Hernan posted this on Facebook on Fathers Day. I asked to re post because this is such an important message. Just look at the sweet faces in this picture. When one family member is incarcerated, all family members are impacted. Let's' support the possibility for positive transformation through love. Thank you, Hernan. ~ Jessica Hall.
Happy Father's Day to all the men who are currently incarcerated who may only get a few hours with their children before they have to see them walk out the visiting floor without them. I remember the many times my daughter came to visit me when I was incarcerated and how it felt to not be able to walk out with her when she stuck out her little hand. I used to act tough and hide the fact that I wanted to cry but it broke my heart to not be able to be with her on special occasions like "Father's Day."
I know some people will also say that we have men incarcerated who don't deserve to be called "father" because they may have neglected their responsibilities and/or just don't care. I will kindly ask those who think that way to be mindful that some of the men currently in prison may have also not had active fathers in their life and so they don't know how to be a father themselves. This obviously does not apply to everyone but it certainly does for some. And for others, imagine growing up around constant violence, mental health issues, poverty, unstable family dynamics, and many other problems. We expect our men to be tough. We expect them to not show emotion. Well, at least society certainly has set that expectation. And, as a result, some of our men fail to realize that they too bear the responsibility of being a caring and supportive parental figure for their children and sometimes throw that responsibility to the mothers (who do their best to carry both roles). I can certainly say that if it wasn't for education and having men and womxn show me love and support when I was at my lowest, I would have never become the father that I am today. My daughter used to fear me because of who I was... and now she loves me because she knows I would do anything for her. I was given the space and opportunity to learn to not just be a man... but also to be a father. And lucky for me, even after all the terrible things I did to the mother of my daughter she, too, sees how much I have changed and is happy that I am still in my daughter's life. She is proud of me.
So, once again, Happy Father's Day, to all the men who are currently incarcerated and to all the womxn who proudly carry both titles. And to the father's who are doing a good job, keep it up. Let's keep helping our children become the leaders of tomorrow.