Make Fatherhood Great Again
“We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception.”
“The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families. … In vain are Schools, Academies, and Universities instituted, if loose principles and licentious habits are impressed upon children in their earliest years. … The vices and examples of the parents cannot be concealed from the children.” —John Adams (1778)
My friend and neighbor, Willie Richardson, knows more about raising Black children than most Americans of any racial or ethnic background can ever know. Ahead of this Father’s Day weekend, Willie devoted his Grassroots Perspective analysis to the devastating consequences of fatherless homes. I have also written extensively on that outcome.
Like our longtime mutual friend and dedicated father, Patrick Hampton, also one or our Grassroots Perspective writers, Willie is one of the bravest men I know.
These two men, and a growing number of other Black men and women, have taken very public roles standing against the prevailing race-bait orthodoxy propagated by race hustlers at the helm of the Democrat Party. As a result, Willie and Patrick, and their families, have paid a heavy price for taking a grassroots stand against that tide.
But they have remained steadfast in their convictions as men of faith devoted to family.
On the subject of fatherhood, more specifically the Left’s war on fathers and families, I was struck this week by remarks delivered back in 2008 by a mixed-race man who identifies as Black, Barack Obama. As you recall, Obama was the victim of a badly broken family and was discipled by Marxists and Black supremacist haters — most notably his “pastor,” Jeremiah Wright.
Despite broken family factors which almost always prove to be insurmountable odds to successful parenting, I believe that Obama was and is a devoted husband and father, as much so as President George W. Bush before him.
The New York Times offered this assessment of then-Senator Obama’s compelling remarks: “Obama Sharply Assails Absent Black Fathers.” And that he did.
Obama had this to say about fatherhood to the congregants of the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago:
Of all the rocks upon which we build our lives, we are reminded today that family is the most important. And we are called to recognize and honor how critical every father is to that foundation. They are teachers and coaches. They are mentors and role models. They are examples of success and the men who constantly push us toward it. …
But if we are honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that what too many fathers also are is missing — missing from too many lives and too many homes. They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it.
You and I know how true this is in the African-American community. We know that more than half of all black children live in single-parent households, a number that has doubled — doubled — since we were children. We know the statistics — that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and 20 times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.
Obama declared, “Yes, we need more cops on the street,” but he insisted, “We also need families to raise our children.” He concluded: “We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception. We need them to realize that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child — it’s the courage to raise one.”
What fascinated me most about Obama’s comments is his abject blindness to the underlying factors that have caused and continue to cause the gross deterioration in Black families and communities: Democrat social policies.
Bottom line: The Democrat Party was, is, and will continue to be the agents of Black oppression. Demonstrably, the socialist Democrats are now, simultaneously, the historical author and political beneficiary of the systemic racism which they have institutionalized over the last century. It is Democrat policies which have kept generations of poor mostly-Black Americans ensnared and enslaved on urban poverty plantations – which they both seeded and institutionalized over the last century. The Democrat Party platform has, by design, kept poor people in bondage to the welfare state and consequently, is the blueprint for the most enduring racial exploitation architecture in America.
While Father’s Day should be a day of celebration, it urgently needs to be a call to action. An almost universal common denominator for all the manifestations of social entropy afflicting our nation today is homes without fathers.
When I think about “fatherhood,” the word first invokes my relationship with the person who irrevocably shaped my own life. My “Old Man,” as I affectionately called him (and as my sons call me today), was the “founding father” in our home. I am humbled and grateful to be my father’s son and my children’s father. My father was always a devoted husband to my mom, and he was always there for my siblings and me. He was a real man, a man’s man in every sense of the word, and though he was imperfect as a husband and father, as am I, I thank God that I could call him “Dad.”
If you are a father, or want to support fatherhood initiatives, I encourage you to visit these good marriage and family advocacy organizations:
There are fine fathering resources at the National Fatherhood Initiative, the National Center for Fathering, Focus on the Family, the American Family Association, the Family Research Council, and a great mentoring organization like the one founded by my friends John Smithbaker and Scott MacNaughton, Fathers in the Field. Tony Dungy, the former professional football player and Super Bowl-winning coach, has devoted much of his post-football years to coaching fathers. His All Pro Dad fatherhood mentoring organization provides great resources.
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Pro Deo et Libertate — 1776
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