What You’re Supposed to Do

Happy Friday’s Eve!  Today’s post was inspired by two syndicated shows I listened to yesterday but don’t normally listen to on a regular basis.   The first was “The Russ Parr Morning Show”, where they were discussing how to monitor people who are abusing the welfare system, i.e. women who continue to have babies to get a check from the government but aren’t doing anything to better themselves, like going back to school or finding a job.  The next show was “The Michael Baisden Show“, of which I’m not a huge fan.   They were praising fathers who take of their children, some of whom are single parents.   Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? 

Going to the welfare thing first; I’ll just talk about this briefly.  I think the solution is pretty simple.  Put a limit on how long people can be on welfare.    During this limitation period, people need to be making a concerted effort to better themselves.  Educate yourself or get a job.  (And we’re not going to talk about how the welfare system separates families.  How?  By requiring that a male NOT be living in the house.  That’s another post for another day.)   Now, after this limitation period is over, send a social worker to the home to assess the situation. Is the head of the household working on making a better life for her and her children?  If so, continue to help, but lessen the benefits (if the parent is working).  If not, take the children away and cut off the money.  Yes, I know-this is probably wrong on so many levels.  One, we have WAY too many kids in the foster care system right now.   But I’m sure there is a family somewhere that would love to take care of and have children in their home.  You never want the children to suffer.  But being in an unhealthy environment just starts the cycle all over again.  That’s why you have families who have been in the same housing projects for generations, and there’s no move to stop the cycle.  Show the children better.  Encourage them to DO better.  (Yeah, so much for being short.) 

Now, about these men who have children and are taking care of them.  Um, correct me if I’m wrong, but if you have a child aren’t you supposed to take care of them???  Michael Baisden and his sidekick George were praising fathers who go at it alone or who pay child support or visit their children.  Whoop-ti-do!  Case in point- Southern Parents divorced when I was four.  Southern Dad paid child support and visited with me on a regular basis while I was growing up.  He doesn’t deserve a medal.  Why?  Because that’s what you do.  And just because the relationship didn’t work between my mother and him didn’t stop him from being a father.  You may leave the marriage or relationship, but you never leave the children.   Yes, it’s taboo that you hear of single dads or men who take care of their children, but that’s a problem.  It shouldn’t be taboo.  It should be as normal as getting up every morning and brushing your teeth or taking a shower. 

I could really be here all day talking about this, but I know you all have things you want to do today!   But I would like to know what you guys think.  Thoughts on single dads, welfare, or just anything in general relating to this topic; the floor is yours.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

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5 Comments

  1. I know of many welfare programs that require the mothers to take education classes, job training, etc. in order to continue to receive their benefits, and they have to either get a job or continue meeting with counselors to help them find a job or they don’t get benefits. Eventually they do cut you off. This was in Michigan, before the recession, so it’s probably even stricter now.

    As someone whose mother was on Welfare for a period of time, I definitely do not agree with taking their children. My mother did find a job and work, and she only had one child when she was on assistance (my brother is eight years younger than me). As for continuing cycles…I can’t speak for everyone, but my mother taught me the value of an education. I have my degree and I work everyday. I live by myself in an apartment I pay for without any help from anyone. I like the way the aforementioned program ran, trying to help women find jobs and DIGNITY, not just a handout.

    As for Michael Baisden, I just can’t with him! He is borderline misogynistic and is always elevated men for doing things they’re supposed to. I know Black men don’t get enough credit, but he goes to the other end of the spectrum–telling younger Black women they aren’t good enough and that’s why Black men are with older women or other races; ridiculing Black women for wearing the same self-improvement props as other races of women and complaining that they are “fooling” men…ugh!

    • Thanks for your comment! And let me clarify (this is what happens when you type fast-you miss saying some stuff!). I know that the welfare system works for those who use it the correct way-as a means of doing better, not as a paycheck. This comment was more for those who abuse the system-continue to have children, are not getting jobs or an education, and just sitting at home and not doing anything. And it’s people with this mindset that pass that cycle on to their children, not the women who use it for a temporary period.

      And about Michael Baisden, yeah, he’s NOT the business. You’re right, in society Black men do get beat up a lot, but Black women even more, which is sad! And Baisden just adds to it. Praise somebody for going above and beyond the call of duty…not for the basic stuff.

  2. I agree with putting some sort of cap on government assistance or requiring recipients to fulfill requirements in order to keep their benefits, but I wholly disagree with the idea that removing children from the home is a viable deterrent to welfare fraud.

    The foster care system is nearly irreparably broken. There are already too many children for too few homes, and minority kids too often get the worst of both worlds. Instead we should use every available resource to empower mothers to be fit, competent parents.

    As for your second point, I’m completely with you! Why do we pat men on the back for taking care of their kids? I also hate when fathers talk about “babysitting” their children. Huh? You can’t babysit your own child that’s called parenting.

    Good post.

  3. I don’t listen to morning radio shows, but I support brother Baisden’s decision to highlight fathers who are holding it down. The media, both Black and White, vilifies the Black man more often than not. I know LOTS of brothers have issues, but its nice to see a show dedicated to Black men who are doing the right thing by their children. Yes, these fathers are supposed to be actively engaged in their children’s lives. I don’t see why showing them appreciation is such a crazy idea. How ’bout we cancel Mother’s day this year. I mean…mothers don’t need to be recognized for doing what they are supposed to do…right?

    • First, we have Fathers Day, Jabari, so let’s be real! And you’re right, Black men get it in media, but so do Black women. There’s nothing wrong with highlighting black fathers, but the way Michael and George were talking, you would’ve thought people were doing something spectacular as opposed to doing what they’re supposed to do.

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