I've thought often of the ethical concerns regarding the way Iyanla Vanzant chooses to spotlight dysfunctional relationships on her popular show "Fix My Life" aired on the OWN network. From what the viewers see, those she's counseling end up no better off than when the show began. Often they seem noticeably worse.
For five weeks in a row, "Fix My Life" has focused on the story of Jay Williams. Jay has 34 children by 17 different mothers. He's endured lots of scrutiny for his actions, but the follow-up shows have also given him a platform as a sort of advisor to other men who might me characterized "deadbeat dads", and his eldest daughter, Amina Mosley, takes exception to that.
All thanks to you for being the vehicle in which he gets to share his story as he sees it. He now gets to be a catalyst for all of the irresponsible men, having children and abandoning them all over the world. Was that the goal? Was the purpose to make him feel better about himself? Make himself appear to be some kind of hero meanwhile he has single handedly “Dropped” all of 34 of his own children, as you so eloquently put it on episode 2 of this season? I suppose that all of this does make sense, after all the title of each episode has been “Fix My Father With 34 Children”. Well it’s clear that you have done just that, fixed my father. Now, my father has been refined. He has received the validation that he always hoped for. He now gets to be the poster child, the voice of all of the “rolling stones” across the country. He even goes as far as to apologize on behalf of all of the men who have wronged the women who have been victimized, or better yet in this case womanized. Yes, now he has found himself and his “calling” in life, all because he has been allowed to blame his parents for why he made the decisions that he made. Yet he has 34 children out there, with NO true representation of a Father, no voice, going out into the world after being told to just get over it and figure it out. So I ask again, what about “us”? Yes, what about “us”, the countless children growing up “Daddy-less,” because our Fathers are more horny than they are proactive, more selfish than they were in love, and more of a barnacle than they were “generous” to finish the never-ending job of being a parent.
Despite the chaos in her life, Amina appears to have grown into a incredibly intelligent woman. Let's hope that she and her siblings get the comfort and healing they deserve. Read Amina's entire letter here.
Photo Credit: Amina Mosley
Kimberly Foster is the founder and editor of For Harriet. Email or Follow @KimberlyNFoster