Sunday, June 22, 2008

"Constructive criticism"?


Recently I blogged about the "O" man's Father's Day speech and a friend of mine who took offense to it. But I was also moved by Anette John-Hall's very fine essay in my hometown paper, The Philadelphia Inquirer, about the same subject. As good reporters often do, she personalized her piece with a real live human interest story at the end.




I am posting her article because I don't want it to be ever said that I disagree with constructive criticism.


"In any family, there are always a few hard heads who almost never take constructive criticism well - even if it's said for their own good.



Last weekend, Barack Obama went home to the black church and called a family meeting - with the black side of his family.



"If we're honest with ourselves, we'll admit that too many fathers are missing," the presumptive presidential nominee said in a Father's Day sermon-esque speech delivered at the Apostolic Church of God on the South Side of Chicago. "They've abandoned their responsibilities. They're acting like boys instead of men. "We know that this is true everywhere, but nowhere is it more true than in the African American community." Well, now.
His own story



With wife Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha sitting in the pew, Obama told of how his own father abandoned him. Which made him determined to break the cycle and be there for his children. We know that positive images of black fathers are rarely displayed on television, in film, or even in newspapers - though they are raising their families as all fathers should, like my husband, without expecting a medal in return.



But it's a sad fact that despite the enormous progress into the middle class that African Americans have made in the last 40 years, more than half of all black children live in fatherless households - a devastating number by any measure.
So who could argue with Obama's call for examination, for rising above the struggle, for restoring the framework for family?



The hard heads in the family, that's who.
African American professor Boyce Watkins from Syracuse University and syndicated columnist Earl Afari Hutchinson are among those who have taken Obama to task for everything from, as they see it, painting all African American fathers with the same negative brush to not blasting whites for their high divorce rates.



Sorry, brothers. It's not about white folks this time.
At least there haven't been massive threats to vote for John McCain.
While very real economic and societal impediments have a seismic impact on a black family's foundation - which Obama acknowledged - this is about personal responsibility. About what government can't fix.



It's a simple notion: Just be there and be the best man you can be.
Sabir Alim, founder of Daddy's Right Here Inc., an organization that teaches men how to be better fathers, heard Obama's speech. He didn't hear it as an accusation or an attack - as he heard in Bill Cosby's belittling tirade a few years ago before the NAACP.
After many, many years of irresponsible parenting himself, Alim, 47, heard Obama's words as a reality check.



"In our communities, it is the reality," says Alim, a program director at Gaudenzia, a drug and alcohol rehab program. "That's why it continues to worsen."
Not a model father. If anybody should have received the Bad Dad award, it was Alim.
Crack cocaine - selling it and smoking it - contributed mightily to the South Philly native's trifling behavior. From the start, he was never committed to the idea of family, he says. Even while married, he impregnated another woman while his wife was pregnant with their second daughter. The half-sisters were born two months apart.



"I didn't know how to be a father," admits Alim, whose own father took off when he was 5. "I didn't see fathers in people's homes. There were no [role] models."
He was known for being a verbally abusive hothead whom you didn't want to mess with. And, yes, he carried a gun. Alim lived with his family in North Philly - until he and his wife finally separated in 1994 - but he was someplace else emotionally.



"I'd do my girls' hair, cook dinner, pick them up from day care - but I was on the street clocking drugs right outside the door," he recalls. "I remember hating to hear the Mr. Softee truck coming, because I had spent so much money on drugs, I couldn't afford to pay for ice cream."



Rock bottom hit 14 years ago. Alim had pawned his VCR for drug money and taken his oldest daughter with him at 5 in the morning to buy crack.
The drugs failed to get him high. He broke down in tears. Nicole looked up at him and said, "Dad, it's going to be OK."



"I was done. I couldn't live like that anymore," he said.
It was only while going through the 12 steps that he understood how his father's absence led to his own inadequacies as a father. And even though Alim is trying hard to make up for his absence - the high school dropout went on to earn a master's degree in human services from Lincoln University and recommitted himself to his girls - he knows it may be too little, too late.
He blames himself in part for all three of his daughters' becoming single mothers.
"Lack of parenting played a role in my life, so I know it played a role in theirs," he says. "Barack was right. It's time to break the cycle."






Of course Barack was right, it's his timing that I worry about.
















84 comments:

NSangoma said...

~
Barack is not a member of the family, his father is East African and his mother is caucasoid. Barack has more in common genetically with Dick Cheny, VPOTUS, than with any of us.
`

Anonymous said...

Im afraid this will go the way of the million man march. Wasnt that about single parents too? Didnt help much. How about the million mom march? Same song, same results.
I think our people like to walk the walk only. This problem is huge. Some say 70% of black babies born the last 10 yrs are born to single mothers. I remember hearing of a school in Alabama (all black) where 377 out of 378 senior girls either had babies or were pregnant.
I am an optimistic person but for the life of me I cant see a way out when we are in a 70% hole to begin with.
Sad.
Nsangoma, you are a fool. Your comments deserve no response.

CoyoteFe said...

Why do you worry about his timing?

west coast story said...

Oh jesucristo, timing/schmiming. Father's day is exactly the right time.

StillaPanther2 said...

Brother Field.. I think all good messages are "on time" - especially when it's needed. This happens to be a survival problem, the urgency is now.

Grata said...

Field,

When will the timing ever be right? I think Father's day is the perfect time to raise he issue of absentie fathers.


"Barack is not a member of the family, his father is East African and his mother is caucasoid. Barack has more in common genetically with Dick Cheny, VPOTUS, than with any of us".

Interesting. Black, born in America, considers himself AA and married to an African American woman and he is still not part of the family ?
`

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

I'm sorry are Africans and West Indians not part of the family?

Barack is a Black american. He was born here. He might not be African-American (the descendent of American slaves) but so freaking what. He's family in my eyes.

Kai said...

Nsangoma, what is your point? BTW, there is no such thing as race.

Field, I am worried about much more than his timing. This is plain pandering. I'm tired of hearing the same ole criticisms of BLack people on national stages, particularly without a plan to do anything about it. This issue wasn't born out of personal choices, and it wont be fixed by focusing on personal choices either. This, like all social problems, is the product of material forces.

Unfortunately, it is cheap to pander to white people and the right, at our expense, because he knows he's got us in the bag. Iwas never a fan of his but I am beginning to like him less and less.

Christopher said...

Memba this Temptations classic?

It was the third of September
That day I'll always remember, yes I will
'Cause that was the day my daddy died
I never got a chance to see him
Never heard nothin' but bad things about him
Mama, I'm depending on you to tell me the truth
And Mama just hung her head and said, Son

Papa was a rolling stone
Wherever he laid his hat was his home
And when he died
All he left us was alone
Papa was a rolling stone
Wherever he laid his hat was his home
And when he died
All he left us was alone

Hey, Mama, is it true what they say
That Papa never worked a day in his life?
And Mama, some bad talk goin' around goin' around town
Sayin' that Papa had three outside children and another wife
And that ain't right
Hey, talk about Papa doing some storefront preaching
Talking about saving your soul
And all the time leaching
Dealing in debt and stealing in the name of the Lord
Mama, I'm depending on you to tell me the truth
And Mama hung her head and said

Papa was a rolling stone
Wherever he laid his hat was his home
And when he died
All he left us was alone Papa was a rolling stone
Wherever he laid his hat was his home
And when he died
All he left us was alone


So Obama was speaking to this and the purists are dissin' him for not being black enough, or accusing him of pandering.

