Some of this is from my personal research for my thesis, and some is from personal experience.
Let’s connect, DADDY Project of York!!
One thing we have to do as men is accept the truth about the condition of our fellow brothers in our society. Behavior, good or bad, is LEARNED. A father isn’t born to abandon his children. But it’s a learned behavior.
One of my favorite journalists, the late, great, William Raspberry stated:
“It isn’t the incompetence of mothers of children of color that is at issue, but the absence of half of the adult support needed for families to be most effective.”
This quote had me thinking all day about the state of our fathers and families in our communities.
It’s sad to be so numb toward “Daddy” not being around that we are ok with him not being around. It’s become a norm of the culture. A dysfunctional norm that needs to be reversed. When has it ever been “ok” for Dad not to be in the home?
Now for the question we have been asking for the longest time.
Where are the fathers? Why do some fathers get a pass, and moms are left holding the bag? It’s not all their fault. There are many factors leading to fatherlessness, and I’ll touch on a few points here.
To simplify this in terms that we can understand, I will use the number 10. It’s the perfect group number.
1. 70 percent are in prison, so that’s 7 out of 10 men. Off the bat, 70 percent.. Before we even address the issue of fatherlessness, 7 are gone. Able-bodied, strong, men. Many men are doing a life term in prison on a layaway plan. 8 years here, 6 years there, 25 years there, 10
years there, 15 here. Before you realize it, you have wasted your life away behind bars.
You remove the men, and you can have your way with the wife and children. Slavemasters did it during the European enslavement of people of color. Separation of families. Divide and conquer. You are raising a big family with your husband, and one day he gets sold off to a plantation far, far away, forever cut off. His last name will changes. Whatever identity he had becomes non-existent.
Identity isn’t given, it’s developed through affirmation, acknowledgement, a strong system and structure.
So that leaves 3 men. A big, gaping hole for the soul. 70 percent loss!!! Ask a businessman if he can operate at 30 percent capacity? Not happening…
2. The emotionally-absent father. It’s a common complaint.
“My husband is just so passive.”
“He feels his job is to make money, and then he’s entitled to do what he wants when he gets home.”
“It’s whatever. I don’t care what you do.” Check his back. He may be spineless…No backbone.
“He rarely gets involved with the kids—all he wants to do is hunt, fish, and watch television in the “man cave.”
Dad is there physically, but his head is somewhere else. In the “nothing box.” I like to visit the “nothing box.”, but we need to learn how to come out of the box. There’s nothing wrong with working hard, but give some attention to your children.
The physically absent father. Going around repopulating the Earth, “sowing the oats”. The proverbial “rolling stone.” Stopping by at Christmas-time, always gone…and a new sibling is born by September.
In the 1970’s, Welfare became the “father.” It provided, food, shelter, and clothing, and the more children you had, the more benefits increased. Thus, the term “the no man in the house rule.” If a man was found to be residing in the home of a recipient of services, those services were terminated until he left. Welfare became Daddy and never left.
Now out of ten men, we are down to ONE.
God always had one who is doing what they’re supposed to. Noah built the ark, on direct orders from God. Even though the world called him stupid, be still kept focus.
When the rain and floods came, it was too late.
The focus has left our men. We cannot continue to irresponsibly place our privy member into everything walking, talking, smiling, and swiveling down the street. If you do get in a situation where you have a child on the way, start thinking about how you will secure your rights to the womb, because it will be more than 18 years of payments.
Another sad observation is that many men will learn how to be fathers ON THEIR OWN. They will grow up, misguided, misinformed, and live by trial and error. I learned that way.
Some adults are present-time thinkers, as teenagers are. “It’s all about me right now!”
They think about the here and now, not 5 minutes from now, or a day from now. It’s all about the moment. Satisfy me now, and I’ll worry about the consequence later on. Not a good look.
So we have eliminated 9 men out of our group of 10. Statistics out of our small experiment say that one man out of ten will be doing the job. Fatherlessness is such a crisis in our country, our communities. One out of 10 is not good. Out of 10 men, one has to hold up the banner.
Sadly, out of 10 men, 7 will be locked up, 1 will be emotionally absent, 1 will be physically absent and ONE father, just ONE will be on his job.
Let’s go DADS!! It’s time to reclaim our sons. It’s always a good time, and the time is NOW. Pray for them to come home. I would like to think they were away fighting in Afghanistan, but the reality is, they aren’t. I heard a parent say that before to her son, that Daddy was away fighting a war, when in fact, he was upstate doing 8 to 20.