Sunday, June 17, 2012

Paying Respect To The Every Day Dad

Today is Father’s Day. It’s the one day of the year where dads can expect to be pampered and praised without feeling uncomfortable about it. Usually dads don’t worry about all that stuff because they are too busy trying to do all the things that make a good father. It’s a never ending job that you never feel is over no matter how old you are your children are. I’ve never told my dad this but since we’ve been living in other cities after Hurricane Katrina there are certain things I don’t call him about anymore. It’s not because I don’t want to. It’s because I have so much faith in my daddy being there for me that I think he would get in his car and drive from Memphis just to help me if I sounded  like I really needed it. I have to save the man from his own instinct.

While he’s a hero to me and my family my dad is a regular guy to the rest of the world. He can’t sing. He can’t act. He only has one degree. He’s never had much money. In the black community guys like that don’t get much press. There are so many brothers that get up everyday and grind through their daily routine and no one ever recognizes they are there. Those men and the people around them have been trained to not expect anyone to make a big deal out of what they do. We do what we have to do anyway and we should continue to but I think our approach to how we present things sends a mixed message to the kids in our community.

We want our young men to stop being violent and live their lives in the right way but at the same time the men close enough to do something about their actions get hardly no acknowledgement. Our wish is for men  whose plates are already full to accept responsibility for the kids who don’t have fathers in their lives and turn them around. At the same time our music and media do nothing but highlight the kind of behavior and mentality  that leads to the problem. Thug life is big business. On the other end of the spectrum you have the intellectual crowd that are so smart and talented that they don’t know how to interact with regular people anymore so they say a lot of impressive things but the majority of it never gets down to the level where the problem is. If things are going to change it’s going to be the bus drivers, maintenance men, construction workers, security guards, and all the blue collar men who live on the blocks our sons are fighting on. Today is the day to give those guys a much deserved pat on the back.