I Bet

If you haven’t heard, singer Ciara and her boyfriend, Seattle Seahawks quarterback, Russell Wilson have been in the news lately. Did they rob a bank? No. Did they curse out the President? No. Were they arrested? No.

So why are they in the news? Let me introduce you to Future, Ciara’s ex-fiancee, and father of her son, Future (kid you not, that is the kid’s horrible name).

Future (who shall be known from this moment on as The Past) has been on a publicity tour for his new album. During a flurry of interviews, he specifically called out his ex-fiancee, for allowing Russell to be around his son. Furthermore, many bloggers and commentators agree that Ciara shouldn’t do that. Now, why is this an issue? A few things and let’s break it down:

  1. The Past has several children by several women. While it is known he has at least four baby mothers, it is rumored he has more. While The Past’s supporters are cheerfully agreeing with him, no one is calling him to task about his role in fatherhood and why he has so many out of wedlock children. The Past has never been married.
  2. The Past has never addressed the issue on when was the last time he has seen Lil’ Future. It is documented he saw his son on his first birthday, but the kid’s birthday was sometime in May. It’s currently August.
  3. He is openly disrespecting the mother of his child, setting a dangerous precedent for his son in, well, the future. If you talk to the mother of your child any type of way, why should your son respect her? Why would your son respect any woman for that matter?
  4. Confidence remains silent while insecurity is loud and clear.

I think what really bothers me the most about this issue are other things. One, there’s a ‘hood mentality’ that applies here. A woman shouldn’t just bring a man over to her children without addressing the issue with the child’s father first. Says who? Why are single mothers relegated to being property when the relationship ends? Just because a man provides support for the child, it does not give him the right to dictate what the mother does with her life. Furthermore, Ciara accepted The Past’s children and their mothers when they’ve dated, though she may have had second doubts herself. Any doubts she’s had, mind you, were private.

Two, it’s a clear attack on black women by black men, the supporters of said ‘hood mentality.’ We’re the first to be in the streets marching for justice for black men; we’re the first to be disrespected by black men. Again, we’re viewed as property, and not as human beings.

Three, I feel the real issue is a class and socioeconomic standing. Russell just signed a huge contract with the Seahawks, and many in the Black community, for reasons unbeknownst to me, think he’s not ‘hard enough.’ He’s a devout Christian. He volunteers his time at the local children’s hospital in Seattle. He praises his teammates. And yet…he’s considered to be soft because he’s quiet and nice?

The Past is primarily known as a rapper. Newsflash: rappers’ careers typically don’t last long. When’s the last time you listened to a Ja Rule record? What’s Fat Joe doing nowadays? What’s Busta Rhymes up to? You get my point? Rappers like Snoop, Jay-Z, and LL Cool J (who mainly acts), are rare. Rappers are only as good as their next album.

This particularly hits close to home. I grew up in a middle-class family in a nice neighborhood. I was in Honors and AP classes. I went to a PWI (predominantly-White institution) university. I like Guns ‘N Roses. Seinfeld is one of my favorite shows. I adore Marilyn Monroe. I don’t speak Ebonics or slang, though I understand what the terms mean. Two of my best friends are White. Bear’s godmothers are Latina. Based on that, I wouldn’t be ‘Black enough.’

Can I tell you about the numerous times I’ve had a non-Black person put their fingers in my hair because they were curious? Can I tell you the many times I was followed in a store for no reason whatsoever? Can I tell you the number of times non-Black friends told racial jokes because they thought they were funny and I would laugh? Can I tell you how I received a compliment once from a mentally-disabled person as the ‘nicest black lady’ she’s ever met? Can I tell you how my father-in-law vehemently opposed our relationship at first because he felt all Black people were ghetto and hood?

You see, Black people may not think certain Black people are ‘down enough’ but trust, the outside world, I’m no different than any Black person out there.

Lastly, this issue really boils my blood because simply put, it’s an attack on single mothers. It’s an attack on women. It seems more and more, women have to keep reminding the world that yes, we are human and yes, we have rights just like men. And there’s been more of an attack to make sure we don’t have those rights. It’s troubling and disturbing. It’s not just men attacking us, but also a small group of women who are joining in on the attacks. It’s ridiculous and stupid.

I hope one day, The Past will realize how stupid and disrespectful he was and makes nice with Ciara before it’s too late.