Can You Say “Counter-Cultural”?

In the town of Black Jack, Missouri, it is illegal for more than three people to live in a single house, unless they are related by “blood, marriage, or adoption.” It’s been a fight recently because a man and a woman and “their” three children (only two of them are the biological children of the man) are being kicked out of their house because they are not married. Now, it seems that Black Jack is prepared to evict more people if they discover that they are violating the law. (Enforced laws, now that’s a breath of fresh air!)

It was interesting seeing a preview of the news last night, though. The picture was of a white woman and a black man walking out of the city hall, and the announcer said something to the effect of, “Find out what this couple’s relationship has to do with their eviction at 10.” I don’t know if it was intentional, but most people are immediately going to think it has to do with the fact that they are of two different races.

Anyway, I’m not sure about all the details, but it sounds like Black Jack has its head screwed on right. According to the story,

Black Jack resident Rose Curtis, 65, said she thought the City Council made the right decision.

“As a woman, I’m not going to let a man have babies by me and not marry me,” Curtis said. “I think it was a fair decision. It’s cut and dried.”

Good for her (although I think that decision hasn’t really been hers for a while–but, hey, who knows what they can do with fertility drugs these days). Black Jack apparently knows what the fundamental building block of society is–and it ain’t whatever kooky definition of family is currently in vogue. The mayor wrote the ACLU in 1999: “While it would be naive to say that we don’t recognize that children are born out of wedlock frequently these days, we certainly don’t believe that is the type of environment within which children should be brought into this world.” Imagine that. And it’s not even in the backwoods of some deep-South hollow!

If you’re so inclined, you might call or e-mail ( the mayor and thank him for standing up for what’s right, regardless of the cultural consequences of doing so.