Several weeks ago, a Knoxville, TN man, 33 year-old Desmond Hatchett, petitioned a family court judges leniency as he asked for a reduction in his child support payments to his twenty-four (originally reported as thirty) kids. Yes, you read it right...two dozen kids. Jokes and smh's ensued throughout the media. With so many sad things to choose from, this should make this one of my easiest blog posts, right? Wrong. See, the idea of one man who's royalty, a billionaire, or the last man on earth, fathering twenty-four kids is excessive, but when he's making minimum wage ($7.25/hour in Tennessee) that amounts to thirty cents ($0.30) an hour per kid, two dollars and forty cents per eight hour workday or twelve dollars per week, per child...if the father dedicates every bit of his paycheck, before taxes. Taxes would eat away another twenty to thirty percent, depending on Tennessee's payroll taxes.
|Desmond HatchettDuring HS-Voted most likely to reproduce...multiple times.|
What I know is there are too many children and not enough parents. There are athletes (T.O., Antonio Cromartie, Jose Lima) and entertainers (Lil Wayne, Flavor Flav) fathering multiple kids with multiple women. Is this a case of dysfunctional life imitating art? Again, I don't know, nor do I give a sh*t. I just know that I'm tired of the ignorance and I'm tired of the irresponsibility.
There's a trend/mentality in many (mainly poverty stricken or poverty stricken influenced communities) where men and women accept the multiple father/mother family structure as a norm. It isn't a norm, especially since kids deserve a chance to be raised in the best possible environment.
A child enduring a fatherless or father-absent environment begets all sorts of child development obstacles ranging from attachment issues, abandonment, abuse and neglect. The child becomes a product of their environment. Raised in an inherently dysfunctional environment is traumatic and while some of those children may succeed, many unfortunately, sans positive intervention, won't have much of a chance to succeed.
There's nothing wrong with single parenthood when the parent is willing and capable of raising children (and believe it or not, while having ample finances is a factor, it is not the deciding factor of a single parent's capability).
However, unless there is a serious effort to attack the issue of irresponsible parenthood...these stories continue and the decimation of family (as we know it) continues as well. The Desmond Hatchett story, I'm afraid, isn't over.