Terry Crews: Actor, comedian, activist, artist, and former football player … and former role model?
This all began last week when Terry reacted to an opinion piece in the New York Times by human rights lawyer Derecka PurnelI, who wrote a piece called “Why Does Obama Scold Black Boys?”
Now, before I begin breaking down what Terry said, I will admit that I do disagree with some of what Derecka wrote in her article, however, I wouldn’t use her gender as a weapon to discredit her.
His response and Tweets that followed fell short of any positive male role model I’ve ever seen. Here’s what followed:
One of Terry’s responses to Derecka’s article was:
“Another thing that bothers me is that this OP-ED was written by a WOMAN about how boys should be taught to grow into successful young men,” he wrote. “How would she know?”
Terry kicked off the controversy with blatant sexism. To challenge a woman’s ability to raise successful young men was a Hail Mary pass with no receiver.
Why would he challenge that a woman may not know how to raise successful young men? It’s confusing given that there are countless examples of successful men out there who were raised by a single mom, or even two moms, which leads us to …
Over the following days, the conversation began to evolve over the roles mothers and fathers play in their children’s lives, which led Terry to say:
“I’ve reiterated many times that same sex couples and single parents can successfully raise a child,” Crews tweeted Saturday. “But I believe paternal AND maternal love are like vitamins and minerals to humanity. No matter where you get that paternal and maternal love. MY purpose is to give paternal love.”
Terry is a smart, successful man. He must know how comments like this could further spread homophobia in our country. Same-sex couples have struggled for decades to adopt children because of this ignorant idea that a child needs both a father and a mother.
I can agree that children can benefit and often need both positive male and female role models throughout life, but that doesn’t have to be from a father or mother by any means.
My boyfriend & I talk about our dream to adopt children on a weekly basis. We often discuss how we would raise them to be smart, kind and successful people. We draw our inspiration from all around us: families with a mom and dad, families with two dads, families with two moms, families with a single parent, etc.
It is disheartening and hurtful to see Terry, someone with a huge following and platform that should spread love and awareness, fall short of his obligation to be a positive role model.
Terry and I are alike though. I too know my purpose in life: To raise children and love them with all of my heart. However, Terry doesn’t realize that love is not gendered, as one Twitter put it beautifully.
Crews’s response to that:
“But they will be severely malnourished.”
This did not go well with the LGBT community and allies. Of course, many people criticized Terry in good ways, and some in hateful ways.
One of Terry’s responses to the criticism added another element …
Terry responded to one Twitter user saying:
“Not hiding at all. I’m right here, sir. Won’t be the first time a mob with torches come for black people who think for themselves.”
I debated even writing about this element of the controversy because it just completely threw me off. Did Terry really use race as a defense for his sexist and homophobic comments?
Now, I will agree that many people do attack black people for sharing their views about equality, discrimination, police brutality, education and a long list of other issues that the black community faces in America.
However, I am disgusted that he would use his blackness as an excuse for what he said.
On March 1, Terry finally apologized … kind of.
“I apologize to anyone who was hurt by my “severely malnourished” tweet. It was in response to someone who said kids wouldn’t “starve”.
It was poorly worded so I deleted it.”
Here’s my wish for Terry: Learn from your mistakes. It’s okay to have opinions on fatherhood and raising successful young men. Just remember that it is 2019 and that not every family has a father, or needs one. There are many different types of families out there who struggle to adopt and foster because of hurtful and damaging comments like yours. Same-sex couples are fully capable of raising children and are up for the challenges that come with parenting. We all want to raise successful children, but we also want them to be smart, kind and loving to those around them. As a celebrity you have a huge opportunity to be a positive male role model for many children around the country. You have the ability to teach kindness and love. Think about the children who are sitting in a broken home watching you on TV or following you on social media. They’re looking up to you.