What the fuck? What the fuck, people?

Don't you get it? It all comes down to the kids. The kids don't see what country their father's people come from, or if they're mixed. All they see is one of their parents is gone and stayed gone and they blame themselves.

It ain't right to lay this baggage on a kid. All they know is my father didn't love me enough to stick around.

No wonder these kids grow up with a chip on their shoulder.

Anonymous said...

Whine me a river. Folks, to Whitey, Obama is BLACK. Many can't tell you where his daddy is from but all can tell you that Obama is uppity and should shine shoes and dance. Your niggling (RTFB) does nothing and sounds more like playing the victim. Ohhh, I has it so badder than Obama 'cause my daddy was the Xth generation from slavery. Guess what?! It don't matter to the racists of the US. They only see the melanin. But then I digress into the 'one drop' of the South and the 'pass for' hookers of New Orleans (history is so fun when it's not the 50s fantasy of lazy and Entitled whites).

The kids in high school are delighted that a person of any color may be President. Nothing says merit more than this. The kids get it....do you?

Mold

NSangoma said...

~
Nsangoma, what is your point? BTW, there is no such thing as race.
kai 4:35 AM

BTW, kai, I did not mention race.

So yall is down with Barack a'cause he married not high-high-yella, nor high-yella, but a regular sistah (wid bad hair), an around the way girl, attended a black nationalist chuch, and can handle dah rock. (He can fired dat pill, so he aw'ight wid me.)

Would you still be down with him if he had married an upper caste white woman, attended a majority white Presbyterian Church, and played a mean game of squash? Hades no!!

It was not the right time nor the right place for that message!

All of America is focused on Father's Day Sunday, and Barack just happens to coincidentally, in passing, attack negligent Black fathers. Hell no!!, Barack was pandering to the right and also pandering to the evangelicals.

Additionally, I would assume that if one wanted to address absentee Black fathers, the chuch is not the place to do it; good for video camera coverage, but absentee Black fathers aren't generally in church on Sunday mornings.

Taverns, pool halls, dance clubs, ... on a Friday or Saturday night, are the places that one might find absentee Black fathers.

Chuch on a Sunday morning, dubious.

It was a pandering video-op.

Separating himself from the Trinity Church and simultaneously critcising absentee Black fathers in the same video-op.

NSangoma
`

Dave said...

Pandering or not, no one should underestimate the power of a positive example, especially once Barack becomes POTUS.

hennasplace said...

The timing is never right for anyone not doing what he or she is suppose to do.

The fact is there are too many absentee fathers within the black community. Barack isn't speaking to those fathers who are doing what they are suppose to do, he speaking those who need to get their acts together. Yes we know that there are absentee white fathers, but it is beside the point.

The question becomes when are we going to get it. When are we going to learn that there some things that we are going to have to do for ourselves. We need to better parents, and I mean we in general. There are lots of immature people who are having children with no idea that the decisions they make have a great impact on their children's lives. It's about the children, and I am sorry we just need to be the best we can be for them so that they become successful adults. This cycle has been going for far too long, and yes there are factors that contribute to the problems such as high unemployment. However, that does not negate our need to become nurturing and supporting parents. My mother had to work especially hard to care for my brothers and me with the help of my grandmother to stay home to watch us. Single parenthood is no walk in the park. I had to watch my mother stretch her paycheck so that food would last from one pay period to the next and the period was every two weeks.

Yes, it is the same old criticisms because the problem still exist. I do not fathom why it is difficult for us to look ourselves to see that everything is not well within our community. Racism is just one of problems, but we need to change our attitudes and begin to love ourselves. We do not love ourselves, there is a level of self-hatred and we need to deal with it. When do we begin to accept ourselves as we have been so busy working to achieve a level of dignity in other people's eyes not we do not see that dignity within ourselves. We can no longer afford to lag behind in society, the world is moving forward and we have failed to keep up because we allow obstacles to cripple us. One thing I have a great respect for children in sense that if they fall down and an adult does not turn it into the worse that could ever happen, they will get up and move on. It call being resilient and we seem to lose that ability when we become adults.

JasZ said...

Thank you Christopher for your comment.

I happen to be one young lady who has not had my father in my life. he happened to call me last Tuesday. I wonder if Obama's speech had anything to do with it...I doubt it.

This call came after 14 years of nothing. And 14 years ago, the conversation went like this:

Me at 15: So, dad, why haven't you called or written me?

Him: Why didn't you?

That was all I needed to hear to figure out this man was an asshole, not worthy of being my father at all. Now, at 29, I have another chance to get answers. The reality is though, that I will never get the answers I want to hear such as an apology or an admission of irresponsibility.

It's not fair to children of any race to grow up without a parent. Being an African American, I am mostly concerned about my people. And my people include every person of color in the diaspora, from Africa to the Caribbean to America.

Is it ever a bad time to ask people to be critical of themselves? To take responsibility for their actions?

jjbrock said...

@NSangoma some don't like to respond to you but most of the time you are on point. I will have to agree with your statement above.

Christopher said...

Jasz,

I'm so sorry about your father. I know how painful this can be.

My father died when I was four and my mother remarried 3 years later to a seriel, emotional abuser. He was a real emotional terrorist and the day he died (1998), I jumped for joy and hoped he went straight to hell.

I think this is why I feel so strongly about the need to love and cherish your kids. Be they your biological kids or adopted -- they deserve our love.

NSangoma said...

~
Nsangoma, you are a fool. Your comments deserve no response.
Anonymous 1:10 AM

22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'thou fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.

Matthew 5:22
`

Kellybelle said...

Alim, the man mentioned in the article, is the poster boy for how dealing with mental health issues can affect our community positively. Good for him.

hennasplace said...

Here is another point:

It is not the first time that Barack Obama has discussed the importance of parenting in his speeches. He talks about personal responsibility a lot and we do not pay attention a great deal of time. Obama talks about what he can do as a leader, but it's also about what he can do as citizens and we need to make sacrifices.

You can criticize Obama's timing and where he made the speech, but at the end of day we need to do something and build a strong foundation for our families and community. We have to be honest ourselves about there is something wrong. We spend more time blaming people for our problems that we are not focusing on how to resolve them.

I think reading and writing blogs are important within the culture, and it's wonderful to opine. However, I think blogs can serve another purpose in addition as information. We can use it as a dialogue to come up with some solutions to help our community as well. We must begin to bring something to the table that can help us. Some us can talk about how Obama decided to married a sister and attended to a black church. We have more discussion about him being not black enough or too black. In the scheme of things that isn't very important to me as I find it pity to focus on something I have no control over. However, I control if I am going to be the change i want to see in the world. We have the ability to make a difference. For example, if you see a child walking down the street with nothing to do, then hire him or her to do some odd jobs for you. If you know a child struggling with his or her homework, then help him or her. There are things we can do. Men who want to help children with no fathers can become big brothers and mentor When does the complaining end, and healing start doing begin? Can someone answer that question?

Anonymous said...

Kai; Im afraid if we keep doing the same stupid, self-destructive things we will be subject to the same criticism. Stop the same old behavior and the same old criticism will stop. Im afraid you are DEAD WRONG about this not being a personal choice. It is ABSOLUTELY a personal choice to walk away from your children. Please dont fall into the same trap of blaming others for our own bad behavior.

