Fathers are the most undervalued people on the face of the earth, and that's a fact. Especially black fathers, we're demonized, marginalized, and treated like inept, incompetent enemies of the state. So much so that there is rarely an occasion when I'm out with my eight year old daughter that we are not looked at like a sideshow attraction or an oddity of some kind. Usually some woman makes her business to say, "Oh, you're spending time with daddy?" As if my daughter is getting a treat, and I deserve a smile for doing something that I do just about everyday. The fact is, I probably spend more time with her than I do with myself!
But being a Black father and a Black man in America means being subjected to loweref expectations. Always has and probably always will be. But those of us who are conscious, set our own expectations. Not that it matters to anyone else but it is necessary to survive, thrive or tread water. Most of us rise above and some of us don't. We must be careful not to join the angry mob pointing fingers simply to provide the world with an alternative villan.
With that being said, Bobby Brown (no relation), is perhaps one of the most notorious fathers in America, and one of the most disrespected men in the world. Known for being a bad boy, a bad man, a bad father, and an all around bad human being. But if being a black man in America, and a Black man in America who just happens to be a father has taught me anything it's that we all have our own unique set of circumstances that influence our situations. Even similar situations have differentiating circumstances that those who are on the outside looking in may not understand, cannot understand, or do not choose to understand. With that being said it has never been and never will be right to judge a man when you have not walked a mile in his shoes.
A few days ago Bobbi Christina Brown, who is the daughter that Bobby tried had with his wife Whitney Houston, passed away at the age of 22 and it's a tragedy. This did not come as a shock or a surprise to me given that fact that she had been in a coma for quite some time. But I hate the fact there seemed to be a calculated hesitance in given Bobby Brown condolences and a rush to blame him for her death in the same way that he was blamed for Houston's death years ago. The fact of the matter is these women were adults who made there own decisions, and despite Bobby's imperfections this man lost his daughter, and the media acts as if he was a co-conspirator, or a perpetrator. Again, this man lost his daughter and his daughters mother whom he was married to for many years. He has just as much right to grieve as Cissy Houston or anyone else and he has just as much right to be human as anyone else.