Happy Father’s Day to EVERY (Black) Father

Photo of Rapper Young by The New York Times

About the author: Jermaine Reed, MFA is a college professor and writer from Chicago, who creates fiction, nonfiction and local and national news stories. For self-publishers, authors and other writers and Creatives, Jermaine provides proofreading on Fivver. Please join Jermaine’s email list to get notifications on new blog posts, writing advice and free books. Get his recently released Science Fiction novel A Glitch in Humanity by clicking here. Follow J Reed on Twitter @jreed913 . Check out The Reeders Block Podcast and subscribe there to hear more.

On this day, fathers are celebrated for being a father. However, some people use this day to ridicule dads. “Don’t celebrate if you can’t pay child support” and “You don’t see your kids enough, so don’t celebrate Father’s Day” are regular anti-father sentiments spewed over the Internet. Without drawing distinctions or comparing one father to the next, I say, “Happy Father’s Day to all fathers, regardless of your circumstances”, and I think everyone should do the same.

Many think a father should shoulder “all expenses”

Some may believe that a father who can not afford to pay the amount of child support the child’s other parent wants is a deadbeat. They might think a father should shoulder “all expenses” the other parent argues for. This is a faulty and damaging premise.

Post from Facebook ridiculing fathers whose situations the author of the post does not know

As an example, sometimes, what a court decides a child needs in support is less than what the primary guardian is seeking. Because of this, the primary guardian is sometimes left bitter and resentful. In their anger, they illogically argue the father is a “deadbeat” because he is not required to pay the bonanza sought by the primary guardian.

“You can’t afford to see your kids” has become a popular motto

Moreover, “deadbeat” is often misused to describe a father who doesn’t meet the financial expectations of the primary guardian and is forced by the primary guardian not to interact with his children. “You can’t afford to see your kids” has become a popular motto, but who is hurt more by this? The kids or the father?

Lonely Black Boy. Photo by RagsAndPieces.com

Additionally, a father who does not see his children on the regular basis is not always to blame. It can be argued that any man who really wants to be in his child’s life would go to any legal means to make it happen. This may be true. There is no excuse for not being there for one’s child when the law makes it possible. But does a father want to sue for custody and cause more troubles for his kids? Does a dad want to take the other parent of his kids to court? How would doing so damage his kids?

But no matter your shortcomings or failures… you’re the greatest dad in the world.

Lastly, happy Father’s Day to the fixed dads, broken dads, poor dads, rich dads and every other type of father there is. The world does not always take it easy on Black men, especially not Black dads. In fact, the world can be quite cruel. They will call you “thug”, “criminal”, “loser”, “ex-con” or any other belittling title they can think of. But no matter your shortcomings or failures, as long as you try, you’re the greatest dad in the world.

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Published by J Reed

J Reed is a Chicago-based fiction writer. When he isn't making a pretense of writing, he's making a pretense of working.

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