I Am Amber Cole’s Father

Illustration for article titled I Am Amber Cole’s Father

I am Amber Cole's father. I am angry, confused and completely at a loss. I love my daughter. I want to guide her without suppressing her. That is not always easy. Children need protection from their worst inclinations. That is not always easy. I am trying to convince her that the world will still love her if she keeps her clothes on. I do not know if she can hear me, or if she is listening. She would listen to her mother, if her mother was not busy. Doing something, anything that is not parenting. I want her mother to spend less time being "empowered" and more time being aware and engaged with our daughter. I want her mother to be a better role model, not a BFF. It takes two.

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I am Amber Cole's father and this should go with saying: I am angry with those boys. But I knew those boys. Those boys were my friends. I grew up with those boys, hung out with those boys. But I was always The Other Guy – the boy you do not see on the tape. The one who, because of religious beliefs, self-respect or common sense decides to have no parts of such a thing. He is a nerd. He is an outsider. He is long gone, at home reading and writing. I want to meet The Other Guy and shake his hand. I'm trying to raise The Other Guy. But it is not easy. Girls don't like The Other Guy. Being the Other Guy is not as cool as being one of the boys. I want to raise my boy to not be that kind of cool. Being a gentleman is cool. I want him to get the chance I did not have. I want him to to wait for that special girl.

I am Amber Cole's father and I have seen the video. You probably have too. I would like to ask her mother's boyfriend, Karrine Steffans or Kim Kardashian where my daughter learned that. How she became proficient at such a difficult act. I want to know who has been teaching my little girl how to act like a woman while I have been trying to teach her to be a young lady. Teens don't have the tools they need to express, explore and comprehend the consequences of careless intimacy. I want to know what kinds of people we are allowing to look after our children when we are not around. I want to know why my 14 year-old knows so much about oral sex.

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I am Amber Cole's father, and I am not raising a slut. White feminists can teach their own little girls to find empowerment through their crotches – my brown little girl cannot afford to be that carefree and cavalier with her life choices. Slutlife is the hard, lonely vocation of rich, educated, privileged white women who will fuck The World, contract social diseases and still, somehow find a husband. No black woman ever got far being a slut. I want to know what kind of women "slutwalk," while young impressionable girls of all kinds look on with wonder and admiration. I want to know why these same women run to protect Miley Cyrus but just shrugged, nonplussed for my little brown girl. I want to know what the fuck those dumb bunnies are thinking. Most of them do not have daughters. I want my daughter, the woman, to have healthy, vibrant sexuality. My little girl should have other priorities. I am her father. I will protect her and every woman in my life with my life.

I am Amber Cole's father. Don't ask where I was that afternoon, because you already know. I was at work, just like you. I do not live with her, cannot always talk to her, cannot always be there. Not the way I want, and there are few laws to help me. To protect me and my rights. No one cares that I cannot be the kind of father I would like to be, until my daughter is a link, a hashtag, a trending topic. A punch-line. The subject of what may be the most widely seen piece of child pornography in history: A 14 year-old giving oral while two other boys watch and laugh. You say what you would do, what you would say, but you have no idea. We are all great parents with other people's children. You blame me. Do not judge me. I love my daughter as much as you love yours. I am doing the best I can. I need the help of a partner who at times seems to be modeling the kind of behavior I am discouraging. We are fighting. Pushing and pulling, in no one's best interest. Why can't this be about my daughter? No, this is not about blame. It takes a village that starts with parents - all parties must be accountable. But parenting? Yeah. To do it well–even after all these years –it still takes two.

Kid sex is as old as time, but that realization doesn't make me feel any better. Amber Cole is my daughter.

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I am Jimi Izrael. I am not really Amber Cole's father. But she is my daughter.

You do not think so. But she is your daughter too.


This post originally appeared on Jimi Izrael Dot Com. Republished with permission.

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DISCUSSION

jimiizrael1
Jimi Izrael

I ‘m incredibly honored to have my work republished in this space –I’m a fan of the writing here, if not always the politics. I’ve been widely published, but this feels really quite different—I feel privileged. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts. I’m gonna say my peace and chirp out — not gonna be on here arguing with a bunch of people hiding behind pseudonyms and snarky one-liners. Not my style. But you can feel free to email me—call me, if you’d like. Seriously. My number in on my site.

This joint was written in my head weeks ago – I didn’t publish it because I’ve been a writer a long time, and felt as if any man that said anything about this would be saying too much or not saying enough. And as it turns out, I was right.

This was so hard, so painful to write, because my daughter really is Amber Cole—she is a tween with a pretty name, she is, in fact, the most beautiful girl in the world. She is curious, impressionable and vulnerable. She is besieged by rich and famous blow-job ingénues, peer-pressure, poor role models, boys. She’s learning the power of her body with no real teacher that is not her age. Her mother is wonderful, overwhelmed and disengaged. This is the way of it. That's the fight I'm fighting. That's the fight most of the fathers I know are fighting. We are fighting to be an influence in their lives.

I read through these comments and haven’t heard one of you talk about your daughters. It is easy for you to cosign some little black girl giving head, to suggest that little girls embrace the ideas behind a "Slutwalk" –which sounds too close to "Hoe Stroll" for my taste—when you are not a stake-holder. I have a daughter. I am a stakeholder, and this shit is real to me. It’s my every-day, my every-week. And it’s hard. Trying to keep her mother’s neighbors from "visiting" her. Trying to get her to take the Rihanna and Shakira posters off the wall. Keep her from being exploited by her hormones, by the lure attention microwave fame that comes with giving out free sex favors, by men who are not teaching their young boys any better. Trying to keep her in school, engaged, learning and dreaming. Trying to teach my boys to love and respect himself enough to love and respect the women in his life. That’s my gig. NOT. EASY.

I appreciate your right to disagree, your right to be angry. Your right to insult me. I didn’t write this piece for you, your approval. I wrote it for me and fathers like me. And for the women who don't think we care. I know you think black fathers are running through the streets of America with stolen TVs on our backs, dicks in one hand, a blunt in the other, sucking watermelon and cracking women’s legs open, impregnating them by force and then hitting the highway full-speed. You are wrong.

Thanks again, ladies for posting the piece.

My best,

ji