Why Fathers are Important
I went to an IMPD forum regarding racial profiling in Indianapolis. The community shared disheartening stories and exclaimed outrage for being targeted on the sole basis of being black. Many of the panelist contributed greatly to the discussion, but Dr. David Hampton had the soundest observation. He said one of the biggest problems our community faces today is the lack of fathers. Of course we have all heard this statement before, but the way he explained it really struck a chord for me and hit home. He said, it’s usually the fathers who let children know what is and is not acceptable. In other words, men tend to be the disciplinarians and when they are absent from the families, children don’t get proper leadership from authority. I couldn’t agree more with him, but several people disagreed because they thought it was a disrespectful statement to their single mothers who they felt did an excellent job raising them. Although I give many props and accolades to single mothers, they are not fathers nor can they teach a man how to be a father. They may teach them what not to do, but a woman will never know what it’s like to be a man. The Pastor’s point was to highlight that yes, some children are racially profiled, but also their bad behaviors from a lack of home training could be the culprit as well. He finished his miniature speech with if children don’t know how to respond to father authority figures, how can we expect them to respond well to police authority?
A common theme from the forum concentrated on strengthening relationships between the community and policemen. Chief Hite informed the audience how we should behave when approached by cops which included being respectful, following their orders and putting your hands up as a gesture that you have nothing to hide. The audience agreed to disagree with the Chief, but as a citizen, I finally understood the true point of putting your hands up. He said this starts at home by children’s ability to obey their parents. His statement is in alignment with Dr. Hampton’s claim. Unfortunately, a lot of mothers simply do not have enough control over their children to get them to obey them let alone an officer. I think it is extremely important for children to learn proper home training as well as be provided with positive examples of how they should behave while in school and in public. According to the 2013 Census Reporting, out of 12 million single parent homes, 83% are headed by women. Census data from 2012 suggest that 55% of these single families are African American and 31% make up Hispanic homes. When we focus on black crime, considering the main topic was regarding racial profiling, perhaps our family dynamics or lack thereof is more of an important factor than we are willing to admit. Considering these statistics, if single parent homes lead by women were so great, then wouldn’t crime rates committed by young African American men be congruent with those children who come from two-parent homes?
The problem boils down to two unique issues; the rise of feminism and the lack of gender roles. I have read several incredible articles headlining how feminism has ruined families. I honestly cannot agree more with this claim. At first, feminism existed on the basis for women to have the same political rights to vote like men. This was granted in 1920 when the 19th Amendment was ratified. Then I read articles from America’s Historical Documents that feminism has turned into this idea that women should be equal to men and that a lot of social barriers were put into place to not allow women to compete with men like the ideas that women should be married, housewives and mothers. Well the truth of the matter is that women are not men! We just aren’t! While I agree that pay should be equal for the same jobs and titles and that women should share the same basic rights as men, I do not agree that women will ever be or should be equal to men. To me, this is like trying to compare apples to oranges where women are apples and men are oranges. No matter how hard a woman tries as an apple, she will never have a protective, citrus peel like an orange. Yes, they are both fruits and have seeds and are edible, but they share different qualities. I believe that because women have taken this approach that “I am Sheeba-hear me roar,” they have abandoned their roles in families. I also believe that because many women have abandoned their soft roles in families (please refer to my other blog), they have also lost sight of what standards to look for during partner selection. If you are the breadwinner, caretaker, provider, nurturer and head of the family, then what else do you need? Someone who is only a companion and are not able to provide anything more and unfortunately this is what we see today. Hundreds of single mothers who don’t have men who want to provide and protect them, but be a friend who only takes up their time. Once their purpose of contributing time and sperm have expired, so has their existence leaving behind yet another broken family.
