Pass the Baby Powder

Latinos are showing their father colors with pride

By Frankie Firme
Published on LatinoLA: May 31, 2003

Pass the Baby Powder

It wasn't so long ago that men relegated total responsibility of child rearing to women. In some countries that is the norm, and some men will resort to violence or claim religious blasphemy should anyone suggests otherwise. Unless it meets some personal agenda to the contrary, of course.

In the U.S, being involved with children outside of Little League, Pop Warner football or amateur boxing was not considered "manly" and men who showed affection for their kids in public were thought of as "sissies" or "henpecked".

Almost everybody knows the neighborhood asshole who shows up at the park drunk or high, and heckles his kids as if he was some sort of famous jock turned coach of the year. Today's commercial world depicts most husbands/fathers as lame, clumsy and incompetent. Despite being bald, chubby or lacking personal grooming skills, they always seem to have nice homes and gorgeous wives, ever notice that? What sad role models. I always wonder why such fine babes marry such tontos in TV land.

As an Internet radio DJ, I try to get out to as many musical events as I can, to research and soak up what the Gente enjoys, and try to meet their tastes in my programming. This has taken me to outdoor concerts at parks, carnivals, swap meets and other outdoor venues where the Raza can attend as a familia. Nothing more beautiful than the Raza at play, verdad?

A striking difference I notice today, as compared to when I was a young man, is that many more men today are taking pride in their fatherhood. ?Orale! It's about time! Hangin' with the fellas is not so important as "loving mija" nowadays.

The sight of some young homie with "tats" all over a well-built set of bone crushing "guns", holding a sweet, young, innocent toddler with care and affection touches my heart. A Chicanita couldn't be in a safer place. The professional men I know don't send their kids away with the usual "go ask your mother" order anymore. These are not the kind of men you would dare call "sissies" or "henpecked", especially if you value possession of your teeth.

As a father of a beautiful daughter and two beautiful grandaughters, I know the pride. I would go through a brick wall for my girls, and the guys I see with their kids today look just as motivated.

In the real world, I work as a Nurse/Counselor in the mental health field. So many women who have problems like unwanted pregnancies, substance abuse and low self esteem are usually lacking a strong, positive male role model in their younger life, and unknowingly search for male attention in an effort to fill this void, usually with unwanted consequences. In contrast, the strong willed, confident, and professional female colleagues I have been privileged to meet and work with admit to strong ties with loving and protective fathers, grandfathers, brothers, uncles and male cousins. In my world, we call that "familia".

The news we see on T.V. today sadly depicts most young Latinos and Blacks in a criminal or street role. The terrible news of a child hurt, kidnapped or worse brings out the protectiveness and urge for revenge/justice in a lot of us. The thought of a helpless, innocent child suffering breaks my heart, and can usually drive me to tears before I start thinking of a candidate for a well deserved chingaso or two. That's the bad side, and unfortunately, it exists.

The good side, however, is that an increasing number of young men who are not criminals, and even some who have a "taste of the element", are taking pride and responsibility in themselves and proving to be good fathers out of love, instead of out of some lame, macho bullshit idea of proof that they're having sex on a regular basis.

Like a lot of guys, I'm lucky to have good family and friends. I cherish my role as a father and grandfather. Rich or poor, I am truly blessed by God.

I extend my respect and gratitude to all the fathers out there who care & show love to their children, no matter where they're at. You're doing it right, carnales. The love of a child, especially when they look straight in your eyes with innocence, is a treasure you can never buy. If you work at it, you can never lose it.

?Orale! I feel like hearing some sweet music, and dedicating it to the children of my world. Think I'll do just that!

About Frankie Firme:
Frankie Firme is the coolest grandfather spinning the finest Oldies on the world wide web, every Thursday at 6:oo pm, L.A. time, only on, Website:, e-mail:

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