Originally State Senator Michael Rubio (D-Shafter) introduced a resolution (SJR 12), which urges the President and Congress to pursue a comprehensive approach affirming that fathers and positive adult men are critical parts of the lives of children when addressing issues facing boys and men.  I supported this measure, because I believe it is important that we encourage fathers to be positively involved with their children and to generally provide children with positive male role models.  Men are a critical part of their children’s lives. I think we can all agree this is true.

So, I do not understand why Senator Michael Rubio, rejected his original, race-neutral measure, and has now amended it to include only boys and men of color–especially considering that non-Latino white children comprise 53.6% of all children in poverty.

As a husband and father of five children, an ordained Deacon, and long time volunteer at my church, I can personally attest that regardless of race, creed, or socio-economic status, having a male role model plays an important role in the development of children, building relationships which contribute to their long-term happiness, well-being, and social and academic success.

Our legislature should rise above this ongoing obsession with race and its focus on racial preferences in public policies.  Focusing on the value of all fathers to all children, as intended in the original version of this resolution, would do more to encourage positive outcomes for children, and the problems our society incurs when children grow up without an actively engaged father as a central part of their everyday lives.

If we are ever to achieve Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” it has to start with us, here, recognizing that all children, regardless of their race, the color of their skin, or their creed, need fathers. It starts with us, here, recognizing that the pain of poverty, the consequences of children without fathers, pays no attention to race, color, or creed. A child whose parents do not have jobs, a child who does not know who his father is, a child without the positive involvement of his father in his life – doesn’t feel any more, or less, pain, abandonment or lack of hope because of his race.