Leota2 said...

Dear Field,
For the truth--the time is always now . . . .

The (Uncle) Tom Wars said...

Brilliant drop.

This is a touchy subject. The fact that Barack's father wasn't there for him makes him passionate about the subject. No matter when would've said it, there would've been someone, somewhere saying the timing was off.

To the fam who said Obama's closer to Cheney than us, you're misguided. Obama could've went to work on wallstreet, but he decided to get in the trenches and help BLACK folk. He married a SISTER, and has beautiful black babies. Don't try to shun a mixed brother when it's convenient. If that's the case, don't accept any of the accomplishments of biracial brothers and sisters including Frederick Douglass (father is believe to have been a slave owner), Booker T. Washington, Dubois, Prince Hall, Adam Clayton Powell, and Crispus Attucks. Not to mention Brother Malcolm whose mother was biracial.

Clarence Thomas may have more in common with us "genetically" than Barack, but he's definitely not one of us.

west coast story said...

You know what's amusing about this? Obama has been talking about personal responsibility for a very long time. It took a Father's Day speech to get black folks' attention about the issue and all colored folks can do is bitch about the timing. We don't take care of our kids and it's more important to gripe about being outted in front of massa than dealing with the issue.

I don't think we give a damn about black children. We'd rather have black kids rot in foster care than be adopted by whites (because black people REFUSE to adopt) and we'd rather whine about Obama's timing than address the substance of his comments. How full of shit are we?

NSangoma said...

~
... You can criticize Obama's timing and where he made the speech, but at the end of day we need to do something and build a strong foundation for our families and community. ...
hennasplace 10:57 AM

At the end of the day, absentee Black fathers are in the taverns, pool halls, dance clubs, crack houses, shooting gallaries, reformatories, jails, workhouses, prisons, ... not in chuch on Sunday morning!!

Yah boi was pandering.

[verbose mode off]

NSangoma
`

Miranda said...

nsangoma,
Are YOU a part of the "family"? You cant be....not with that ignorant comment...well wait.... there is always that cousin that is still wearing the dashiki and fighting the power....while trying to hustle some pyramid scheme ....nevermind.

NSangoma said...

~
You know what's amusing about this? Obama has been talking about personal responsibility for a very long time. It took a Father's Day speech to get black folks' attention about the issue and all colored folks can do is bitch about the timing.
west coast story 11:33 AM

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad and Minister Louis Farrakhan spoke of personal responsibility and fathering one's children, for a very long, long time before Barack Obama did. Where is your mention of and defense of these great Black men.
`

Anonymous said...

Honrable? Isn't this the same Elijah Muhammad who fathered a dozen out of wedlock kids with a variety of young women? Honorable my ass.

NSangoma said...

~
Did he take care of the children he fathered?
`

Leota2 said...

Yes--it is the same Elijah Muhammed
anonymous 12:31.
Disgusting--huh?

La ~ msviswan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hennasplace said...

Nsangoma:

I think everyone knows where the absentee fathers, and you seem to know more than most. Of course, you can take my comment and make a part of your larger point because you seem to have kind of hard on for Barack Obama and it's your way of questioning his blackness. Nsangoma, I really do not have time or the inclination for a pissing match because in the end it does not solve our problems. If you do not want to vote for Barack Obama because he doesn't seem to share your views, then that's fine, but do not belittle other people who want to vote for man.

As for Eliah Muhammad who was not the paragon for fatherhood as he had a habit of fathering children out of wedlock with under age girls and did not acknowledge the children. That was a flaw in his character in the reason why Malcolm X became disillusioned and left the Nation of Islam. Now I cannot account for the kind of father Farrakhan is, so I am not going to opine about his parenting. However, it was public knowledge about Muhammad in addition to Malcolm X's autobiography. At least Obama has said that he is not a perfect father because he is running for President and would like to see his girls more often than he does, but it is also about being engaged in your children's life as well.

Once again, you could look at Obama as pandering, but we have an opportunity to something about the problem as absentee fathers may not be in church, but those who care about are, and we have the ability to part of the solution than ignoring the problem.

Kal:

I do not think is a insidious plot against children, but we do not always think about their interests, and there are some adults who care more about interests than that of their children. There is an idea that have been stewing in my mind, and that our community should be build parenting networks within our neighborhoods. We could reduce our need for daycare by getting together with other parents and taking care of our children. For example, if there is a parent who works nights and the other parent works during the day, they could care for one another children's. We can pull our resources together and clean our blocks as the kids need something to do and it will give them a sense of responsibility and pride the community. We need to stop thinking in terms of what do not have, and what we have.

hennasplace said...

Nsangoma:

I think everyone knows where the absentee fathers, and you seem to know more than most. Of course, you can take my comment and make a part of your larger point because you seem to have kind of hard on for Barack Obama and it's your way of questioning his blackness. Nsangoma, I really do not have time or the inclination for a pissing match because in the end it does not solve our problems. If you do not want to vote for Barack Obama because he doesn't seem to share your views, then that's fine, but do not belittle other people who want to vote for man.

As for Eliah Muhammad who was not the paragon for fatherhood as he had a habit of fathering children out of wedlock with under age girls and did not acknowledge the children. That was a flaw in his character in the reason why Malcolm X became disillusioned and left the Nation of Islam. Now I cannot account for the kind of father Farrakhan is, so I am not going to opine about his parenting. However, it was public knowledge about Muhammad in addition to Malcolm X's autobiography. At least Obama has said that he is not a perfect father because he is running for President and would like to see his girls more often than he does, but it is also about being engaged in your children's life as well.

Once again, you could look at Obama as pandering, but we have an opportunity to something about the problem as absentee fathers may not be in church, but those who care about are, and we have the ability to part of the solution than ignoring the problem.

Kal:

I do not think is a insidious plot against children, but we do not always think about their interests, and there are some adults who care more about interests than that of their children. There is an idea that have been stewing in my mind, and that our community should be build parenting networks within our neighborhoods. We could reduce our need for daycare by getting together with other parents and taking care of our children. For example, if there is a parent who works nights and the other parent works during the day, they could care for one another children's. We can pull our resources together and clean our blocks as the kids need something to do and it will give them a sense of responsibility and pride the community. We need to stop thinking in terms of what do not have, and what we have.

La ~ msviswan said...

I deleted my original comment after I read the comment section.

NSangoma,

On one hand I understand what you're trying to say, but on the other... Why don't 'nationalist' talking brothers like you go to the pool halls, clubs, crack houses and preach to your brothers about the importance of being a father as well as respecting their fellow brothers, sisters and community?

The way I see it, most of you just talk the talk, (black and proud) ready to suck it to the white man, yet always trying to figure out a way to bed his sister at the same time. I think Obama is leading just by example alone. He has earned that right to talk about this issue.

What do black men that talk like you really do for the black family structure and overall black unity?

NSangoma said...

~
field, I've been cowed and caned into submission by the evil Saffires and Saffire's mommas here on your blog; I'm out.

field, handle these women and get them in check and I will be back.

NSangoma
`

hennasplace said...

Nsangoma:

One does not take of children that he does not acknowledge in the first place. Elijah did not want to make that kind of information public because would have meant losing members. I think it is important to place historical figures into perspective and realize that the successes and failures.

