Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Difference between Sarah Palin's Daughter and Mine

Let me start off by saying the one thing they both share in common is the fact that they became pregnant as teenagers.

Now the differences:

Family

Bristol comes from a white privileged family, where her mother has a high profile as Governor of Alaska and now as the Republican nominee for Vice-President of the United States. She has two sisters and two brothers. Her father is in the home.

Janie comes from a middle class black family where her dad was absent more than he was around. She is an only child. Her mother is a journalist, who left Corporate America because her boss never respected her role as a working mom. (long, unappreciated hours and no opportunity for advancement)

Boyfriend

Bristol’s boyfriend is an 18 year old named Levi Johnson who described himself as an F----- redneck on his MySpace page before it was taken down. He also indicated he did not want children.

Janie’s boyfriend had a bright promising future as an actor or chef before he was murdered the day after Christmas for defending his little sister who was being harassed by a gang banger on a city bus.

Mother's Reaction to Pregnancy

Bristol has received very public support from her mother, who issued a statement saying her daughter was going to keep the baby and marry the baby’s daddy. The wedding date has yet to be announced. Sarah Palin is a staunch supporter of abstinence. How much she told her daughter about sex and having unprotected sex is unknown.

Janie hid her pregnancy for fear of how I would react and, rightfully, so. I was livid! Obviously, all those times I told her to keep her dress down and drawers up fell on deaf ears. I wanted my daughter to weigh all of her options because she had plans to go to college and we all know raising a child can seriously alter your plans.

Future

Bristol’s future remains unclear, although her mother has assured the public the family will stand by Bristol and offer their undying support. One thing we know for sure is she will be a mother in a few months and married to her boyfriend.

Janie, meanwhile, is raising her son alone with the love and support of family members on both sides. She is also out to prove the naysayers wrong by pursuing her college education. She is currently enrolled at North Carolina A&T, while grandma takes on the role of Ma.

22 comments:

SurfacetoAirMedia said...

saw your post on twitter. Thank you for writing exactly what i've been trying to explain to my republican friends and family. Bless you, your daughter and grandson!

carol stanley said...

The bottom line is that we can control no one...You can teach and preach but people seem to have minds of their own. You learn by your own experiences not others...Well maybe sometimes. SO we do our best, hope for the best and pray for the best...but today the world is a different place...Carol stanley author of FOr Kids 59.99 and Over

Keith Garvin said...

Hi Beverly:

I hope all is well!

I think that regardless of color...being a single mother is hard work. I was raised by a single mother who at one point worked 4 jobs (yes 4!) to take care of me and my sister. Of course if you come from a family of means the blow is somewhat softened.

But I applaud your family & the Palin family for deciding that the life that was created by an unfortunate teen pregnancy was worth keeping. I applaud you both for not looking at those babies as burdens but as blessings.

I think it is great that you yourself have stepped in to help raise your granchild and it sounds like the Palin family will be there to help Bristol.

I will not disparage the Palin family for supporting abstinence-only. Regardless of what form of birth control you use the only way for a person to not get pregnant is to not have sex. As a father of four children myself and as a man who was once a young son, I know that no matter how much you try to teach and correct your children they do not always listen to their parents. There are millions of Christians who support abstinence-only in their families and the vast majority of their kids so not become part of teen pregnancies. For those who do, I hope they receive the same love and support that you are giving your daughter and the same love and support that the Palins are giving their daughter.

Kimberly Perdue-Sims said...

Hi Beverly,

I was your daughter 31 years ago. But with no one to say "Stop" you have options, by the time I was 22, I had 3 children and was married to their abusive father. I applaud you for stepping in and for telling your daughter you have options, following your dream and fulfill your purpose for being here on this planet.

I will keep you all lifted up in prayer.

Kim Perdue-Sims

Suzanna Stinnett said...

Beverly,
Thank you for this enlightening side-by-side story. I applaud your very real support of your daughter and your beautiful grandson. One thing that concerns me about Palin is that she is allowing her daughter to be in the spotlight. Why? It does not support her daughter, who is clearly terrified. Bottom line for me is that this woman is abandoning her family. I would say the same for a man who had a Downs' baby and a pregnant teenager. I am not impressed by her motherly behavior, and in spite of the glory and historical importance of the VP nomination, I find her choice to do this disturbing. I cannot see her as a true leader when she has chosen to do this at this time, with all the issues her family has. They need her. I can't imagine the terror and loneliness of her daughter, going through this huge transition, (are they forcing the kids to marry?) and not having her mom there during this time. Kudos to you for your presentation of this issue. Blessings, Suzanna Stinnett

Denise said...

I love this comparison. I hate that your daughter had to go through the anguish of hiding this from you. I can't imagine how scary that must have been. But, just like my niece, Janie did not allow the blessing of a beautiful child to change her course in life. Thank God she has family that stood and continues to stand by her just like my niece had. She has always been and always will be a smart young lady and there is no doubt in my mine that she will accomplish great things in life. I continue to be very proud of her. Please tell her I said so. Take care.

Ilina said...

Thanks for this candid post. Thank God for your support of this charming little boy with the most rockin' Obama hat I've ever seen!

Maria said...

