A Silly Debate

Here is a news story my friend sent me this morning.  Please read it, then I will add my two cents below.

Parents fight over which gang toddler should join

Police: Mother A Crip, Father A Westside Baller


POSTED: 7:10 pm MDT April 10, 2008
UPDATED: 7:27 am MDT April 11, 2008



COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — A couple fighting about which gang their 4-year-old toddler should join caused a public disturbance that resulted in the father’s arrest, Commerce City police said Thursday.


On Saturday, Joseph Manzanares stormed into the Hollywood Video store where his girlfriend worked, threatened to kill her and knocked over several video displays and even a computer, Commerce City police Sgt. Joe Sandoval said.


After he ran out of the store, police were called and the 19-year-old was arrested at his home.


His girlfriend told police that they had been arguing about the upbringing of their son and which gang he should belong to. The teen mother, who is black, is a member of the Crips. Manzanares is Hispanic and belongs to the Westside Ballers gang, the woman said.


“They have different ideas on how the baby should be raised. Basically, she said they cannot agree on which gang the baby would ‘claim,'” Sandoval said.


Manzanares was charged with disorderly conduct, harassment, and domestic violence. He was transported to the Adams County Detention Facility.


On Tuesday, he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to a year of probation. The misdemeanor harassment charge was dropped.

Now, I think that the child should join his mothers gang.


Because the parents are not married, and therefore paternal rights are limited.  Maternal rights should be dominant.  When parents are unwed and cannot make an argument for common law marriage (if they don’t or haven’t for at least a year been living together), maternal rights are dominant because maternal responsibility is greater.  This is a legal fact.  While a father is required to pay child support and is granted visitation, visitation is not mandetory and is often not used by the father except for the “fun times”.

I am sure there are exceptions out there, but the dead beats seem to be in the majority, and this seems to be true dispite racial background, tax brackett or social standing.  Men in this country in general do not take responsibility for their children because of a national moral standard claiming they don’t have to.  This is reflected by the fact that almost all birth control is made for women’s usage (its women’s problem, so it should be their responsibility to watch out for it), and by laws in many states requiring the child of un married parents to take the mothers last name.

Here are the facts, while a man is required to pay 20% of his income in child support, a mother usually pays well over 80% of her income to provide for her family.  While a father gets the option of seeing his children every other weekend and some holidays, a mother is required to provide constant, 24/7 care for her child.  If the child is sick, it is her who takes off work, losing pay, to care for the child.  While married couples are capable of depending on one another to provide child care if one parent needs to go on a business trip, run an errand, stay late at work or gets sick, the single mother has no one to count on for these things, and as a result often sacrifices opportunity for advancement at work, education, a social life and her health in order to care for her children, where the father of her children does not have to make these sacrifices.

My apologies to the fathers who happily contribute 50% or more of their income to their children and volunteer to care for the children whenever the mother needs them too, contributing as much to their childrens’ upbringing as they would if they were living in the same home as their children.  My hat goes off to you.  You are a rare breed.  Perhaps you could smack some sense into the 99.9% of single fathers who are not so enlightened as you.  Because unfortunately for you, until your kind out numbers the dead beats, the law will not grant you equal parental rights. 

My kudos also goes out to the single fathers who are the sole providers for their kids.  You are in the same situation as the single mothers I speak of above, and therefore deserve the majority of parental right.  So maybe I should say, the parent who lives with the child should have dominant parental rights.  Most often, it is the mother who retains full time custody of the child.

So, if the father in this news story wants the child to join his gang, he should marry the mother (assuming she would marry him, after this display – the article does lead me to believe they are still a couple, in any case, so I assume marriage could be on the table here) and assume 50% of parental responsibility.  In our paternal society, children tend to follow the father, so if he were to take his rightful place as head of household, then he would have a good argument as to what gang the child should join.

An even more novel idea would be to wait until the child is old enough to decide for himself which gang he wants to join.

And even better than that, naturally, would be to encourage the child to find success by non violent means which contributes to society, but I don’t profess to be an expert on the antropological purpose behind gangs, so I’m not going to speculate about what would be best for the child given that I live in a totally different sub culture and cannot expect the child of another sub culture to need the same social rules as me for survival and success.  I can only make the assumption that college would be better than a gang from my view point, which is vastly different in background and position than this child’s.

Anyway, its a silly debate that can, as I’ve tried to show, bring up some very real and valid points.  I hope everyone got a good chuckle from this.


About Rockingthehomestead

Badass feminist environmentalist.
This entry was posted in Babies and Kids, Politics, Single Mom and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A Silly Debate

  1. Jeff says:

    You (and the parents) are missing an opportunity to explore the ramifications of this boy’s “dual-citizenship” status. His parents are already a pillar to unity, and in time, this boy could become a true leader and uniter of both gangs. Once merged, the Ballahs and the Cripps would edge out all other gangs and reign supreme in 5-points. And isn’t that what this is about? What’s best for the child?

  2. jessimonster says:

    You’re even sillier than I am, Jeff!

  3. Theodora says:

    I’d get a chuckle except that I live in a place with serious and severe gang violence, and this is too horrifying to be funny… aiee…. however, wonderful example of using an extreme case to think through a principle or concept (I’m a college professor). Love your blog, Jessimonster.

  4. ms perry says:

    i got a crack out of that article, but in truth is very sad

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