Dmd said...

So the absent father's weren't in the church building when Obama gave his talk... And because of that, he was pandering to the white right. There are several ways to go with this, so I'll tackle at least two of them:

1) Obama is campaigning to be POTUS. He could grunt out a sentence while taking a dump and it's gonna be in the national news. He knows that, you know that, everyone knows that. So, if he wanted to give me a personal message he doesn't have to track me down, put his hands on my shoulders and look me in the eye. He can say it in one of a million different ways, in nearly any place he wants, and guess what? I'll get the message. He chose to address absent black father's on Father's Day, while speaking in a black church. That seems to me like a pretty rational choice in both his timing and his venue.

2) Insofar as he is a politician, and let's be real, all any of us see or hear of him is with him in that capacity, he is pandering. And if he is to ever accomplish anything as President, he will probably have to pander a great deal more. Politics is compromise, and compromise is pandering.

field negro said...

I view every think in pure politcal terms when it comes to politicians. And as much as I admire the "O" man and his run,he is, after all, just another politician. I think his speech was calculated to pander to the middle and to the right. It was a "sista souljah" moment for him. Why didn't he give a similar speech duringt the dumbocratic primaries? Think about it.

But it's cool, he has to get elected and I understand that, but let's not play pretend here. Let's keep it real with each other.

"Clarence Thomas may have more in common with us "genetically" than Barack, but he's definitely not one of us."

I co-sign with that statement by the (uncle) tom
wars. (I love that handle)To suggest that the "O" man is not one of us simply because his mother was white, and his father was not Af.Am. is, well, silly.

jasz, thanks for sharing that with us. You too Christopher. I respect your passion for children. Personal stories are always nice and they always help to bring clarity to a debate.

nsangoma, you are on your own with these "Saffires". I am sure they are going to get right back on you as soon as you show your face again:)

aka lynn said...

Now is the perfect time to tell black people to get their shyte together! And if not now then when? What about rise up you mighty race? Black on black crime is out of control to the point where young people will kill at the blink of an eye, rob as if they are entitled to anothers belongings, teenagers are walking around malls with baby strollers in tow as if it's the latest fashion, and etc. If not now, then when? We're in serious crisis, and yes, much of which has happened to our community and the break down of the family is the result of racism and poverty, but only we can save ourselves. It's time for us to start hearing the message as opposed to taking every opportunity to reject it or set out to take away a person's black card if they dare speak the truth!
Now some black folk dare to sit back and question again whether or not Obama is black enough! Whatever..

Deacon Blue said...

Nsangoma said:
Taverns, pool halls, dance clubs, ... on a Friday or Saturday night, are the places that one might find absentee Black fathers.

Chuch on a Sunday morning, dubious.
-------------------------

Oh, right. I suppose if Obama had done the speech on TV or wrote a book about it then those fathers would see it. It ain't just about telling those fathers it's about having everyone think about the issue. Do I agree that it was the right message at the right time? Not sure. And it's not really my place to say. But your point is ridiculously illogical.

Nsangoma says:
Nsangoma, you are a fool. Your comments deserve no response.
Anonymous 1:10 AM

22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'thou fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.

Matthew 5:22
---------------------------

For a guy who thinks Jesus didn't even exist, you sure like to quote scripture sometimes. First off, if that anonymous poster wasn't Christian, your passage means nothing to him/her. Secondly, if that poster is Christian, you aren't his/her brother since you aren't Christian...and that is the likely point of that passage of scripture...relations between brother/sisters in Christ.

Nsangoma says:
field, I've been cowed and caned into submission by the evil Saffires and Saffire's mommas here on your blog; I'm out.

field, handle these women and get them in check and I will be back.
-------------------

Wow, sexist too and willing to trot out a nasty black woman stereotype when you're on the ropes? Nsangoma, just when I start thinking you might not be irredeemably igornant you find some other way to exclude an entire portion of humanity on this blog. Just who the hell DO you agree with in the world? Or are you the poster child for disagreeing with 99% of people?

NSangoma said...

~
Nsangoma:

One does not take of children that he does not acknowledge in the first place. Elijah did not want to make that kind of information public because would have meant losing members. I think it is important to place historical figures into perspective and realize that the successes and failures.


hennasplace 1:28 PM

The late South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond did not publicly acknowledge his mulattoe daughter, Essie Mae Washington-Williams, yet he provided for her financially well into her adult life.
`

tenacitus said...

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is still unhappy that Hillary was not able to kick Obama's ass six ways to Friday. Besides after all the smack he has talked about black folks to the mainstream he is not someone that I take seriously.

hennasplace said...

Nsangoma:

Field did say you would be back. First of all, you are the person that brought Elijah Mohammad's name into the conversation and wasn't prepared for anyone to question and respond to it. You have this kitchen sink mentality when writing. Fact of the matter is Elijah did not practice what he preached and what part do you not understand that he slept with underaged minors and fathered their children outside of his marriage. I am not going to make excuses for his behavior because it what it is. It does not make a difference if Strom Thurmond paid money, Essie Mae did not have a father in her life. The subject is absentee fathers and that means that person is not there to help raise the child. I could be wrong about probably need to defer to a dictionary.

And another thing, what do you expect Field to handle, lol. Sweetie you are an adult at least I hope you are, so you should be capable and mature enough to handle your own situations. You started it and you Nsongoma should be able to finish it. This is the Field Negro blog not Romper Room, we should be able to have adult conversations, not get upset ready to take our marbles home when things do not go our way. Here is the problem you are playing checkers when everyone else is playing chess. I would not be surprise that you respond with Tupac is still alive because that's how far out of left you are. In the words of Sen. Robert Byrd, you are an intellectual midget. I think that tops the evil saffire.

evita said...

Two cents:

What I liked about the timing was that Father's Day for so many people has been a day that invokes pain. My parents are married (to each other) and so I have always had a father in my life but for many, not only African Americans it was not the case.

When I heard it, I felt like he was speaking to fathers who didn't handle their business. I'm not African American so I cannot say how it should feel to any of you who felt personally slighted. I can say that millions of white people who have had the experience of not having their fathers will have this message resonate with them as much as the Black people who feel like it is true for them as well...

SO I see a bridge being built here.

I really hope this blog develops the discussion into a nuanced look at the challenge before us here.

Issues go beyond money and employment because it is a HUGE factor in deciding custody for the courts, but also how WE as a society look at men who cannot provide for their children financially.

I know at 3 least mothers who denied visitation to the father of their kids because they couldn't pay child support. Is it enough to give what you can? For some women it is true, for others it isn't.

There is a social deemphasis on the other roles/contributions that fathers potentially give their children beyond money.

Angie-Nuvision said...

I usually never, never, never respond to NSangoma's comments, but this time, and this time only I will just add my nickel to this colorful conversation.

