An article in The New York Daily News, and a subsequent tweet, are being criticized for controversial statements on Jay-Z's impact on black fatherhood.
In her piece on the Daily News website, Joanna Malloy makes a bold statement about the effect the rapper's song "Glory," that he dedicated to his daughter Blue Ivy, will have on the amount of African American men choosing to step up to the plate in their children's lives.
"A lot of other babies are going to benefit," Malloy wrote. "Because Jay-Z's ecstatic reaction to being a dad will be the strongest boost yet to a growing movement in the black community encouraging responsible fatherhood."
Malloy defends her statement, using statistical evidence to elaborate on the issue "haunting" Black families. According to a study of childbearing among unmarried mothers by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 72 percent of black babies were born to unwed mothers in 2010. However, these exact numbers have fueled a debate about the importance of contextualizing the figures with respect to the overall numbers of black women, both married and unmarried, who are having children.
But the news outlet went one step further, with a controversial tweet that linked to Malloy's piece:
D.L. Chandler responded to Malloy in an editorial piece written for HipHopWired.com.
But for Molloy to say that Black men will all of a sudden get off their collective deadbeat behinds because of a saccharine rap song is irresponsible and incorrect.
What black men, and all fathers-to-be, need are tangible examples of fatherhood. There are vast networks of community groups and organizations devoted to connecting fathers to the actual responsibility of fatherhood. Church leaders and the like need to open their doors and be the beacons they should be for fathers who don't know how to operate as such.
Some commenters on the page were also outraged by Malloy's statement. One reader responded with the following:
Riiiiiiiigght because absentee fathers is just a black problem. And that 72% is bogus. Although 72% of children may be the number of children born into homes with unmarried parents, that doesn't mean that 72% of black children do not have fathers. Some don't get married, some parents live separate but still co-parent. Shame on this so-called journalist twisting that statistic to make a point. This should be taken down, it is racist and ignorant. She said that as if it were fact, when it is not. That's why you can never trust statistics.
Jay-Z has spoken openly about his own father leaving him at a young age, and although he talks about reversing that cycle with his daughter on the new song, he is hardly the first rapper to do so.
Did Malloy miss the mark with her commentary, or is she simply being misunderstood?
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported that The New York Daily News author's name was Joan Malloy instead of Joanna Malloy.