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De Blasio disagrees with Bratton on 50-year-old study on the disintegration of African-American families

New York City Police Commissioner William J. Bratton,

New York City Police Commissioner William J. Bratton, center, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, right, hold a news conference at the YM & YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood to unveil the NYPD's new neighborhood policing plan called "One City: Safe and Fair- Everywhere", Thursday, June 25, 2015. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that he disagrees with his police commissioner's linkage of crime to the findings of a controversial, 50-year-old study by the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan on disintegration of African-American families.

A day earlier, Police Commissioner William J. Bratton said the report -- called "The Negro Family: The Case For National Action" and written by Moynihan when he was a staffer for President Lyndon Johnson's administration was "prescient."

De Blasio said during a City Hall news conference that he respects Bratton, but "I happen to disagree on this one."

"That report is literally half a century old, and I think society has changed a lot. There are some assumptions in that report that just don't hold today."

He added: "I just think it's a report from another time."

Bratton cited the Moynihan report during an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program Tuesday.

"There is something going on in our society and in our cities. I had the occasion over the weekend to read Senator Moynihan's famous treatise from the Sixties. Go read that again.

"Talk about being prescient about what was going to happen, in black society, in terms of ... the disintegration of family, the disintegration of values, and it's gone beyond just the black community," according to a transcription by Politico New York.

Moynihan's 1965 report, written before he became a four-term Democratic U.S. senator from New York, said out-of-wedlock births in black communities would stagnate economic and social progress.

Critics said it wrongly blamed blacks for their victimhood and overlooked factors like Jim Crow laws, slavery and other systemic discrimination.

Moynihan died in 2003.


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