Hip Hop News 24-7 recently interviewed rapper J-Kwon about his interesting child support situation. During an interview with Miss Georgia, J-Kwon informed listeners that he’d been paying $2,500 per month in child support for seven years for a child that was eventually determined not to be his.
By Boyce Watkins, PhD
The artist goes on to say that he was jailed for not making the child support payments, which derailed his entire career by killing his ability to earn income.
He also said that when it was determined that he wasn’t the child’s father, the courts provided no remedies whatsoever for him to retrieve the tens of thousands of dollars he’d paid over a seven-year period.
J-Kwon is now saying that he plans to start a foundation for Fathers who are having their rights violated by the child support system. I support his initiative, because many of us forget about the millions of fathers out there who are doing all they can to have access to their kids and trying to do the right thing, but are left alienated by deceptive Mothers and a court system that would rather see a man in jail than with his own children.
J-Kwon went on to mention that he’d allowed the Mother of his child to live in a house he owned, and he also claims that she was destroying court paperwork as it came to the house. So based on my interpretation of the interview, it seems that the artist is implying that the woman might have been a long-term mate and that she may have also been concerned about him finding out that he wasn’t the Father.
Whether her alleged deception was out of her desire to maintain her relationship with J-Kwon or for her own financial benefit (or both) it’s hard to tell.
Here are some quick thoughts on the J-Kwon child support situation, particularly as it pertains to black fathers all across America:
1) If this woman deceived him for years and caused him to be incarcerated, she needs to be put on trial and possibly sent to jail. She helped take away his freedom, so her freedom should be reconsidered as well, at least according to the rules under which she has chosen to play.
2) I am not sure why the courts somehow feel that a child is better off when his father is in jail than when he is out making money to take care of his family. An incarcerated man can’t spend time with his children, he can’t make a living to pay child support and he also has a hard time getting a job for the rest of his life because of our nation’s draconian treatment of convicted felons. The child support system destroys millions of families across America and is in desperate need of reform.
3) The J-Kwon child support story is played out all across America in millions of households. There are also countless instances of parental alienation experienced by Fathers dealing with co-parents who’ve decided that they have the right to be dictators over the father-child relationship.
When people go to the club and “get tipsy” (the name of J-Kwon’s most-famous song) and then choose to lie down and have sex with someone, they must realize that a child produced from that relationship was created by two people, not one.
So, kicking the father out of a child’s life because you somehow don’t approve of his parenting skills is not sufficient justification for destroying your child’s future. For some reason, many parents have become so focused on their own selfish need for love and adulation that their children become emotional accessories with the child’s best-interest being completely thrown to the wayside.
Men like Eric Legette help fathers to find ways to be involved with the lives of their children. Legette also helps them to protect their rights when it comes to issues like visitation and child support. The point is not to say that every single Mother in America is somehow corrupt or malevolent in her motives. It is to say that the story of the irresponsible black man who loves to abandon his kids is one of the urban legends to which we’ve become collectively addicted.
Yes, there are some seriously “trifling” Fathers, but to argue that black male irresponsibility is the sole reason for the break down of the African-American family is reckless, weak and unthoughtful.
Personally, as an 18-year veteran of the child support system myself, I can understand J-Kwon’s issues up close. There’s nothing like struggling to find air space in the life of your child with the threat of incarceration hanging over your head in the event that you can’t pay anymore. The child support system has become America’s Debtor’s Prison.