Father, Father!

There is no question America’s criminal justice system is rotten to its core. It is a menace to society. However, there is a failed system not being addressed.

For generations, you’ve heard the U.S. news, media perpetuate the stereotype of the absent black father, a critical role in spreading discredited stereotypes about the black family.

According to the U.S. news, media, every major problem in America can be solved if we solve the problem of absent black fathers. I wish I could say that blaming black fathers for the results of racist and social and political systems is new. It’s not. 

Not once before, during, or after did the media attack the manhood of Mike Rittenhouse, the father of the 17-year-old white male charged for shooting three Black Lives Matter protestors in Kenosha.

The headlines tell us about Rittenhouse’s mother. On the other hand, his father was seldom mentioned, except that he lives in Kenosha. Was he in the courtroom? Your son is on trial facing a life sentence. Where are you?

I agree. Being a father, white or black, is an ultimate responsibility for the way a child is raised and is a crucial influence in a child’s life. Sons see their fathers as role models, whom they should grow up to be like and imitate their behavior.

Ephesians 6:4: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Proverbs 1:8: “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching.”

Ephesians 6:4 means that fathers are commissioned to have an active role in raising their children. Of course, mothers share the responsibility (Ephesians 6:1). As the leader, in and out of the home, fathers should be leading in discipline and instruction too.

It is not to say that every black father is doing right by his family—no more than does every white, Latino, Asian, or any other father. Men of all races dodge their responsibility.


Who is guilty? Who or what failed the victims?

Outside the walls of the courtroom, the movie King Richard was released in theaters and on HBO. The movie King Richard addresses the myths and perils associated with being a black father and emphasizes the importance of the father being present in the lives of his children.

While some fathers appear to be strict and disciplined, it is because they want their children to learn how to deal with the real world. Fathers have an essential role, when it comes to their children forming relationships as they are influenced by how their father treats the family.

There is no doubt that King Richard was present in the lives of his children and still judged, for how he showed up.

Photo via The Guardian November 19, 2021 https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/nov/19/kyle-rittenhouse-verdict-kenosha-shooting

By Rachelle Law

Founder, How Come, How Long (HCHL)

Writer, Author, Blogger

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