Thursday, September 10, 2009

Supporting Child Support

I'm the product of a fatherless home. Many of us are. And one issue growing up was of course child support. My mother raised me with no help from the man who left her to raise a kid on her own and when I hear about a man with a child, or children they don't support I get red with anger, theres never an excuse, period.

But this entry is all about the fathers who are damned if they do and damned if they don't when it comes to child support and a conspericy against black men.

It's well known that when it comes to fatherlessness, black families have the worst rates, it's been known for decades now. And now I've whitnessed fathers who are behind or don't pay child support put into jail for months at a time. So is this wrong or right? I usually like to play devils advocate, but in this instance I think jailing deliquent fathers is not the key to solving the child support problem. If it was left up to me, there would be prevention of conception period, especially for people who aren't ready for children like teens and financially unstable people. But alas, everyday there are unexpected preganacies and the babies are born, still little blessings. Somewhere along the way, thousands of men turn their backs on responsibility, and financially this can be devistating when raising a child. So the system has had the bright idea to jail these men. Causeing a chain reaction that ultimatly causes more pain for people. The men are jailed, which causes an inability to maintain employment, which causes an inability to pay child support, which causes more jail time. And with our black men being the highest statistic for child abandonment, this raises the numbers of our black men in jail tipping the scales for incarceration statistics.

So what is the solution? First of course is using your noodle and preventing pregnancy, if you cannot afford birth control, or cannot afford a child, do everything possible not to have one. It's worth it.

Second if there is a little 'surprise' the system should promote family togetherness, and encourage fatherhood and marriage. Especially in the inner city. Classes for young men, information, and a real life reality checks on the effects of a fatherless childhood. We should work to break the vicious cycles that are harming our people. And I really wish the young men, (and the old men who do the same thing) would just stop and THINK. In schools we SHOULD have sexual education, resources, and somewhere for teens to go. Because lets face it, we can turn our backs on it and deny it, but teens are sexually active. And more often than not they are active without proper information from parents and teachers.

For the deliquent fathers, instead of jail time, they should be forced to take parenting classes and job training if a job is the issue. Help not punishment is needed. How can a man maintain employment with a record? Hello, who's idea was it to make jail time okay.

I came to the realization that there are many reasons for fatherlessness, and although I wish there was something that could be done about it, it's still going to happen. So as Americans we should want to promote taking responsibility, fatherhood, and family. But maybe that's just me.