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A Myth: Rich DAD VS. Poor DAD

Updated: Nov 21, 2020

For the past few years I've seen the state of emergency alarm being pulled, misused and dismantled in every possible way. It has been suspended into thin air and dangled at the mercy of every black man that ever intended and or pretended to walk the earth comfortably. Those four hundred plus years that we continue to demand reparations can only be reserved for the next generation to combat. So they say. But since we are still here, I don't know about you but I still see grandparents and great grandparents putting their dukes up alongside me.

This time the index finger is not only used to point at the ones dismantling our black families. Displacement of our black fathers in the home is real. What continues to uproot our communities is still being swept under the rug. How could a waving index finger do so much harm? Commit so much treason? A finger that has been used for years to unravel and loosen the knot that could’ve strengthened so many families but instead damaged and removed the strongest chess piece on the board next to the queen. The King of the house! The protector. The provider. If you want to take it a step further lets discuss the knot that also prevented optimistic fathers from parenting their very own children. The system continues to pull black families apart each and every day; there are black fathers that have survived this ubiquitous weight but have proven that not all black fathers are willing to sit back and allow society to dictate how they will parent their children.

When it comes to defining a black man with a good dad reputation, where are we supposed to start? Whenever you see a black man taking care of his children you find that those men are treated differently. They are automatically acknowledged and admired! But the non-attentive dads they tend to blend in discrediting what the amazing fathers worked so hard to build is mind boggling. The “Good Dad” reputation is undeniable. It’s close to royalty but yet sitting on the fence of abandonment. You sit back and appreciate it from a distance because you know that they do it without a need for praise or head nods. Black men are great dads too! But they are not receiving the love that they deserve! Let's start with our amazing black fathers in our neighborhood that are just that! Great men that happen to be fathers! Pegged the misunderstood Dads. The ones they some may assume are struggling to honor their children with a decent life! But this is not a fact at all. There are endless myths. They’re all deadbeats, broke, they don’t know how to be a father and my favorite he’s from the hood so he doesn’t know better! Wrong, wrong and wrong!

Why does this matter? It matters because black men are in need of healing; and at such a high intensity. It is safe to say that clearly due to a blatant and direct lack of respect for our black men as a whole it has to happen immediately. Yes. Segue to our hard working black men in the hood that work day in and night out to feed and provide for not just themselves but for their families. But ten there are black fathers that do the total opposite who shall remain nameless? This article is not about them in no shape or form.

In fact, this might surprise you but all black men are not rappers, drug dealers, pimps or thugs. They are far from a celebrity to the world but a celebrity to their families. These children wait for their dad’s phone calls and anticipate their hugs, advice and visits. These fathers don't just bless your television and movie screens they bless our lives all the way around the world and back. So let's talk about that. Who wants to breathe peacefully? Who wants to feel good...I'm sorry Jada (I couldn't resist).

But what about the other guy. Yes we are back here again. The black man that makes it bad for all the good ones? For failing to fully meet and commit to his child support obligations, which he does not earn enough to pay. He can’t even afford to take the train to get to work, he lost his job simply because he is not able to clock in.

So then that amazing girl dad or incredible little boy’s father ends up with a much lower end job. This amazing man has to now keep a smile on his face in hope's that he can still make ends meet, which makes commuting stressful for our amazing dad in this financially misplaced, drawn back and racially ass backwards world. OK. Well let’s just say that he didn't change, his financial status did. So are some black men simply misunderstood? The deadbeat dads that we continue to give up on?

This is where it gets tricky. The question is what is the difference between a rich dad and a poor dad here? Or better yet what it the difference between a good father and a bad father? Keep in mind that anyone’s bank account can have insufficient funds, and the child support letters that so proudly continue to grace the mail box will never go away until that child turns 18 years old. That can happen to anyone. But let’s just face it… that is most common in the black communities. So what should he do? He is still pulling out an expired driver's license that still costs money to correct on his way to work to make money. But on the bright side, there are rules to this twisted game! He has to dig up some privileges. Damn where are those privileges? Where did he leave them last and how can he get them back? How can he paint this picture to look as dope as the celebrity dads that are in a much better place than he is financially? Oh wait a minute. He has to have money to be a good dad? He has to have money so he could make both him and his family happy? She he can be just as happy as the celebrity dads on the internet and in the movies! According to my dad all a black man really wants to be is a great father, but the system seems to punish them for even trying. What does that really mean anyway?

So wait a minute. I'm taking this one higher. Let’s GO! Does this mean that we have a problem within a problem, within another problem that can’t be solved until the first problem has been addressed? Maybe. But until everyone as a nation can honestly see a confluence of historical, racial and economic inequalities; this will cease a black father’s effort in fulfilling their paternal roles the way they'd imagine all along. Yes, some men are unwilling to embrace their parental obligations due to the difference in financial privilege. However, our social policies should not treat all low-income black fathers as deadbeat dads, nor suggest this is the norm or adopt this belief as the default position that should be assumed with respect to these fathers.

It hits a nerve when the stereotypical force sneaks into a conversation of empowerment. Some ride on the GHETTO MYTH...the lame absent black father. For some blind reason without much explanation their need for help are ignored on public platforms dealing with our social reform and family rebuild – in turn there hangs the many problems that infest black mothers causing more of a burden with the desperate need for the fathers equal parental involvement.

There is a dire need via black father to parent their children. And can we can all agree that these children really want their amazing dads around more regardless as to whether or not the mother cares less about him! If it didn’t work out back then it’s not going to work out now just take the L and keep pushing.

Research has established that father involvement increases a child’s learning results, self-confidence, minimizes counter-productive behavior and decreases early sexual activity and other dangerous risk-associated behaviors.

The GHETTO MYTH continues to focus on child support, when we should be focusing more on black men that are amazing DADS. They are not just trying, they are and have been doing it. Financial status is under looked and not discussed enough. These men are not included in a number of things based on their financial status. The system has already agreed that if a black man cannot support his child financially he is not a good father and that is so far from the truth. Someone with money is not necessarily a good father.

Can we tell that the child is happy because of their father’s presence or are these children being drowned with expensive gifts and presents? The system and its policies for reform and the way we handle social economic cases has to change. When you have such a sensitive subject knocking at the door it’s a battle that will endure to repeat itself. A simple group of pictures on social media highlighting a celebrity hit a nerve just the other day that I shared on my page. Due to a lack of conversation that needs to be had I had to diffuse the hype by calmly letting them know that it’s just a post. It is a very sensitive subject.

I am calling for everyone to share our great #girldads and #dadsandsons to assist in wiping out this nasty myth that great fathers do not exist. Subsequently, we need to update the minds and hearts that are not educated on what they are not exposed to. We should stop acknowledging a black man only when he places money in the hands of misguided children opposed to when he physically wants to be around and enjoy his children in person. Also, employment should be a much easier and attainable goal for black men. It should never be a foreign opportunity to land a job that makes a decent amount of money honestly and effectively. Today we are living in a totally different time than a few months ago. All it takes is opportunity and a transition will take place.

I celebrate black fathers that continue to educate and engage with their children by any means necessary! There are so many self-determined black men who I see daily that were caught up in the system and many other webs. They are consistently stepping up no matter what the odds. I admire men who set and continue to set amazing examples for their kids! I salute and dedicate this article to your efforts even when the justice system did not fight for you. So yes there is a Myth, a myth that has to be shattered. We have to know the difference for starters. The difference between a poor dad and a rich dad is not money it is Injustice.

Written By Nicole Norton-Evans

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