Dad, Redefined

The Washington Post printed the newest article in their “Being a Black Man”  Series and I am starting to have some serious issues with the series.

Tim Wagoner is a 27 y/o black man who is the father of a 4 month baby.  The baby’s mother is only 19 y/o.  I am hoping that he was not involved with this young lady before she turned 18 but I digress…..

Tim is 27, never graduated from high school and has never held a job more then 7 months.  He is currently employed and makes $7.50 an hour.  He never knew his father, and his step-father and uncle, the only male role models he had in his life, both were murdered.

Tim is however , working on his GED with the hopes of obtaining a job at Metro.  And he is involved in his baby’s life, which is a good thing. 

Which leads me to my complaint.  Why was this article published in the “Being a Black Man” series?  What was driving point that writer of this article was trying to make? 

I see a young brother who has made some mistakes and is attempting to correct them.  In the past I assume he quit jobs for whatever reason, but now since he has a child, it appears that he has a plan on how to better himself.

What I am tired of seeing and hearing about are the statistics.  There are more white people in this country then black people, so of course our numbers will be always viewed as high when you compare them to our white counterparts.

But let’s not generalize or stereotype.  In this country we are cultually conditioned to believe that white is superior and black inferior; and as result black people are underestimated, undervalued and marganilzed. 

There are more white people on welfare then there are black people, and white people commit more crimes then black people.  But our society has been conditioned to believe that crime and poverty are mutually exclusive to black people.

The manifestation of this cultural conditioning also gives a false perception that all poor black people are asking for hand outs or that they are lazy. 

What we are seeing in the black community is a vicious cycle where we have lost sense of family and self.  But all social dysfunctions have a source, and our dysfunction can be linked back to slavery and the continuous, blatant and systematic process of racism.   It is time to form solutions to break the cycle.

It takes a village to raise a child.  Those of us in the black community who have “made it”  need to give back.  This story is a prime example of what happens when a young boy does not have a father figure in his life.  Tim was never taught how to be a man, and his mother, is not helping the situation.  This young man is 27 years old , still living at home. is a high school drop out and has not been able to hold down a job for more then 7 months.  It wasn’t because of racism, or police brutality, it was because of the bad choices he made. This is why I do not understand why this article was included in the series. 


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