I think I might have been about 35 or so when I took my first drink in front of my dad. Maybe even older. I do remember that I was fully grown, with a husband, two babies, a full-time job, a car note, several books under my belt and enough sense to know that my father had to be eased into seeing his baby girl enjoy a glass of wine in his presence before I could even think about drinking in front of him. I’m also pretty sure that my mother passed away having seen me drink only once—at my wedding.
I thought this was just, like, the way with African American parents.
I mean, growing up in Long Island, I do remember being around a certain element of teenager whose parents were comfortable serving cocktails and beer to their kids and their friends. The parents would argue that it was better for their kids to get their drink on in the safety of their basements and backyards than to let them go out and sneak a six-pack of beer or wine coolers with irresponsible young ‘uns who wouldn’t be so invested in keeping their friends from doing dumb stuff while drunk. Honestly? Even at 15, that reasoning sounded dumb. Drunk teenagers are never rational—no matter whether their parents are “supervising” or not. This was the general belief of every last one of my black friends’ parents. Period. (Not saying that my white friends’ parents’ all plied their kids and teen friends with liquor; I’m just saying that the parents who did put the drinks in their teens’ cups were all white.)
Soooo… you’ll have to excuse me for being just a tad taken aback and confused by the picture up top of Snoop Dogg smoking weed with his son, Corde “Spanky” Broadus. Corde, 18, a promising football player who decided to forgo college sports to pursue a rap career, posted that picture on his Twitter page sometime last week, along with a series of other photos showing him lighting up, with tweets lamenting how much he misses school and extolling the virtues of getting high, high, high.
Er, um—okay, I get it: he is, after all, the son of Calvin “Snoop Dogg” Broadus, hip hop’s cannabis connoisseur. Snoop’s made millions rapping about weed, talking about weed, smoking weed, lobbying to make weed legal and being arrested for having weed in his possession. Basically, the man loves him some weed. And, well, obviously, the apple hasn’t fallen too far from the tree—and at 18, I guess the apple is full grown so there isn’t too much his father (and mother) can do about what young Corde chooses to do with his free time, his cash, his career choices or his Instagram and Twitter accounts.
Still, I can’t help but to feel some kind of way about a father—a former reality show star who used his platform on Snoop Dogg’s Father Hood to brag about how great a dad he is—who not only condones his child purchasing and smoking illegal substances, but who actually lights up with his young ‘un. Like, seriously, where they do that at? And despite that one Jezebel columnist thinks Snoop should be commended for not being a hypocrite with his kids, why would any parent look at some mess like that and say, “Why yes, what a terrific son Corde is for lighting his father’s bong, and what a terrific dad Snoop is for sharing said bong with his baby boy!”
Suffice to say, I’m not feeling parents who club with their kids, drink with their kids, curse with their kids, hunt for mates with their kids or, by God, take drugs with their kids. That mess just ain’t right. In no kind of way, shape or form. Even if you are Snoop “Weed Is Awesome” Dogg and your darling son, Corde Broadus regularly smokes it. Come on, now.
Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.