Black Parenting Fail Week

Last week Marshall and I went to Ray’s on the River for lunch to celebrate our anniversary. Ray’s is located in Vinings, a very shwanky suburb of Atlanta. (And you have to say it just like that: shhwankyyy.) I thought I had been to Ray’s before, but I was wrong. As soon as pulled into the parking lot, it was clear that we had never dined at Ray’s on The River before. We’d eaten at Ray’s Killer Creek, but there are no Bentleys parked in the lot at Killer Creek. There were two Bentleys, side by side, in the parking lot at Rays on the River. Late model BMWs, Jaguars and shiny vehicles of brands unknown to me filled the lot. A number of them sported decals from Georgia Tech, Duke and other prestigious universities from around the South and Northeast.

“I hope I don’t screw up my kids’ future,” I muttered.

“Huh?” asked Marshall. “What are you talking about?”

I pointed to the two Bentleys sitting in the VIP lot.

“You don’t get to drive one of those because of something your parents told you to do,” I said. “That kind of ‘success’ only comes from turning your passion into a paycheck. I just hope I don’t project too many conventional expectations on them…and keep them in this paycheck-to-paycheck cycle we all live in.”

My husband hummed in agreement and led me into the building for lunch.

I can’t speak for all parents, but I assume that many of us fret over the thoughts of our children’s futures. While we can’t wait to launch them out of our houses and into independent life, we certainly don’t want to send them into this nutty world ill prepared. This is the goal for most of us, but certainly not these derelicts. The news this week has been alight with examples of poor parenting, and a number of Black parents (and I use the term loosely)in particular have exemplified levels of idiocy and lousy judgment that one rarely has the misfortune to see.

1. Millions of sperm – 30 kids: Did you see this guy in the news? Desmond Hatchett is a 33 year old man with nearly as many children to parallel his age. The man has fathered 30 children with 11 different women. He appeared in court in Tennessee last week to seek an amendment in his child support payments. He said he needed a break in child support payments. As a minimum wage earner, his payments are spread so thin that a number of the mothers only receive $1.49 a MONTH in support payments. A break in payments, Desmond? Why don’t you give your nut sack a break and stop littering the state of Tennessee with your seed! If there was ever a case for sterilization, this would be it.

Ladies, take a long hard look at Desmond Hatchett and his ilk. Before some man tries to put something ‘long and hard’ in you this week, insist that he wear a condom! Your uterus is not a dumping ground for offspring that he is ill equipped to care for.

2. Wash My Tot dad – This video went viral this week. No, your eyes are not deceiving you: this Neanderthal just put his toddler in a washing machine.


Do toddlers in diapers irritate you? Absolutely. Does that warrant throwing them head first into a high powered metal box powered by electricity that subsequently fills with water (water…which incidentally drowns people)? No. And no again. I am sure that we will see this man again in the news, and hopefully in handcuffs. Again, if there was ever a case for voluntary sterilization, this would be it. Anybody who can’t foresee the possible danger in putting a child in a washing machine has no business producing any more of them.

3. Murderous mom – This one actually broke my heart. Tonya Thomas, a 33 year old mother of 4 children shot and killed them in wee hours of the morning last Tuesday before smoking a cigarette and fatally shooting herself. Her children were 12, 13, 15 and 17 years old. There was a history of domestic violence in the family, but nothing to raise a red flag, at least not to the degree that a parent would murder her kids so coldly and calmly.

There are no other details to explain her actions, and I can draw no conclusions of my own. She may have been on drugs, she may have been depressed, she may have had a temporary mental lapse…only God knows at this point.

My hope is that ALL people will look at these parenting failures and reassess themselves. If you’re thinking of doing something crazy, take a deep breath and just DON’T.