First of all, who said that absent fathers are not in the church? Wow, you're giving the few men that actually attend church too much credit, aren't you?
Take it from a certified church girl, most of the folks that are attending church on a Sunday morning are sometimes as jacked up as those folks that you described are in those seemingly defiled places.
Secondly, the same way you say that Obama should have taken that message into the pool halls and so on, someone might say that about you. Someone may actually tell you that you are wasting valuable time preaching to folks who own computers and have internet access, folks that have an interest in political blogs rather than My Space, folks who more than likely have at least a bachelors degree, and folks who obviously have a different experience than the folks that hang out in the guttermost parts of our community, as you so described it. Someone may tell you that all this thought and expression that you spill on this blog should be used to uplift, to inspire, to mentor, and to teach those that have not fully embraced their better selves.
And just in case you say that you already do that... Do it more. Because the time you spend flaming black folks on this blog, you could certainly be using that time to do something more positive for this community that you spank from your anonymous screen name.
And as for your rude and shocking sexist comments that you have made about black women, who have demonstrated that they have a brain and an opinion... Well, I have nothing to say about that... It doesn't deserve a real comment.
You are obviously a smart man. But sadly, you have proven that you enjoy and find it entertaining to mock and disrespect others to make a point. How counter productive is that?
Peace to you.
Angela

Grata said...

"field, I've been cowed and caned into submission by the evil Saffires and Saffire's mommas here on your blog; I'm out.

field, handle these women and get them in check and I will be back.

NSangoma"

Nsangoma,

The irony of your vetting on who is family and who isn't is the fact that you are carrying an African name. You should stick to Smith or something of that nature.
`

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

"Additionally, I would assume that if one wanted to address absentee Black fathers, the chuch is not the place to do it; good for video camera coverage, but absentee Black fathers aren't generally in church on Sunday mornings."
"Taverns, pool halls, dance clubs, ... on a Friday or Saturday night, are the places that one might find absentee Black fathers."

I'm sorry but I agree with Nsangoma's comments above, because that is the truth. The only time you'll see absentee Black fathers in church is at a funeral. The places he named are some places that they hang out at. Like I said, I'll give a person credit when credit is due, and Nsangoma spoke the truth.

When I was growing up, having children out of wedlock was a disgrace. Young women were taught in the home to maintain their virginity until marriage and lady-like qualities. If a young female made a mistake and did get pregnant, you best believe a shotgun wedding as we called them would be mandatory. Young women didn't go outside half undressed or nearly naked either.

However, somewhere along the line generations following dropped the ball. They didn't want to be as strict as their parents were. Those old fashion ways kept morals in check, not adhering to them is what caused the problem. Along with that excuse "times have changed".

A lot of these young men have a badly distorted perception of what it means to be a man. Most of them get their ideas of what it's like to be a man from violent rap videos and gangster movies like "Scarface". Having a strong free-thinking, intelligent, respectable, and courageous father in the home makes a difference. The only problem is some of these kids don't even know who their father is, and those that do know are no better off.

Admiral Komack said...

field negro:
"Why didn't he give a similar speech duringt the dumbocratic primaries? Think about it."

-And if he had, I suspect you'd still be critical: "Oh, hell, why'd he have to do this NOW?"

And what time would be the right time to say what he said?

field negro said...

"And what time would be the right time to say what he said?"

Anytime when he wasn't trying to move to the middle in order to get votes to win the general election. It would have made his speech seem...less political.

IMHO of course. Just my .2

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

BTW, I don't appreciate Nsangoma referring to women who post on here as Saffires, because that is another derogatory name falsely labeling black women.

Sapphire, the wise-cracking, balls-crushing, emasculating woman, is usually shown with her hands on her hips and her head thrown back as she lets everyone know she is in charge. Sapphire was a tool created by whites to weaken the black males image into a corrupt black male whose lack of integrity, and use of cunning and trickery provided her with an opportunity to emasculate him through her use of verbal put-downs. It implied that she had a reputation for deception, lying, and lack of loyalty." In essence, it was killing two birds with one stone--the black woman and black man's image.

When did intelligence in a woman become a crime or kin to degradation? Being an intelligent black woman is an asset.

szechuanpork said...

"Anytime when he wasn't trying to move to the middle in order to get votes to win the general election. It would have made his speech seem...less political."

Father's Day did seem inappropriate and it wasn't just aimed at black fathers, but also white voters. The first job of a politician is to get elected and next is getting re-elected. He's working on the first one right now correctly I think.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

I forgot to add that in the stereotype of Sapphire, black women are portrayed as evil, overbearing, stubborn and hateful.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Why is it that Obama has to defend himself from both sides? He told the truth, if he had lied would his Father's Day speech be in question?

LISA VAZQUEZ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hello there,

With ALL of this talk about irresponsible black men as fathers...does ANYONE want to discuss the unpopular view...the fact that black women are also to blame for the fact that there are 70% of black households with children out of wedlock...

I hear plenty of men and women talking about their father's abandoning them and not supporting them...but NO ONE wants to admit that maybe, just maybe they need to do an inquiry of mom and ask why she jumped in bed with a man who she barely knew... or with a man who had OTHER children out of wedlock already that he had NO involvement with ...or who had no stable career or life pattern....

How many sistas and brothas out there will admit that their mom does not even KNOW who their father is....

And we don't want to dialogue about that....

We want to just paint the brotha as the trifling one... trifling must be served ACROSS the table to the women as well for some of these scenarios...

We need to be honest about that...

Those who are fatherless probably have never EVER asked their mother about her sexual behavior at the time she was impregnated outside of marriage...it's so easy to cling to ONE villan and make mom the saint in the equation and dad the bad guy...

We don't ask THOSE questions because we just want to blame the man...

So I am saying to my own black sistas out here...let us get really honest about our sexual decisions and sexual behavior...and I am not saying all black women so don't even send me email trying to go there!

Can I get personal?
I have DELAYED having children until marriage.

I suggest that black women begin to rethink this notion that it is "okay" to give your children fatherlessness as a legacy....

There is NOTHING noble about having children out of wedlock and making black children believe that it is A-Okay to get impregnated by trifling dudes who had poor morals and poor values. It is NOT okay.

My father had a discussion with me and my sister about men and dating and exclusivity when we went to college. He said:
"Dogs only sniff around trash and feces."

I leave those words of wisdom for those who claim that their children's fathers are dogs. I am not saying this to be condescending...I am saying this as a wake up call. We MUST get honest with ourselves if we want to address these issues in the black community that impact our black children.

Thank you for letting me blow my trumpet!

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa

jp said...

Are we really debating Obama comments and if they were appropriate? Anyone doubt that he's telling speaking an essential truth? The fact that black family is in serious crisis is bourne out by every statistic and anecdotal observation I can think of.

Anyone who thinks Africans and West Indians aren't really black are idiots and need to be slapped straight.

CoyoteFe said...

It's a sad day when asking someone to raise their own children helps him to move to the middle.

Dmd said...

Trumpet! Your comment was spot on, and a spoke to a side of this issue that is rarely, if ever, brought up. Well said.

La ~ msviswan said...

Lisa, (blackwomenblowing thetrumpet)

That first paragraph you raised isn't something "unpopular", nor is it something new. That and many other excuses have already been used for decades to shift the obvious blame off black males in the black community. Nothing new, been there done that.

I'm not trying to excuse those women, they too disappoint me. However, those very black women/mothers are products of this vicious cycle themselves. What do you think they are lacking and seeking out for? Every since post slavery, black fathers been fleeing the household when the sees gets rough. We the black community have been allowing it because we felt sorry for the black male being emasculated after slavery, we always have to give the black man a "break". This is why I respect black fathers today who stand by their family and take care of their children regardless.

Blaming black women doesn't seem to work anymore. There has been no change. Let's go straight to the root now and hold more black males accountable.

