Viral photo of black father caring for interracial daughters draws racist remarks
When Doyin Richards took a photo of himself doing his eldest daughter’s hair while cradling his 3-months-old on his Ergo, he only wanted to have some proof to let his wife now he could take care of his girls. He never expected the overwhelming reaction he got on social media.
The photo was posted to his “Daddy Doin’ Work” Facebook page, a community where he often shares posts about fatherhood and gets to connect with other dotting fathers while inspiring people from all backgrounds, and it quickly became a viral sensation.
That was five years ago, and to this day, the pic is still getting reactions, shares and a constant flood of comments, most good and some not so kind. However, Doyin made an interest reflection on the role of fathers and how society has such low fatherhood standards, that when they see a dad taking care of his daughter, they need to celebrate.
On the pic in question, Richards is seen holding his then 3-months-old daughter on an Ergo on his chest while his eldest girl was standing on a stool and he was brushing her hair.
Richards later explained that he was taking paternity leave from his job to have bonding time with his baby, and that particular day, his wife was running late for work, so he volunteered to finish off his eldest’ hair before taking her to school. The wife told him on her way out “I’ll believe it when I see it.”
It was game on for Doyin, so he set up the camera and put on the timer to take the picture, knowing that his wife wouldn’t believe him without proof. He then emailed the pic with the caption “BOOM!!” to his wife, and decided to publish it on his blog, as he often did.
THE DOWNSIDE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
After the pic started to spread like wildfire, Richards begun to get some positive reactions and, as usual, some nasty comments that went from calling him a deadbeat dad, to implying he had kidnapped the kids, to call him out for having biracial children whose skin color was lighter than him.
– “He probably rented those kids. They don’t even look like him.”
– “OK, buddy, cute picture. Now, why don’t you hand the children back to their mom so you can go back to selling drugs or your bootleg rap CDs?”
– “This would be so much better if those kids were BLACK!”
– “Look at this Uncle Tom. No chance he would be doing this if his kids were black.”
– “Your MOM is black, and you dishonored her by marrying outside of your race? You probably can’t handle a strong black woman.”
Those were some of the private messages he got, according to a blog entry Richards wrote a few days later. But Doyin had a response to all the hatred and racism, as he wrote:
“Yes, I married a woman who is half-white and half-Japanese. Yes, the skin of my babies happens to be a few shades lighter than mine. Yes, my mom (a black woman born and raised in the deep south of Mississippi) loves my wife and kids because she’s smart enough to know that love is love. All of my black friends and family members feel the same way. You mad? Grow up and stop being so [expletive] ignorant. You’re a damn embarrassment to Dr. King and his legacy.”
THE ROLE OF FATHERS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Despite all the hate he got, Doyin was also filled with love and praises to the point that, he said, he felt "idolized" for doing the most common thing in the world: caring for his daughters. For the father of two, the fact that people were ready to “start a parade” on his name, just because he was doing his daughter’s hair, said a lot about society.
Three years later, on the anniversary of the picture that changed his life, Doyin wrote on Facebook:
“I don't want to be celebrated for doing my job as a dad. The best dads I know agree with me. This is completely normal and expected behavior, and I want to use my platform *not* to say, "Hey! Let's build a statue for dads for changing diapers!" It's more, "Hey! Let's show some love for the great men who take fatherhood seriously to inspire other men to do the same."
And he added in his blog:
“My dream is that ALL people will embrace men who embrace fatherhood instead of wondering if they have ulterior motives. Remember, we’re the good guys in this fight.”
ANOTHER DAD DOING HIS DAUGHTER'S HAIR
Meanwhile, a most recent proof that dads are awesome and they too can take care of their little girls, is the video of a man braiding his daughter's hair while riding the subway going to the Bronx in New York City.
The man caught on video by holistic trainer Scott Bernard has earned the sympathy of people all over the country for being such a doting father.