FATHER’S DAY IN A FATHERLAND

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In America, Father’s Day is celebrated the third Sunday in June. This year, 2018, it falls on June 17. Father’s Day celebrates paternal bonds and all of the influences of fatherhood in society. Father’s Day 2018 is happening during a very dark time in America. Our country is beginning to resemble the “Fatherland” that reared its ugly head during World War II in Nazi Germany. We seem to be sliding headlong into what some are actually calling “tiptoe totalitarianism.” For the first time, things are happening that force us to realize that our democracy is threatened. Our president and his cohorts are behaving in such a way that it causes us to question everything that we know about our homeland. One of the most egregious of these is the fact that children are being snatched away from their homes and families under the guise of protecting our borders from “illegal immigrants.”

Some Americans remember what happened in Nazi Germany wherein people were “disappeared” in the night. Families lived in abject fear expecting a knock on the door at any moment. What is happening now in America, however, is particularly deleterious to parenthood. Basically fathers are placed in a position where their children are being snatched from them; control over their families is being compromised. This is particularly sinister because many of the so-called illegal immigrants have come here seeking legitimate asylum from atrocities occurring in their countries of origin. We are punishing people who are fleeing oppression, only for them to face an even bigger bogeyman here.

Many people have wondered how people in Nazi Germany were able to sit back and watch what happened to the Jews right under their noses. We now know, because history is repeating itself. As we sit comfortably in our homes, children are being snatched from their parents and placed in detention, which some describe as “cages.” Families are being broken apart. This is how it happened during World War II. A group of people are demonized, and in the minds of Americans they are safely labeled the “others” and can, therefore be disposed of in shameful ways.

Now, what does this have to do with Father’s Day in America? It pulls the covers off of a time-honored tradition, i.e., though we give lip service to the notion of fatherhood, something else is in fact the reality. We could not possibly value fatherhood the way we say we do and sit back and watch how families are being torn apart. Sometimes African Americans tend to ignore atrocities because it is erroneously believed that the issue does not connect to the Black community. This is folly. For one, it is often forgotten that many immigrants are Black. We must remember that when those who are in positions of power mistreat others, it could only be a short stretch before it reaches everyone’s doorsteps. Black fatherhood must be protected. The majority of Black children in America are raised in fatherless households. Fathers provide structure and all types of supports in a family, and when they are missing, the family unit is seriously compromised. If people don’t believe this, just take a gander at the issues surrounding the Black community today. Our families are suffering.

We must renew our understanding of the value of fatherhood. We must make sure that our boys and young men are given the philosophical supports they need to take up a very important role as they mature. They must be taught to protect their families. They must understand that when they are absent, families are left vulnerable to various and sundry outside malevolent forces. They must learn to step up and resist the forces that threaten our families and exercise their rights as citizens to ensure that families remain intact. A Luta Continua.

 

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