La ~ msviswan said...

dmd, how would you know? Who are you to talk?

heartsandflowers said...

nsangoma -

your behavior is disrespectful and has no purpose here
any fool knows there is no such thing as race and humans share 99%+ of the same dna. The only distinction is gender. do NOT come on here insulting Black women and think you're going to get away it. obviously you have no one in your life of any significance that you come here with your nonsense.

La ~ msviswan said...

Sorry, dmd has made it clear in another post that he/she is white. I have to problem with that.

However, I take offense when non-black people feel so inclined to make, pacify, or encourage judgmental statements towards black females in particular. Especially if they have obviously never lived their life as a black individual much less a black woman. And when they clearly don't understand the dynamics or the repercussions of African slavery which was NEVER imposed on them through generations..

That's all I had to say.

field negro said...

heartsandflowers, this is what's scary about the www. I bet nsangoma has a strong ass wife of twenty years holding it down. I think this is just his secret vice, getting a rise out of sisters on the web because he can't do it at home :)

La ~ msviswan said...

I meant I have no problem with dmd being white. sigh

sojournerfortruth said...

As a supporter of Obama...I've been a little taken aback with his behavior lately. His comments on Father's Day was pure political gamesmanship...which we know is necessary in the run for POTUS.

But, the problem for me is he used the "black male" responsibility thing to score points with indifferent white (you know...the 18 mil that Billary laid claim to) voters who have some reservations about his black ass. Although he spoke ever so eloquently, framing the subject from his own experience of not having his father in his life, the timing and place of his comments were quite telling. And even though this is still buzzing in the hood and amongst black-bloggery...I have more serious concerns about his FISA flip. Oh yeah he's articulate, inclusive, charismatic and quite convincing, but if he can't get behind the Constitution (ain't he a constitutional professor??) and put our privacy freedoms first, he's no different than that dumbass Bush.

To allow telecoms immunity from prosecution for ILLEGAL WIRETAPPING AND EMAIL SPYING is completely unacceptable. He spoke out strongly against this during the campaign and hammered McCain for his support of Bushco on this...IMHO something as egregious as this so early in the game doesn't bode well. There are about 40 cases against the telecomms now by groups and individuals who were illegally wiretapped. Think about it -- the government will continue to tap your phone or read your emails without a warrant.

So ya'll feel ok with that?

I'm starting to really think about voting for Cynthia McKinney...you can say what you want about this sister but she does have integrity and stand righteously for justice and freedom.

And to blackwomenblowingthetrumpet...WORD!

heartsandflowers said...

Hi All,

Yes Black women DO need to take responsibility for their part in conception and raising the child. Better choices need to be made in choosing parentage, but there are still some of those men who would still be irresponsible. The women are doing the heavy lifting and the men are not [some not all]. I have waited to have children as well for the ideal circumstances. Someone mentioned to me I may never think it's the ideal circumstance.

I'm the oldest of 6 and 2 of my siblings are 1/2 sibs my mom had after my father died. Trying to jump into another relationship. The father behaves like a sperm donor and wanted nothing to do with his offspring and fought paying child support. There is a lot of anger. I could certainly point to my mom for her choice but I can also say she was grieving and not thinking clearly and that certainly didn't stop the man from participation.

Also men don't take responsibility for birth control. How many men do you know fully understand female anatomy? Or have tried. They typically just leave it up to the woman. We know with the high rate of HIV and STIs amongst Black women condoms are not being used properly if at all let alone birth control.

My grandmother always told me I did not have to have any children if I didn't want to - meaning be responsible! Do not rely on the other person to have had proper sex education. Do not believe anything they say. I would add just wait until you've had a long engagement and are married to that person but a lot of people are not going to do that.

With choice comes consequences. We don't always get the outcome we expect.

And you know what - if Obama was pandering it still needed to be said regardless.

Field: Thanks I was about to post this with a request to please reign in your sexist, self-hating male readers if they insist on coming here to insult Black women - but saw your reply. I have had to learn to ignore the trolls. If there is a woman around I hope she checks his history report on his computer.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Have you ever heard that saying that a man will treat a woman the way that she treats herself? Have you ever wondered why a man married another woman, but another woman had slept with him for years, even had kids by him, and he didn't marry her?

RhondaCoca said...

Some of you, no offense, seem to have nothing in common with me. I have seen plenty of black men young and old take care of their children. Some of you are acting as if this does not exist. That in itself is problematic.

The author mentions Boyce Watkins and Earl Ofari Hutchinson without mentioning what they were actually saying. They were discussing the nuance behind the stats.

Black people chose to reduce themselves to statistics because they have internalized much of the reductions put upon them by the white population in this country that hates them.

Black people, white people hate you and they verbalize it. Many are not even soft with their bigotry anymore. I hear it on a regular basis. Their racism is often not based on the fact that you have a skin color they don't like. It is based in this idea that they think that blacks are dysfunctional, pathological, ghetto, classless, uneducated, immoral etc... They (due to their racism)paint us with a broad brush and we aid them in doing so. Obama who helped reinforce why they thinl blacks are dysfunctional is exaclty why they should vote for him.

We have negros on this blog airing out one another like this is some low classed urban station like Hot 97. Obviously both Obama and these people on this board are addressing this issue in a way that is counterproductive. I skimmed this entire board and I have seen like 3 (if that) decent comments.

I am not apart of this because I reign from a family of amazing black fathers. I lived my whole life never seeing a black man ever "abandon" his family or children. I have had countless black friends, all of which had their fathers. If their is a divorce, the black women is in the home with the child and the father is a part of the child's life. It was not until recently when I really realized that many in the black community mostly those of certain socioeconomic backgrounds had this issue. There is much history and nuance behind the statistics however if you guys chose to look at yourself as a percentage or a one dimensional statistic then don't complain when whites refuse to give you the respect of diversity. I will not be with you when you get upset. I will remain quiet.

If we showcase and constantly discuss our "bad patholgy" then we cannot get upset when people paint us with a broad brush and draw assumptions on the basis of what they have seen and heard. White people I guess have a right to be racist if they see the images of blacks that they see everyday. Right, I could go ahead and draw such a narrow-minded conclusion like that.

For years, white men have called black men boys and we get upset. So it is okay for us to do it?
We have made ourselves look bad again with headlines on Father's Day like "Obama Tells Black Men to Be Men Not Boys"; "Obama Tells Black Fathers to Step Up; "Obama Tells Black Fathers To Stop Being Boys" etc...The media had a field day with their generalizations.

We all have a part in building strong and stronger black families. Rather than equating ourselves with the not-at-all perfect white population. Why dont we make examples out of the millions of good black fathers? Why dont we showcase that black families aren't dysfunctional? Why don't we showcase this more than we discuss how irresponsible and boyish some are or baby mamas/baby daddies? I have taught many more by example than by ridicule.

Here is my thing, one must ask many questions when addressing the breakdown of the black family and look at the different factors. Simple conclusions and sweeping allegations based on statistics, half truths and sociological myth cannot work. Blaming the man only cannot work. Mabye I am approaching this with a clear head due to the fact that I was raised in a nuclear family and see the beauty of black families and black fatherhood on a regular basis.

