The Gray Area

The Gray Area

Addressing negativity. . .

with 2 comments

For the censored, abridged version, check here.

So for those of you who don’t know, I’m getting married (www.thomasandcarollette.com). I’ve noticed two distinct reactions from people when they learn that I’m getting married.

  1. They’re happy and congratulate me, or

  2. they’re pessimistic and sarcastic.

The latter of the two is generally from single (divorced), middle-aged Black men. Their responses generally range from cynicism to full-blown negativity. The typical reaction I get is:

::siiiiigh::, followed by a wide-eyed “Man, you SURE???”

What the fuck is this all about??? I’ll tell you.

There’s a difference between asking out of genuine concern, and trying to be a cynical asshole spewing turds of negativity atcha boy. As I mentioned, it’s generally middle-aged, divorced black guys (i.e my dad’s friends) sayin the shit to me – guys who got married either by force, or without thinking the whole thing through. As a result of their situation, they have a distorted view of marriage.

Granted, it’s not for everybody, but just because it’s not for YOU doesn’t mean you should try to talk ME out of it. Families are the cornerstone of a strong community, and our flawed family structure is part of the reason that lots of Black folks (and Americans in general) are so fucked up. . . but I digress – I won’t get on my “that’s what’s wrong wit Black folks shit.”

Fuck it, yes I will.

That’s what’s WRONG wit Black folks! Our family structure has been broken, and the “pimp” or “player” personae is glorified and emulated. Lots of us were raised outside the boundaries of a traditional (i.e – single-parent) family, and assume that since we’re not in prison or on drugs, that there’s no consequence in bringing up a child out of wedlock. There are certain qualities necessary to a child’s development that each parent brings to the table. And while it is entirely possible for a single-parent to successfully raise a child, the situation is far from ideal, and has further-reaching implications than what is readily observable on the surface.

My ol dude was never what I would call the ideal father, and we butted heads a lot. However, his presence in my life was definitely beneficial. He understood that a boy needs a man to teach him certain lessons. As well, there is a certain disciplinary hand that a father provides, which a woman just does not.

Not all of the lessons I learned from him were intentional. While he taught me valuable lessons on how to be a father, he also taught me exactly how NOT to be a husband. He provided the perfect template for the ultimate divorceable man. So in this regard, his presence was still immensely beneficial. Although I did not have the opportunity to see a healthy, functional marriage in my own household, I still have SOMETHING to build upon, instead of just going at it blindly.

Someone raised by one parent may not realize the disadvantage they’ve been given. They may say “My mama raised me without my daddy, and I turned out just fine!” They are more likely to perpetuate the single-parent epidemic plaguing our community. The lack of understanding of the big picture, mixed with the intense emotions of having a baby makes it harder to take into account the effects on society.

Strong, healthy families are the building blocks which will restore us to prominence as a people, and as a nation. This is a completely attainable goal, but it will definitely not be easy. If raising a child takes a village, imagine what it takes to raise the village.

Just some thoughts to start the year.

Happy 2009.

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Written by TomDaBomb2u

January 1, 2009 at 12:00 am

2 Responses

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  1. That’s my lil Brotha!!!! F*** them niggardly ( I bet most folks didnt know this was a word ) dudes. Congrats Man…lets get ready to have some Don Julio

    Mario

    January 1, 2009 at 8:25 pm

  2. dude…at this point, we’ve pretty much challenged every statistic, stereotype, and stigma that can be made. And have succeeded, despite what others say…**cawledge is stupid etc**

    If there were more guys like yourself, or more women like C, then there would be more happy people out there. Take the advice with the grain of salt, but don’t let other project their failures/fears on you….

    Congrats my friend!!!

    Awesomeness Inc.

    January 5, 2009 at 3:41 pm


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