerne, County, PA).   Or, his father would be back in his life through the child support system.

The group appealed the conviction and brought their case before the Court of Appeals, where it was refused legal recognition. Aided by lawyer Juanita Jackson Mitchell and Thurgood Marshall, chief counsel of the NAACP, the group took its case to the U.S. Supreme Court. The case was again rejected. In 1963, following the passage of anti-segregation laws by Maryland’s general assembly, the Court of Appeals considered the case again and overturned the convictions.

Bell’s experience with the court system had inspired him to pursue a legal career and follow in the footsteps of his hero, Thurgood Marshall. (photos) While majoring in history at Morgan State College, Bell sat on the disciplinary committee. He also became chief justice of his dormitory court. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in 1966, Bell was accepted into Harvard University Law School. He enjoyed his classes at Harvard, especially a criminal law course taught by appellate lawyer, Alan Dershowitz. Bell graduated from Harvard University Law School in 1969.

Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/robert-m-bell#ixzz21y3wJzYZ

Thurgood Marshall:   (link as from text, just above):

It was Marshall who ended legal segregation in the United States. He won Supreme Court victories breaking the color line in housing, transportation and voting, all of which overturned the ‘Separate-but-Equal’ apartheid of American life in the first half of the century. It was Marshall who won the most important legal case of the century, Brown v. Board of Education, ending the legal separation of black and white children in public schools. The success of the Brown case sparked the 1960s civil rights movement, led to the increased number of black high school and college graduates and the incredible rise of the black middle-class in both numbers and political power in the second half of the century.

~ ~ ~ ~ also of note, Morgan State education of Judge Bell, per his interview:

Now you attended an HBCU [Historically Black Colleges and Universities] and one of the more renowned HBCUs in America. Did your education at Morgan prepare you adequately for Harvard Law School?And had you always aspired to attend Harvard?

No, it was definitely an experience that prepared all of us who attended for whatever we choose to do later. Morgan’s foundation was excellent. In fact, when I was at Morgan, we had more professors with PhDs per student than any institution in the area. We also had excellent professors, even when they did not have PhDs. In fact, the smartest guy I knew was a man named Mr. Fisher, who was not a PhD.

They also excelled, our teachers did, in their concern for the students. I had tuberculosis. It was during that one-year period that I realized the kind of concern the professors had. It was Mr. Fisher who decided that he would bring me my lessons in the hospital. And it was that kind of encouragement that also played a role in preparing not only me, but I am sure a lot of other students, for what we were going to face and accomplish later on. Again, Morgan was really a critical part of my career path. I often said that was the case.

Maybe this is EXACTLY why there’s such a fear of strong, follows their instincts African-American mothers showing in Congressional testimony right before 1996 Welfare Reform.  Heck, I think Jesus wouldn’t have passed muster nowadays — He’d be somewhere in foster care and put on Ritalin for asking too many questions of his superiors, too, and purportedly born out of wedlock, too….  I don’t know.  Go ask Newt who (let’s remember) hails from Georgia and was instrumental in promoting this (WIKIPEDIA):

After being raised Lutheran and spending most of his adult life as aSouthern Baptist, Gingrich converted to Roman Catholicism in 2009. He has been married three times, with the first two marriages ending in divorce. He has two children from his first marriage and has been married to Callista (Bisek) Gingrich since 2000.

A co-author and architect of the “Contract with America“,** Gingrich was a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional election. In 1995, Time named him “Man of the Year” for “his role in ending the four-decades-long Democratic majority in the House”.[4] While he was House speaker, the House enacted welfare reform, passed a capital gains tax cut in 1997, and in 1998 passed the first balanced budget since 1969.

**which TANF welfare reform was a creative response by Clinton to in light of said “Contract with America.” see my other blog.

Written by Let's Get Honest|She Looks It Up

July 28, 2012 at 6:25 pm

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