It is much more complex than many want to think that it is. That is what is problematic. We are looking at a statistic and flatly assuming that when a man is not in the home or not married to the mother, he has abandoned his children. That cannot go for all men that are not in the home or married to the mother. If we are going to say that they are lazy and shiftless because they are not physically in the home or married to the mother, then we need to extend that same logic to men of all races who are not in the home. According to sociologist by the name of Rebekah Coley who did a study, she found that black fathers who were not in the home were still more likely to be involved in the lives of their children than any other race of men. Therefore, we must look at the fact that the black community may have about half two parent households, half single parent. We must then take into account the many black men who for various reasons aren't in the home but have a relationship with their children.

I have heard people make sweeping allegations like a white professor who was convinced that blacks were genetically inferior and said that, "Black men were genetically incapable of being fathers". That was offensive because there are millions and millions of black men including my father and entire family who are great black fathers who could easily debunk her racist hyothesis. However she only sees and hears the negativity so she reduces the entire black community to this image.

Also we must look at how Americans view fatherhood. I find that in this country, fathers are looked at as the breadwinner, the provider and the financial head of the home. Many black men due to economics do not fit this model. This has attributed to the issue of black fatherhood amongst SOME a(yes some, please learn that word).

Therefore, it is much more complicated than drawing the conclusion that if a man is not in the home he is irresponsible. Hello!

Now, it takes two too tango. I know of many couples who chose to make the relationship between the two of them affect their parenting of the children. I see it all the time. Many have strained relationships and the children suffer because of it. This is the fault of both men and women. Also, some women knowing how some men can be need to pick better mates. They also need to do their part in securing the family, in trying to build a relationship with the father. It does not have to be romantic. It has to simply be functional and healthy for the children.

You see, the breakdown of the black family really occured around the sixties (many have concluded this), this was caused by many issues. What this set off was a cycle of broken black families that carried through generation after generation. Now we have a whole generation who thinks that it is okay to have children outside of marriage and younger.

I will however add in that their is an alarming amount of single black women. This is due to many factors and one must ask with why it is so hard for them to find mates? Are their a shortage of black men? Or why are so many blacks opting to not get married?


Lastly, the breakdown of the family is a national issue. It is a problem and its effects can be seen and will continue to be seen. Latinos have a growing rate in single parent households. They are the leaders in teen pregnancy in this country. The divorce rate in this country is over 50%; this goes for the white community. Many children are being raised by teen moms and with divorced parents this can indeed cause issues and it is everywhere.


In conclusion, we need to stop attacking one another and ridiculing one another especially on a public stage. We need to find coherent solutions which can and must include a change in the representations of black love, black relationships and black fatherhood.

Also, people need to wait to have children until when they are established and then married. Have children out of wedlock and too young will cause issues for anyone. One, you aren't financially stable. Two, you are not mature enough. Three, you are young are still moving around etc...

Finances, poverty and economics have a lot to do with the breakdown of American families. This can make it understandable why the issues amongst black famailes fall on class lines.

Obama was not the first to address this. This conversation has gotten almost cliche. The issue is that people are not getting at the root of the problem, the history or the various factors that have contributed and they are drawing sweeping allegations based on statistics without looking at the nuance behind the statistic. They simply ridicule which does not work. It simply aides in painting us as pathological, immoral and dysfunctional. We need to have a humane approach.

If Obama can deny the many issues that have statistical proof all for political expediency then why does he feel the need to single out a race of people for public ridicule? If he stands on a platform of race-neutrality with everyone else then why not with us? Obama addressed this last year and I did not mind because it was balanced. This year, it was not.

If this is fine with you then so be it but it is not fine with me!

RhondaCoca said...

I love how many felt that it needed to be said as if you have never had this conversation or heard this conversation.

Obama's fatherhood speech last year was far better and balanced.

RhondaCoca said...

I love how many felt that it needed to be said as if you have never had this conversation or heard this conversation.

Obama's fatherhood speech last year was far better and balanced.

NSangoma said...

~
Let me add

Barack is not a member of the family, his father is East African and his mother is caucasoid. Barack has more in common genetically with Dick Cheny, VPOTUS, than with any of us.
nsangoma 12:53 AM

NSangoma
`

field negro said...

rhondacoca that was a serious rant, and I love how you spoke your mind and put it out there.

That had FN written all over it:)

nsangoma.....for those of you who believe in prayer, please pray for him.

Whitney B. said...

rhondacoca: All white folks aren't racist, nor do we hate black people...what a broad stroke of the brush! Also, you did a whole lot of flipflopping in your comments. First you have seen many black fathers young and old taking care of their families and then there was the breakdown of the black families in the 60's.

Well, as a 54 year old white woman I can tell you my experiences growing up in a mixed neighborhood in Chicago, in the 60's and early 70's. The most stable families were the black, Latino and Asian families. Two parent households with well behaved, church and temple going children, who got a good spanking when behavior was not on par with what was expected.

The problems today are not about race. They are about somewhere along the way it was decided that children should not be punished for their bad behavior. We should not spank our kids, but give them "time out". How stupid is that? I don't think you should whollup your kids senseless, but a good slap across the mouth for sassing and a spanking for really bad behavior never hurt any of us when we were growing up.

And, it is this idea that it is OK for kids to have kids. This is wrong people! People should educate their kids about birth control at a very early age. Not all kids reach puberty at the same time and it is important to prevent pregnancy in kids. Frankly, most kids are too ignorant to raise kids and I don't mean that they aren't smart, it's just that they don't have the emotional maturity as young teens.

Absentee fathers are everywhere, in every race these days. It is becoming an epidemic. However, the girls are just as much to blame. It is now some sort of fashion statement or something for a teen to have a baby.

I just read an article in the Inquirer that said some school had a 400% increase in pregnancies. They had 4 teen pregnancies last year and this year 16. (I believe there were 300+ students in this school.) Apparently a bunch of 16 year old girls got together and formed this "club" to have babies. And, it mentioned some of them chose older men to "do it" with; one even chose a 24 year old homeless man. I mean, come on people, wake up and talk to your kids. This is disgusting.

I can sort of understand that black folks think that the O Man was pandering to whites, but to me he was speaking sincerely from his own experience.

My own father was a drug addict and alcoholic and would beat the shit out of my mother. She left him when I was 5, but he found her again when I was 6 and would come and go as he pleased.

My grandmother paid big bucks for him to go into treatment time and time again. Nothing worked and he ended up in flop houses (remember them?). He would always appear on or around my birthday and somehow scratch together (possibly from my grandmother) money to take me someplace nice, which was one of the rare times I would see him not drunk. I spent my childhood in taverns; that was "quality time" with dad. My Godfather owned a tavern.

He finally died when I was 9 and at the time I was relieved to be done with him. At 19 I went and got a copy of his death certificate which said "suicide due to barbituate intoxication". Nice. I would have been better off if he had been absent my whole growing up life.

With all the problems with teens and crack and meth, maybe it's good that some dads aren't around. And it's sickening that the crack and meth heads are giving birth, too!

But, what it really boils down to is that kids shouldn't be having kids, and I doubt very much that the 40 somethings-plus have the same kind of absentee father problems that the younger generations are experiencing.

I think it is more a generational thing. I also think it is time to change the school system to include lessons in how to make a budget and live by it, and how to take personal responsibility for your actions. These types of things sure aren't being taught in the home anymore and it is time to teach that in the schools.

Parents need to quit mollycoddling their children and start putting their feet down again. Kids learn by example and if you buy them whatever they want and let them run amuck, it is your own fault if they go out and do stupid irresponsible things.

