Thursday’s Truths: A Father’s Voice

justicesystemagainAs I celebrate my son’s birthday today, I think about the fathers across the nation that goes against the grain in the perception of Black father’s in America.

I think about my grandfather who worked hard his entire life, trying to provide the best he could for his eleven children.

He moved to California from the state of Texas with nothing but a dream of a better life. I think about my own father and the sacrifices he’s made, being the first in my family to graduate from a four-year college or university.

Then I begin to think about the fathers that mourn the premature deaths of their sons due to violence in America, such as Trayvon Martin’s father Tracy Martin. The world has such an ugly view of our men and our children.

We are categorized as lazy, unkept, selfish and summed up as a non-factor in the competition for success in America.  As much of a fan I was of the late and great Tupac Shakur, we are not all eager to promote “thug life.”

There are many faces to the African American man and yet even in today’s society with an African American President and father, the greater majority of society still perceive us to be criminals,  people not to be trusted.

President Obama is not to be trusted with the economy. Attorney General Eric Holder is not to be trusted with the justice system. Our sons aren’t trusted to even walk down the street.

This subject hits close to home. My brother apparently isn’t trusted to ride the bus. He is incarcerated as I write this column for being a “threat to society.” On his bus ride home from a friend’s house he was surrounded by police and escorted into custody for receiving a tip that he possessed a fire arm.

Is this the world that’s welcoming in my bi-racial son? Am I going to have to wonder about my son riding the train, taking the bus or even walking to the store?

“Trayvon Martin could’ve been me 35 years ago,” spoke President Obama, while giving a speech on the unfortunate acts that accrued in Florida. Such things only happen in movies for some people, but if you are an African American male these stories are all too familiar.

However, accountability must be taken. There are men in our culture that need to step up and be leaders. We need men that will teach the younger men about our history and our ongoing struggle.

But it starts with the basics of leading by example in just everyday life, such as helping your wife around the house, taking the kids to church and by going to work every day.

I have another grandfather that has over 20 children and has not taken responsibility for any of them. There are uncles of mine that rather hang out with friends and run the streets, verses working on a project or even throwing the ball around in the yard.

These are examples of the type of fathers that are largely viewed of African American men. Unfortunately, the good men and the good fathers have to pay for this misconception.

Today I will do my part by doing the simple things. I will go to school, I will celebrate one of many birthdays and I will show my son how much I love and appreciate his mother.


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