Over time, I’ve realized how lucky I’ve been. Among my many blessings of health, intelligence and an appearance I can work with, I also count the fact that I came from an in tact family. I lived a very middle class, black family upbringing. I had everything I ever wanted except a horse and a swimming pool. And I didn’t get the pool because my mother felt my brother was too irresponsible and our house would become the neighborhood hangout. Because my parents worked so hard, they relished their time at home with family.
My parents weren’t doctors or lawyers like on The Cosby Show. They were just government workers who did well at their jobs and took care of their kids – of which I was number five of five. My mom was a supervisor for Social Security and my dad worked for the Post Office.
Some of my fondest memories are of my dad singing to me when I was little. It wasn’t until I was about 10 years old that I realized my dad couldn’t sing a lick! Needless to say, that didn’t matter to me in the least. What did matter was that we were loved. My parents provided a stable home environment where we learned values, discipline and quite frankly, who we are.
My dad was just as particular as my mom in having us behave “like we had some home training.” If my father had lived, he would be appalled by the crudeness that passes for social interaction nowadays. And I remind you, my dad was a mechanic for the post office, not a professor or some other lofty professional, but he was a firm believer in conducting yourself with dignity and class.
Recent controversial statistics from the Center for Disease Control show that 70 percent of black children are born to unwed/single mothers. And as much as I praised P Diddy a few blog entries ago for encouraging young men to kick it up a notch in their fashion sense, I’m going to have to call this brother out for perpetuating the stereotypical view of the young black man in another area – as a disseminator of seed, a baby daddy instead of a father, a dad. Yes, the man has money and can certainly take care of his children financially (once he claims them), but what kind of moral compass is Diddy setting for his children? No doubt they will be able to take care of themselves if he is successful in instilling his entrepreneurial drive, but how is that possible when you have six children (One he adopted – long story. Look it up.) by three different baby mamas, and last time I checked none of his children lived with him? What kind of real impact can he have in building the character of his children? And speaking of having an influence on young people… Diddy has me so torn. He’s now selling a tee shirt that is quite vulgar even though the sentiment might be in the right place. I won’t reveal the content of the tee shirt as I refuse to drive traffic to it.
And another thing that I have to question is how could a man feel that that many women are worthy of mothering his children. I also hope there is some serious STD testing going on before these relationships are consummated. Geez! From what I’ve gathered from the Internet, admittedly not always correct, but Kim Porter and Sarah Chapman were sharing Diddy more or less. Check out the ages of his twin daughters with Kim Porter and the daughter he produced with Sarah Chapman.
I know we as black people can look at how the institution of slavery has damaged the black family by separating mothers and fathers from children all in the interest of profit. But it is 2009 and we continue to enslave ourselves while thinking we are free to live anyway we wish. Yes, we have the right to impregnate multiple women (or be impregnated multiple times by different men), but is it right? As that old saying goes, “Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.” We cannot repair the destruction that slavery has reaped upon our people and our families by embracing and continuing the abhorent behaviors that induced it. One would hope that those of us who are lucky enough to have the ears and eyes of the world upon us would use the opportunity not just to make money (NOTHING wrong with that at all) but to also lift people and make a positive difference in how they live their lives. Come on, people! Let's get our act together. If you are grown enough to lay down and produce these innocent babies then be grown enough to be responsible and offer them a solid home foundation, direction, discipline and love. I guess I'm an altruist.
There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of my dad. I’ll admit it. I was a Daddy’s Girl. I also cannot imagine my life without the intimate and supportive relationships I have with my siblings – especially when one of us has screwed up. I just wish more of our youngsters knew that feeling of family, of having a committed man in the home to help direct them in becoming the best people they can be.
In loving memory of George Weldon Pinder