Maybe this whole thing started with my generation, but now it is the 21st century and it time for a change. In Oklahoma the legislature decided it was OK for parents to spank their kids within reason. Maybe Mr. Obama should make that one of his first bills presented before Congress when he becomes President, which he will.

false1 said...

While the brothers certainly deserve to be taken to task, some one needs to start speaking up about these absentee mothers as well. You know the ones that basically hand off their kids to their parents or grandparents (mom or grandma usually). My friend's mom is actually taking care of her great grandchildren after watching her daughter and grand daughter fail as parents.

Even worse are the ones that allow their children to be abused by their current boyfriends. There aught to be a law against that, cause i can't count how many times some kid was killed by one of these clowns. 50 cent was right. "you don't need to bring no man into the house I bought for you to raise my child"

Granted, some of these women would do much better if dad was around. On the other hand I wouldn't wish some of these "ladies' on my worst enemies.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Whitney b:

Granny is giving you a fist jab (high five),because you and I are on the same page. You made a couple of points that I totally agree with you on and have been telling people for years. I've always felt that whoever came up with that "timeout theory" was not using common sense.

When I did something wrong, my father and mother would put a switch to my behind. My brothers sisters, and I couldn't out run my mother either, because she could run too, and was very athletic. All of my brothers could run and were very fast on their feet, but my mother would be right behind them tearing them up with that switch, and she could make that switch sound like it was singing. Sassing my parents was out of the question, it didn't even cross my mind, because I knew better. Even when I became grown, I knew better.

My grandmother only had to whip me once with a switch, and when she got through, I actually went in the bathroom and ran some cold water to cool off. But she never had to punish me again. That was the first and last time. When she said something I moved quick. My grandmother was one of those country women raised on a farm, and yes, she was strong as an ox. Sassing those old people would get you a backhand quicker than a flash of lightening, and they were swift with it.

When Sundays came around, we had to get up early, do our chores, and go to church. If you didn't do those two things, you didn't go nowhere else for the rest of the week.

Those old people believed in spare the rod, you spoil the child. Nowadays, young women will buy their children expensive, name brand merchandise, don't have a pot to piss in, and turn around and complain about they don't have money to send their children to college or can't buy food or can't pay their utility bills, etc. They'll buy their child every video game and rap album in the store, but won't buy them a book to inspire or motivate them or to learn some knowledge.

I see young women getting involved with what I call "rent a men", and make you wonder what happened to men who were men that knew a man is supposed to be the provider, not the other way around. Women are supposed to be the help mate, but now we have role reversals,stay at home men, which was unheard of when I was growing up.

I hear these young people say all the time, "Times have changed", yes, they have, but was it for the better or worse?

Rhondacoca:

I too was raised in a two parent home, my children were too. Like you I came from a family of positive male images. My immediate family that I raised in was not poor, but we were not rich either. I, also, have some family members that are wealthy, and some that are less fortunate.

There are six generations in my family with longevity on both sides. On my father's side my aunts and uncles lived to be over 100 years old and up to 105 years, my mother's side up to their late 90's. Some people would call that coming from good stock, but I call it a blessing.

I was taught to never put myself on a pedestal above those who are less fortunate than me, because their somebody too. I have a deep understanding of human nature and know that people would do better if they knew better.

I've met and talked to people from all walks of life in my lifetime, some wealthy whites and blacks people too. What has always struck me as odd was the difference in wealthy white and black people's interpersonal communication skills. The wealthy whites that I met and talked to tended to be down to earth. However, my people tend to interact differently with those less fortunate than them and treat them with a condescending attitude. I admit some of those less fortunate than others have some colorful ways, but there are even some of them have some of the best hearts and who are some of the nicest people you'd ever want to meet.

false1:

Amen! But being fair in some women's book means they don't want to hear that. However, granny knows that the street goes two ways, and you telling what God loves the truth.

west coast story said...

Rhondacoca: You are too worried about what white think. I deleted my oridinal rant because you wouldn't hear it. You go on believing that whites hate you. It won't serve you well but you can always blame it on white people.

I don't give a rat's ass what the white media did with Barack's comments. It needs to be said everyday.

We're glad you grew up with a father. Not everyone did. And the numbers of fatherless black children are growing daily and it is having a devastating impact on our neighborhoods. I do not care what white people as a generic group think of me or other black people. I just don't. It's fine to take people to task for saying stupid things, or just outright lying but it isn't okay to not say or do something because white people, or some other shadowy group, will use it against us.

There is no place for black people to have a private conversation about these issues. NOT ONE DAMN PLACE. So I wish people would stop acting like we can have these discussions behind closed doors some other similar nonsense.

Whitney B. said...

Dear Ms. Grannystandingfortruth,

You are a wonder among wonders. God bless your spirit and soul. If it hadn't been for my grandmother, (who was, believe it or not, an executive VP back in the early 50's to the 70's), I would probably not be here today. She took me under her wing, took me on her travels back in the 60's and 70's and showed me my faith today. By taking me to churches outside of the (then) white dominated churches in our religion: Episcopalian. Not only that, she didn't bake any apple pies, but took me on business trips during Easter, Christmas and summer breaks to see what this country of ours was all about.

I was lucky enough to hear Dr. King as a child in a church in Chicago. I also got to march with Dr. King as a child. How fortunate is that?

When I was growing up we all got along, because, basically, we had to. It was the big fisted or biggest girl that won. Not her color or ethnic origin. We were buddies. The shrimps or smarties among the toughies.

So, the nancy pants of this generation better buck up and switch their kids when they done wrong. That is what my grandmother would have done and that's what Grannystandingforthruth is advocating. Go granny, go!

To add to False 1: Amen, indeed! My mother married a pedophile. Enuf said on that!

Sincerely,
Whitney B

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Whitney b:

That is, exactly, why it's not good to bring another man over your children whether they are girls or boys. I know a lot of stories about tragic things happening to children put in those type of situations. However, most women think that men are just being jealous when they tell them they don't want other men over their children, but that is not always the case. A man knows a man. There are some men in this world with some very sick minds.

Leaving with anybody and anyone is not good either for various reasons.

Asabagna said...

Another point of view:

http://afrospear.wordpress.com/2008/06/24/any-fool-can-be-a-politician/

Blessings

Anonymous said...

Grannystandingfortruth thanks for that explanation of what a Sapphire was. I didn't know that. Nsangoma is a self hating idiot, assuming he/she/it is black.
He has internalized the white man's racist views of black people that were instilled in us during slavery and used to divide and conquer US and which some black people refuse to let go of to this day. His statement "So yall is down with Barack a'cause he married not high-high-yella, nor high-yella, but a regular sistah (wid bad hair), an around the way girl, attended a black nationalist chuch, and can handle dah rock. (He can fired dat pill, so he aw'ight wid me.)"

To me using the term "high yella" implies that you think that people with less melanin than you are, who are light skinned, are better than you - based on the fact that "high" is used in the term. This is self hate in its purest form. Maybe Nsangoma should kill himself since he hates himself so much and please don't have any kids cause you will pass on your dysfunctional thoughts to them.

Second he referred to Michelle Obama as having bad hair. So let me get this straight, because her hair is more African it is bad? Nsangoma, it is sad that you have these views and again I advise you to self-mutilate and make the world a better place. PLEASE!

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