Jay Z can raise the bar for black fathers

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Arlene Jones

From the moment of her conception, Blue Ivy Carter has had the media mesmerized. For those of you out of "the know," Blue Ivy is the daughter of Beyonce and her husband Jay Z. Blue Ivy cries were added to a record, making her one of the youngest bestselling artists. Her name was copyrighted and her father, out of respect for his child (note: He never gave a damn about your or my children) will no longer use the B-word to refer to women.

Just recently, Jay Z did an interview where he declared, "I just know I'll probably have the worst, spoiled little kid ever." That line about spoiling his daughter has had the Internet abuzz. A number of very famous people have chimed in, concerned that Jay Z's statement is creating a "bad role model for black parenting."

I have to admit that, for once, I find myself sitting on the fence, unsure of which side to join. On one hand, every single parent of a first child has attempted to "spoil them rotten." In our quest to be good first-time parents, we go out of our way to provide for the child. Throw in the amount of wealth that both Beyonce and Jay Z have, along with friends who are equally wealthy, and what may seem like extravagance to the average person is a mere drop in the bucket to them.

It is also very easy to take what Jay Z said and critique it out of context. The reality of a spoiled-rotten 2-year-old can bring sensitivities to any parent who has had to deal with them. My concern is not with the physical things they can provide for their daughter. I wonder just how much time they can devote to the child. Will she be raised by nannies or her mother and father? Will she have a stable life that mimics normalcy as much as possible or will she have to adjust to living the entertainment lifestyle? Will she grow up secure in the love that her parents express for her or will she search for love because physical "things" do not equal love?

Rather than critique Jay Z for his admitting that he and his wife will probably spoil their child rotten, I'd like to see some of the same criticizers admonish black folks for the continued out-of-wedlock birthrates. You see, Jay Z and Beyonce followed a path that is more traditional than anything. They dated, they got engaged, they got married, and then years later they had a child. Blue Ivy is now in the minority for black children because she has a married mother and father.

I'd like to see Jay Z go on a rant and tell black males to acknowledge their children. Notice I used the term "males" and not "men," simply because a real man would never deny his child. Out-of-wedlock births and the men who deny their progeny are the main reasons for so much of the chaos that is now considered normal in the black community. And the problem isn't one-sided because far too many of those very children were created on purpose by women who believed that a baby would hold onto a man who wasn't that interested in them to begin with.

Something or someone has to get the conversation started. Bill Cosby tried but he was attacked by all sides. Jay Z may be the best spokesperson for the job simply because he is being what we want a father to be - a real man!

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