It was very troubling to watch an episode of Judge Alex this week. A young man was suing his father over money he paid him for a car. The father was not in the son’s life because he was a regular in the local jail and was incarcerated in a maximum security prison for 10 years.
The father reminds me of the brawny black man that many youth come to know in black families. You know, the hyper-masculine father that says everything is “gay stuff.” A hug is “gay stuff.” A kiss is “gay stuff.” Just by observing, you could see that their relationship was dysfunctional at best.
During the episode, Judge Alex was interrupted by the father with, “You know he homo-sexa, right?” Judge Alex looked at him like, “And…..”
The father held resentment against his son because of his sexual preference. The father went on to say, “I don’t fool with people like that.” Really. You categorize your seed as a….. “person” that’s….. “like that.”
By the end of the case, the son broke down in tears and left the courtroom after he lost the case against his father. The father in his final statements said, “I hate that dude.”
This is a major problem among children that are abandoned by a parent. They already feel as if they have been abandoned by the one that brought them into the world, now they seek to find acceptance in the extremes.
I’m not saying the lack of the father caused the son to be a homosexual, but I do believe that lack of a parent can lead to destructive behavior in some children or to years of depression.
This is a major issue in the Black community. As reported by NewsOne, 72% of African American children are born to un-wed mothers. Statistics are very unfavorable for these children.
When we look at the condition of Black males in the U.S. education system, we find that rates of their enrollment in higher education are disproportionate to those in two-parent households.
The Council for Great City Schools reports that by 2008, Black males ages 18 and over represented only 5 percent of the total college student population but 36 percent of the total prison population.
When I gradated from high school and began applying to college in 2001, graduation rates for White males were consistently higher than national averages. The graduation rates were at least 50 percent higher for Whites males than for Black males, as reported by the CGCS.
With these alarming statistics, shouldn’t our community encourage enriching our children so they can overcome their socio-economic condition?
I was not raised in a family with prestige and a trust fund, but I found my way past the single parenthood issue. There were many times during childhood and as I entered into adulthood when I noticed the lack of not having an active father figure, such as learning the basics of what being a man is about or being able to call him to pay for the expensive math book in college.
Eventhough my lack of an active father was due to a disagreement with my mother and not an issue with me or my lifestyle, I still remember feeling abandoned younger when fathers would be doing the “fatherly” things with their sons.
I also remember my roommates calling their father for money or spending the weekend with them. I didn’t have that. Some students that didn’t have my drive in college and were not able to hold down a full time job or ride the bus to work, quit school altogether.
Eventhough it isn’t the best thing to do; children have the right to demand support from their parent and expect them to provide.
Even being educated about these statistics, we have mothers and fathers abandoning children because of disagreements or because of their lifestyles–instead of still being their provider. This young man on Judge Alex is the perfect example. Who knows what this young man could become, now that his father has abandoned him.
If you are a parent, don’t let your child become a statistic! Tough love is not always the best way.
Love them and provide, always!