To my Brothers,
We need your help.
I am running out of excuses to explain why men, specifically men of color, are not stepping up to the plate to be the fathers and role models we promised we would be. As young men we promised ourselves we’d be different. We’d be different than many of our fathers were to us. I don’t know what happened along the way. Why didn’t we live up to that promise? I don’t know why we lied to our children, to our women, and to ourselves.
It hurts when I go to parent-teacher night and the only people I see talking about their children’s education are mothers, grandmothers, sisters and aunts. Where the hell are you men? I get that we have to work, we have to grind… I get it. I understand she “did you dirty”. I feel you when you say she has a new man. But let me ask you, do you remember talking about how you planned to be your children’s best friend? Don’t you think that your sons and daughters miss you and need you? Of course those new sneakers you got are cool, but I can guarantee if you went to the park for a few hours, and went to a school function every now and then it would mean so much more to your children.
Do you know that it hurts them to see me pick up my kids every day? Do you care that they wonder why you can’t do the same for them? Aren’t they worth it? I think they are… My boys are… Of course I don’t mind buying your children a snack after school. If have an extra dollar or two, I will get them a coco Icy from the lady on the corner. I understand that their mothers hate cherry because it stains their uniform shirts. So I only get them the coco kind. After all, she is the one that has to take all the kids to the Laundromat because you are not there to watch them while she’s gone.
But since it’s okay for me to get your kids snacks and ask them about their day, I felt that I had the right to tell you that you are making the good guys out here look bad. I need your help; your children need your help; society needs your help. The good guys are so tired of doing your job. To be honest the only reason that we are helping is because we know you represent a group of people that we know so well. You represent our fathers, brothers, cousins and uncles. You represent the deadbeat fathers hear about every day. We know who you are. There are so many of you, how can we forget?
I know that you may be feeling a way about me reaching out to you in this manner because I don’t know what the “real situation” is. But do me a favor, can you at least tell me why you lied? You said that you would never be like your father, but here you are. You said that you can’t wait to be a father, but you run from every opportunity to be one.
Perhaps if I tell you that I am tired of doing your job you will step in and do what you have to do. Perhaps you will realize that there are men that have stepped in on your behalf. Now would be the perfect time to step up and take over. It’s not too late.
I hope this reminder will allow you to realize that we need every piece of help that we can get. I hope you will join us instead of ignoring your responsibilities.
After all, we owe it to the next generation and to ourselves.
Your Concerned Brother