The experiences that I have had in my lifetime have inevitably helped shape the perspective that I have in life today. A perspective that is not so critical. A perspective that is apprehensive about being condescending and judgmental toward others. Too often, I find that some people are so quick to offer up criticism to certain issues, but yet, they fail to offer up any real solutions to help possibly rectify those issues. Thus instead of becoming part of the solution, they remain part of the problem.
Having children out of wedlock and the high rate of unwed mothers has existed well before it was discovered that Keyshia Cole was pregnant. This issue can be seen across color lines, although I must admit that this issue does disproportionately affect the Black community. There’s no denying that having children out of wedlock and the high rate of unwed mothers have become the norm and not the exception in today society, but I’m not sure how referring to Keyshia Cole as being stupid or degrading her by calling her a “hood rat” helps change those facts.
Having children out of wedlock and the high rate of unwed mothers is an issue that needs to desperately be address and dealt with within our community. If we truly care about becoming part of the solution to help rectify this issue, then we have to be willing to be part of an open dialogue that has more to offer than criticism and personal attacks against women such as Keyshia Cole.
The dynamics of the Black family throughout the years has undeniably changed. The idea of the institution of marriage has changed as well. It often baffles me when I think about how our community has been on such a downward slope since the “The Civil Rights Era.” An era where Black people had a sense of solidarity, an era where we demanded equality, and an era where family and family values was deemed important. Those days has come and gone, but as you know, we are a people full of resilience and hope, and we are a people who has a track record of solving problems and rectifying issues.
So, if you want to be part of solution to rectifying the issue of women having children out of wedlock and the high rate of unwed mothers, I think you should first be less critical of other women and remember that at the end of the day, we all have fallen short.
Make a commitment to yourself that you won’t have children until you are married. Make a commitment to yourself to have protected sex or refrain from having sex until you are married. Start with your daughter. Help build-up her self-esteem. Help her become aware of her self-worth. Let her know that she is already validated, and that she doesn’t need to seek validation from no one. Start with your son. Teach him what it means to be a man, a father, and a provider. Promote the institution of marriage in your own family and in your own community. Be a mentor to someone. Be a positive role model in someone’s life.
Do something more productive instead of referring to people as stupid and referring to people as “hood rats.”
There are sistas who visit Brown Sista on a regular basis that may have had a child out of wedlock and who are unwed mothers. I wouldn’t dare call these women stupid and degrade them by calling them a “hood rat.”
Words are powerful and it’s important to bring up issues that affect our community, but it’s more important to do it in a way that it doesn’t further demean our sistas. I think we have been demeaned enough throughout history.