Before I read the letter, I was sympathetic towards Tamika Fuller.
As a mother, I can’t truly image having your child forcibly taken from you through the legalities of the court system. As natural nurturers, children need their mothers. They also need their fathers, but in a different way. Honestly, I didn’t believe that Ludacris would get sole custody of the child they share, but when he did, I wasn’t surprised.
The case quickly became a public fiasco and became a war. In war, money, strategy and influence seemingly (based on her assertion) trump good parenting. I was fortunate. I was prepared to go through a bloody custody battle and my ex and I decided to co-parent. As a man, I knew that the odds were stacked against me and my lawyer let me know. Others did too. The prevailing notion was that my ex would need to be a strung out drug addict with other registered ailments for me to get sole custody.
I know many of the statistics and others, not so much. One thing I do know is that the Unites States court system is war and in war, there are no rules. The only rule is “WIN.” The game is the game. To this day, people are resentful of Kelis, because she convinced a court that her ex husband, rapper Nas, should pay absorbent amounts of child support. Such is the plight of a rich man.
I really do feel for Tamika Fuller.
I also feel for a friend of mine, who is a dad that has been fighting for his kids for years. We recently caught up again and I realized his struggle was not over. (FYI: before this letter, I planned to bring his plight to light and I will shortly) He told me that, despite his objections, he was only permitted to see his kids once last year – for an hour. I saw the images on Facebook and welled with happiness, only to find out it was a farce. I’ve seen first hand the underhanded, cruel and torturous ways his ex-wife has treated him. We’ve traded some stories, but mine were light by comparison.
This is America and the system in its many incarnations, rips families to shreds. Tamika Fuller and Ludacris laid down together and made a child when he was on “a break” from his main squeeze, true love and new wife, Eudoxie. There was a lot of talk about co-parenting and not-playing-the media game. What if things worked in reverse? There would be no need for an open letter.
In closing, I pray that these two find a healthy balance because it is their child that will ultimately suffer. Do, I feel sorry for Tamika Fuller? Nobody felt anything for me. Nobody felt anything for my homeboy. And, quite frankly, there are scores of women with situations with men that dwarf hers. It seems like she’s now using stats and words like “patriarchy” because they serve her now. She simply lost. That is life. That is the system – winners and losers. We don’t want it like that, but that’s the way it is.
War ain’t fair especially when your soldiers are money-grubbing lawyers and biased judges.