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Father’s Day blends cultural heritage into the politics of life

Derek Joy

Derek Joy

Father’s Day blends cultural heritage into the politics of life

By Derek Joy

And so it is. . .

Father’s Day 2014. That special day for the fathers of the world. Providers. Protectors. Teachers and leaders of the family unit.

Ah, yes. Fatherhood has a long history of controversy. Is he or isn’t he?  Does he live up to his role and responsibilities of fatherhood?  Will his offspring grow into well adjusted, productive adults?

And there is more. So very much more.

A creative glimpse of the role of a father was musically conveyed in the 1980 mega hit recording by the O’Jays, titled “Family Reunion.

They sing about the joy of a family reunion, while highlighting the roles of the mother and father. His is to love, provide for, protect, teach and guide his children as they grow from infancy through life.

Doesn’t always turn out that way. There is the haunting reality of negligent, even abusive fathers. Add to that the list of absentee fathers and you have ample reason to reflect on value of a father on Father’s Day.

People of color have added incentive to reflect on the values associated with this day.  History recorded the tragedies of slavery. Africans in their homeland were bought and sold as chattel property. For profit and ego satisfaction.

Such is what history recorded as the legislated way of life when America was established as the Republic of the United States of America on July 4, 1776. South Carolina ramrodded the Three-Fifths Clause into the U.S. Constitution.

Made sure to give slave owners political power, prestige and more. They were awarded three votes for every five slaves they owned. Did this despite the claims they fought for freedom from England to eliminate taxation without representation, among other issues.

So the forked tongue way of talking revealed their perverted way of accomplishing the very same thing they sought to be rid of. Imposed the same inequities on others as they found intolerable.

Ironically, for every gain in freedom and equality made by people of color in the history of America, there exist efforts to negate that prosperity. During slavery time all Black Americans had jobs, albeit without just compensation.

Nowadays, unemployment among people of color is higher than any other ethnic group. There are more Black American babies born to unwed mothers than any other ethnic group. The same is true for derelict dads.

Consequently, it comes as no surprise that more Black Americans live in poverty at a higher rate than any other ethnic group. Some can argue that this is by design. Systematic.

Precisely the reason to consider Father’s Day a time for all fathers to respect each other as equals in the natural order. No matter the ethnic group, religion, political persuasion, financial and social status, becoming a father is an equal proposition.

And Father’s Day reflects no less. As such, I bid you Happy Father’s Day!!!

 

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