Niagara Gazette

Columns

June 14, 2013

HAMILTON: Fathers Day in the ghetto

Niagara Gazette — There is something unusual about the Rashads, the Jamals and the other similarly named young men that we can see walking up and down the streets of any city.

Often, you can easily spot them, too. We see them as athletes that are dressed in what they call urban clothing.

That, of course, means that their boxer shorts are high above the cracks of their rears and their trousers are sagging beneath the bottom creases of their buttocks — and it seems that they just don’t care about themselves, or about anyone else, doesn’t it?

We judge them, don’t we — yet do we even know these people?

However, I am finding that more and more of those aforementioned young men are not dribbling a basketball in front of themselves, as they meander down the streets. In fact, while too many are, most aren’t even wearing sagging pants. And they are not all named Rashad or Jamal, either.

Instead, many of them that are pushing a baby buggy and the kid strolling inside it own is their own!

You’ll notice those strollers too, if you take your eyes off their buttocks for a minute.

In general, today’s society has too often taken fathers for granted; and that is not just those urban fathers, either — it is all fathers.

Somehow, something in our DNA directs our desire to protect those whom we have long perceived as being the weaker of humanity — you know, ‘women and children first.’

Men, who wear red and blue ties with their business suits and fill our legislative halls, and many of those who don black robes, have passed and ruled on compassionate and compensating laws that have empowered those latter two groups, the women and the children.

Perhaps, in compensating them, has our society also further weakened the role of fathers? If so, it isn’t just young urban fathers, either, is it?

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