Throwaway Sons and Keeper Daughters A few years ago, I first tackled this topic of ‘sons’ and ‘daughters’. Based upon new readership, coupled with more Internet exposure, I have dug back into the ‘gold’ file to bring this one forward. I’d like to open with a question. Time was that mothers cried at weddings. Why are more FATHERS crying at weddings these days? Is it because of the cost? Is it because of the location? Is it because of the fact that their ‘baby girl’ is finally getting ‘hitched’? No, none of these reasons. More Fathers are crying at weddings because their future son-in-law is JUST as BAD as feared he would be! Brothers, we’d better get a firm grip on the young men who make up the next generation that is coming up behind us, and make sure that they understand that the only place success comes before WORK is in the DICTIONARY! You’ll find out why I’m concerned, in just a few lines. WHO IS RAISING WHOM? Now, let’s all catch our breath, and go over a few ‘realities’. First, if the truth were told, not all of our young men have gone wrong. Yes, there are a few, but the majority of them are hard working, honest, moral, and are NOT sleeping around, nor shacking up. If they were, their parents (be they two parent home, or single parent home) would have KILLED them DEAD by now. In the words of Bill Cosby: “I brought you INTO this world, and I can TAKE YOU OUT!” Better take your medication for this section, brothers, because sooner or later, ‘THEY’ WILL be showing up at your house, looking for your daughter. And SHE will have invited them. Who is ‘THEY’? Those pants-drooping, gold-wearing, nappy-headed, diamond-in-the-ear, uneducated knuckleheads who criss-cross the landscape of the school, the church--and the jailhouse. The ones who think that it’s OK that the WOMAN work, and the MAN stay at home to watch Rap Videos and do HIS nails. Now, if the truth were told, not all of our daughters are princesses, nor are all of our sons brutes. Somewhere, WE--as a people--have ‘bought’ into the LIE that we need to be MORE concerned about raising our daughters, and letting our sons merely ‘exist’. Check out any TV newscast or your local newspaper. Whenever we see a family featured, the camera or the writer is MORE concerned about the status of the ‘girls’ in the family. Where are they going to college? What careers will the go into? Can they kick a soccer ball, or shoot a basketball? If there are any sons in the home, they are quickly overlooked. Even the father is overlooked, as the TV camera quickly gets the ‘words of wisdom’ from the mother, and very few words from the father. I've even noticed, among SOME single parents, the 'itch' to talk about how their 'daughters' never seem to have trouble with the law or school, but their 'sons'....well.... PRODUCERS OR CONSUMERS? The tragedy in our ‘feminized’ society is the following: We have grown more sensitive to making sure that our DAUGHTERS have degrees, and NO household skills; and our SONS know how to cook, clean, and sew--WITHOUT an education. It’s almost as if we WANT our sons to be ‘consumers’ rather than fill their rightful role as ‘producers’. Have we been in this country for nearly 400 years, survived slavery, segregation, Jim Crow, and other atrocities--to put our OWN race out of business by making our young men invisible, and our young women high-profile? I would HOPE not, but this IS the way things are LOOKING! African-Americans are the number one consumers (according to research I have listed in other columns) of the mainstream press. WE watch MORE television, by MORE Cds, and got to MORE movies than any of the other cultures in this land! We are already seeing the impact of this ‘attitude’ in the realm of ‘Throwaway’ sons and ‘Keeper’ daughters. More and more articles are coming out, showing more and more young women showing up on college and university campuses, far outnumbering the incoming young men. Two articles released just in the third quarter of 2002 further underscored the point, as OUR young women were asked about the ‘low’ number of OUR young men in higher education. NOT JUST ‘OUR’ PROBLEM: To make matters worse, this is NOT something that is just affecting African Americans. Caucasians are noticing the same thing happening in their ranks. To make matters worse, there are ONLY three all-male colleges in the USA, and more than 70 all-female colleges. If a young man does not have an education, nor has any aspiration to graduate from high school, college, or even trade school, who is going to provide for YOUR grandchildren? That’s right--YOUR daughter! Unless YOU want the job to raise a whole new generation of children (which, by the way, more and more grandparents are doing)! Now, let me say up front, there is NOTHING wrong with a young woman going off to school and getting all the education she can. She is going to have to support herself as she moves out from under your roof. However, the reality is HER education is ONLY a means of helping her future husband and family. We USED to have both parents working outside of the home in the Black community, without the aid of federal grants and studies, and the kids turned out to realize that EVERYONE has a role in keeping a home going. However, somewhere along the way, we have lost sight of the fact that HUSBANDS are to be the providers for WIVES after the ‘I Do’s’ are exchanged. Not the OTHER way around, as the PC crowd likes to have ‘shown’ in the mainstream press. OUR OWN FORM OF ‘POLITICAL AMNESIA’: Even in the ranks of politics and business, OUR people keep OUR young men invisible, and our young women high profile. I have noticed that when a Black company ‘makes it’, you see more of our young women, than young men. In politics--regardless of party--if the office holder is Black, you see more of our young women on his staff than young men. Check out the photos. Who is there, and who is NOT? We talk a wonderful game about how ‘we’ want our young men to achieve. However, when the photos are taken, the studies are finished, and the TV camera lights are dimmed, we STILL have few young brothers in the game. Many of us have ‘relegated’ them to the sidelines. No wonder many of our young brothers are not achieving. Some of us are great roadblocks and discouragers, rather than way clearers and up lifters! There are dozens of young men of color who go overlooked, under encouraged, and under appreciated by their OWN people! Especially Black-owned companies and businesses. LET’S STOP THE HYPOCRISY: Brothers, take a GOOD look at your sons and daughters. Are you raising BOTH of them right? For in reality, you are RAISING someone else’s future HUSBAND or WIFE! If yours are NOT right, what are you ‘passing on’ to someone who IS right? A hand grenade with the pin pulled. Yes, I have heard about the ‘single parent’ issue. However, time was a single parent was feared by their children. They would NOT rest until each child was taught right, and DID right. FAR TOO MANY single parents are letting the streets raise their sons, and are ‘best buddies’ with their daughters. What goes around comes around, brothers. Usually on YOUR daughter’s wedding day. Mike Ramey is the author of THE MANHOOD LINE. A monthly, syndicated column written from a biblical, business, and common sense perspective for men. Email welcome to [email protected]. © 2002 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications International (1).