What people need to realize is that being a single parent isn’t just about your ability to raise children alone, but it’s the idea that you don’t have the same resources that a two-parent home would have. Statistics show that 23% of single parent homes are jobless, 22% receive unemployment benefits, 40% are poor and 52% live in extreme poverty (Single Mother Statistics). The most startling of this information is the mean salary for a single mother is $26K compared to a median income of $84K for married couples. This information right here is my main concern. Just because you can create and direct a child does not mean you are equipped to provide them the best quality of life. Children need more than the bare necessities and it takes money to involve children in sports, extracurricular activities and the opportunity to travel and explore the world. We disadvantage ourselves and our children when we decide that a single parent home is okay. Now, please don’t get me wrong, as I am well aware that things happen. Some women are single because they were married and became divorced or were promised that their significant other could help. My aim is not to tear single mothers down, but to show the world the importance of fathers to help carry the load of being parents. When these statistics are considered and we understand the relationship between poverty and crime, I think Dr. Hampton’s message speaks more volumes than people are willing to hear. Children are smarter than we give them credit for and they know when they don’t have the same resources as their peers. When their parents can’t afford to put them in Boys Scouts, they join local street gangs. When their parents can’t afford their clothes, they wear whatever they see Hip Hop artists wearing; baggy jeans and long t-shirts which are fairly cheap; dressing half-naked or wearing non-tailored clothing are cheaper and easier to find. When children aren’t able to eat, they involve themselves in illegal activities to acquire money which makes them a target for the cops and puts them in the system. Do you see how much of a bigger issue this is than just being a single parent? Not to mention our African American history from slavery where our men were the first to be stripped from our families, but I digress…
Gender roles today are maintained by this idea of individuality way too much for my liking. It’s almost like saying I know you’re a fire engine, but I want you to behave like a police car because that’s what I like. At the end of the day whether people want to accept it or not, female genes complete the Mullerian path and male genes complete the Wolffian path to become either females or males respectively. With these come along biological differences that we want to fight on a daily basis, but I think are important to understand. It’s not that men are more superior or better than women, it’s the fact that we are uniquely different and our differences need to be appreciated and not put in competition. Biologically, women are predisposed to “female traits” and so are men to “male traits.” Our society today wants to act like there are no differences between the two sexes and I feel that is the main culprit why families are so dysfunctional. Women want to be men and forget how to be a woman and men behave like women and forgot where they laid their testicles down. This phenomenon is one of the main reasons why I merge science and religion. I personally believe God created this world and through science He allowed it to evolve. This may explain why males and females predominantly operate from opposite brain hemispheres which allows them to express different behaviors. When these unique male and female traits unite in a healthy relationship, they are able to create well-balanced children with a combination of male and female characteristics. Unfortunately, most children only see life through their mother’s lenses or just their single fathers and don’t have the opportunity to have binocular vision for a healthy family. Although divorce and death can leave a family broken, it seems poor partner selection and the lack of desire to create a healthy family dynamic are the culprits for broken families and irate children.
My main point here to tie this all back together is that women aren’t men and nor are they feared in the same light as men. After the cop murders of African American men, a video went viral showcasing a black man beating the snot out of a white female cop. They tried to justify what happens when an unarmed man threatens a cop, but the only thing it truly showcased is that women do not possess the same physical powers as men, period, unless they are on steroids. I’m pretty sure that incident would not have gone down the same way if it were a male officer. It is important for women to understand their bounds as ladies. We are some pretty powerful beings, but our strength does not lie in our physical capabilities, but our intelligence, nurturing nature and our powerful abilities to reproduce. It’s just unfortunate that women are not valued anymore and I think this is why feminism has taken flight. I think when we properly play out our roles and attract partners to complement our strengths and weaknesses, we will see a positive rise in families, especially African American families. And no, I don’t think that women can’t be powerful leaders and breadwinners, I just think it’s important for her to know her role so that she can find a suitable partner where they are not fighting for power. At the end of the day, I was raised to have a healthy sense of fear in my parents similar to how Christians fear God’s power. Unfortunately parents today, especially women, are more concerned with being their child’s friend and then wonder why they are constantly being profiled against. Instead, be an authoritarian over your children and instill concrete morals so they can carry them even when they are not in your presence. You have a whole lifetime to befriend your children after you have properly raised them.