Bottomline, it happens. Black, white or purple, Christian home or not, single parent home or not...it happens...we don't listen as teenagers and we do what we want as soon as our parents backs are turned or as soon as we are of age and get out of their house...that's called testing your independence. Some of us got away clean, some of us got caught. All we can do as parents (like our parents did) is give them the tools and pray. Their lives are theirs to live, just like we lived and are living ours...the way we want. Thank God in heaven for grace, mercy, love and forgiveness.

Glad to hear Janie and sweet baby boy are doing well!

Christina said...

Kudos to your daughter for continuing her education and kudos to you for stepping in to care for your grandson. It's so sad to hear stories of children who are disowned or thrown out of the house because of a teen pregnancy.

As for the Palin family, none of us can judge what kind of parents they are. We are not members of that family nor were any of us present during the discussion of whether or not to accept the nomination.

So long as this decision was made with the support of her husband and older children, then blessings to her and her family.

Beverly Mahone said...

Christina said..."It's so sad to hear stories of children who are disowned or thrown out of the house because of a teen pregnancy..."

Christina, as terrible as it may seem that is a natural reaction for some parents. You expect certain things from your children and when they don't live up to them, it's as if the parents dreams are crushed.

Thanks for your comments.

Cynthia said...

Beverly,
Remove the names and the comparison you make here could be any set of families in America. So many people of color feel helpless because of the lack of resources and support for their families. To some, it feels like when an Africal American family has a problem, whether it is teen pregnancy or other, it is our lack of morals that got us to the problem. Yet in this VP Nominee case, this family is being applauded for having high morals and for showing the conviction to "have the baby" and support the teens. It is a double standard.

Susan said...

Can you imagine if one of Barack's daughters were old enough to be pregnant? I am sure Sarah doesn't use birth control. She could be pregnant again soon. Women can do anything but being pregnant and with five kids wouldn't be so cool.

Beverly said...

Susan,

I actually read a post where one woman said if Obama's daughter had a better, she was sure she would have an abortion. These are the kind of people who claim to make up to Christian right. They have turned the Bible into something that fits their beliefs and there is a mighty DANGER in that.

Thanks for your comment.

Lylah said...

hi there beverly...first i gotta say that i lOVE your blog title: boomer world. everytime i see you on twitter...i smile. second..thanks for coming over to the lylah blog. you do rock with truth that we have to get the facts first.

blessings on you! lylah

Lylah said...

oh...on another note...i KNOW the ache and agony of single mother hood and my heart goes out to moms that walk that road.

Beverly said...

Lylah,

You know what I really like about you? We may not see eye to eye on everything but we still do with class and grace. That's what it should be about with everybody! Thank you for stopping by my blog.

Lylah said...

awe....you make me cry. can i come over and hug you and have coffee with you and it's my treat?

so, let's show em how to do it. yes...grace and class...we should start a new movement!

i love you already! lylah

Arlene said...

Hi Beverly,

There are more differences between your daughter and Sarah Palin's.

- Her mother made those comments for political reasons.
- Your comments are from the heart.

- Her mother is probably lying about the marriage to the father. Why hasn't it already taken place? I bet if it doesn't happen before the November election, it never will.
- Your comments are real and unselfish and I applaud you.

By the way, why is it when a black teen gets pregnant the father is referred to as the "baby daddy" but when it's a white teen, he is a "teen father"?

Arlene
ayburke.wordpress.com

Karen O'Bannon said...

Hi, Beverly
As many have said the best a parent can do is "teach" their children to do what is right. When they grow up the choices they make will be theirs. Hopefully, those choices will be based on the principles we have taught them. But the other point I think you were trying to make involves the perception of those choices and how race can and does effect the way we see those circumstances. Regardless of what color we are, we all go through variations of the same types of things. But it can be very disheartening when the reactions of others about our normal situations are perceived differently based on color or background. So unfair. It's not something everyone is willing to see, let alone admit. Glad you pointed out.

Pam Archer said...

Do you know what disturbs me most about many of these comments? How can anyone make a statement such as "her mother made those comments for political reasons, you made yours from the heart" How can anyone know what is in another person's heart? I will never believe that Sarah Palin is other than a loving, nurturing, or caring mother, just as Beverly is.

And...enough of the race comments. They simply aren't true. Sometimes, I think we make things a race issue, because we refuse to let the past go. I love people of all colors. God made us all. This election should not be about race, but about what is best for our country. Killing babies does not a great nation make.

Beverly said...

Pam,

First of all, thanks for your comments on my blog. As you can see, this has generated quite a discussion.

While I tend to agree with you that it's easy to make "race" the scapegoat, I also believe you have to consider the viewpoint of the person who sees life from a different vantage point. Most of us only have the benefit of viewing life from where we grew up and how we grew up. Many of us baby boomers were a part of a segregated society.

Sadly, most people shy away from discussions of race because no one wants to admit any real feelings. I believe TRUE HEALING begins when we can honestly face our demons.

If I had listened to the naysayers who told me the color of my skin would keep me from being a success in society, I would never be where I am today.

But I also know it's people like you who help bridge the gap between what is and what ought to be.

Pat Montgomery said...

It is clear that both girls have families that love and support them. Each situation is different, but the bottom line is that they are loved and they know it!

God bless you and Sarah for being great moms who care for their children, realizing that people make mistakes.

Our role as a parent to help prepare them for life. Sometimes that life is not exactly what we would have chosen for them, but we must always support and guide and love.