Monday, June 1, 2009
National Destitute Father of the Year, Desmond Hatchett
Update: He now has 30 kids...read here as of May 19, 2012.
National Destitute Father of the Year recipient, Desmond Hatchett of Knoxville is a self- professed sperm donor, I mean “father”, to 21 children by 11 baby mamas. The 29 year old started procreating at the ripe old age of 17. His children ages range from 11 months to 11 years old. Hatchett’s court appearance for child support made national headlines last week.
Before you start searching the NFL or NBA rosters looking for this dead beat dad, don’t. This morally and financially bankrupt man makes $6.55 an hour. He will never be able to support 1 child let alone 21 at his pay grade. Hatchet was summoned before Knoxville’s Municipal Court last week where his name appeared 11 times in one day on the court’s docket, representing 15 of his children for back child support.
Hatchett says he was not out to set a record. He says he never intended to have this many children, “It just happened” and he claims all of the mothers knew about his large family. How does having 21 kids “just happen”? I do believe that the women probably knew he had a large clan. I am curious about the ages of the mamas. I have a sneaking suspicion that they are probably a month shy of their junior year of high school, if not by age, for sure by mentality. Men like Hatchett look for the young and stupid to hook up with.
My questions are for the mamas. Who? Why? What is he saying to so many baby mamas that make them go gaga for him? Why so many did not use protection if not for birth control but to keep safe from a STD? He must have lines that only Devil himself could make up to get these women to fall for him. It has been reported, he was seeing more than one at a time. This is where we have to be mothers to motherless and ask direct questions and hold the moms accountable as well as the dead beat sperm donor. If my grandmother was having one of these overdue talks, I can hear her being snarky, “If you sleep with someone with that many children and he can barely support himself, you get what you get…nothing.” Or one could get a dreaded disease from him to add to this sad saga.
The question Knox County officials now face is how to support all these children. Hatchett works a minimum wage job and Tennessee law states only 50% of his paycheck can be taken for child support. By the time the money is split 21 ways, some of the mothers get less than $2 per month. That leaves the taxpayers footing a large portion of the bill for these children, which means you and I are paying for his babies and the drama of his babies' mamas.
This is where black folks have to address black folks' foolishness. The women allowing this mayhem into their lives is bad, but for him to have the gall to give media interviews to explain himself is beyond comprehension. For the mothers to complain about the amount they are getting from him, makes this story comic book ready. Where is the shame? There are several photos of him checking his cell phone. He can pay for a cell phone but cannot pay for child support! He should be put on a chain gang breaking rocks for TDOT to pay the state to take care of his kids. Listen up mamas, a man making minimum wage with 21 children cannot afford to take a woman to Krystal to buy a Krystal Chik combo. A basic record search did not indicate he had a criminal record, although fathering 21 children by 11 different women should be considered a crime.
What adds fuel to this raging forest fire, most of the women have more than one child by him. I understand being duped by a fool once but to allow him to sire two kids by you means common sense is seriously missing.
One media outlet reported, “Even though Hatchett can't support the children he has, there is nothing the state can do to prevent him from having more. Hatchett reports that he had 4 children in one year, twice. He says he's done having children now, but only time will tell. He does say that he's a good father and knows the names, ages, and birth dates of all of his children.”
God help us. He brags to the media that he had four children in one year. TWICE! He knows his children’s names and birthdays but cannot take care of them. My granddaddy left this earth barely able to pronounce my name but he took care of me and every grandchild that landed on his door step. Knowing your kids names means zero, when you cannot buy diaper wipes let alone a package of diapers.
This should be a case study for chapters of 52 Color Men. Put the galas on hold this year and go find men like Hatchett and take them under your wings. After you beat the hell out of them, teach them work ethics, get them employed, SHOW them how (or in this case not to be) fathers and daddies to their children. Teach the women in the community to stay away from predatory lovers who revel in having children because they think this makes them men.
For the social clubs that show community love by having cotillions, start going to middle schools with Hatchett’s picture and tell his story to every girl at the school. Help young girls to form girl clubs equivalent to a neighbor watch program to teach them to report men like Hatchett when they drive through (or walk) their neighborhoods. Teach them to scream “baby maker!” and run in the house and lock the doors until the police arrive. We must protect the young while they are still teachable. As much as I hate putting labels on individuals, in this case we should label this situation so we can dissect it for teaching purposes. Since this is a G-rated post, I cannot use the label here.
For those of us who were insulted by the suggestion in the June ’09 issue of Essence that a strip club was a place to meet men, I suggest lobbying Essence to put Desmond Hatchett on the cover and tell his compelling life story to other women who might think Hatchett is a great find. Since Hatchett wants to be a media darling, there is nothing like getting his sordid history out there as a warning to other women who may not know the rest of the story. By putting Hatchett on the cover, it will help make him the poster child for what women should not want in a man no matter how lonely one may get. Single and sane is far better than being saddled with this sperm pimp and all of his baggage.
Please do not tell me the "he was raised without a father" storyline. We cannot continue to blame the decay of our culture on everything and everyone else. We have to take back what we have freely given away; our pride, our decency, our sense of family and the ability to be self-sufficient no matter how tough times are. Our values are leaving, going, fading fast. I can take being marginalized by other races in our society but when I see us devouring our young by turning a blind eye to the Hatchetts and his women of the world, I have to fight to keep hope alive in my heart that we can do better. Someone had to know that Mr. Impregnator was running around town loose and out of control. Did anyone sound alarms to the mothers? Would they have heeded the warnings if told to stay away? This is not a soap box but the truth and sometimes we have to speak/write the truth even if it is hard to hear/read.
Lastly and most importantly, the children, none whom asked for this chaos. They are innocent. Can you imagine the lives they are living if their moms are coming to court asking for $2 dollars in BACK child support payments? This is not a third world country we are talking about, this is Tennessee. Who wants to go to school with the whole world knowing you got twenty other siblings within a five block radius? Hatchett's offspring will fight an uphill battle for the rest of their lives. To see children starting life off emotionally, physically, and psychologically struggling because of irresponsible parents equals depraved indifference in my book. Not to mention the cruelty the kids will suffer at the hands of other children. Kids can be mean to one another; I can only imagine the fights on the playground when the children are laughed at by other kids. Can you imagine the jokes? Desmond Hatchett and his mamas bore children into the world that are now etched into our social programs for the next two decades. Many non-profits that would be willing to help families in need are already stretched beyond their limits and their financial wells are running dry. This is an additional burden to social ills that many of us have no idea how to solve.
I am headed to my closet to pray. Many years ago, I did not understand the totality when I first read, “I know not; am I my brother’s keeper?” Now, I understand...fully. At this moment, I am out of words (that can be printed).