Steve Heronemus

Father’s Day Lament

What to do this Fathers’ Day?

I grieve for the children who have lost their fathers.
I grieve for the fathers who did not live to see their children blossom as adults.
I grieve for mothers left to raise children without help.
I grieve for the fathers who have given their lives over to hate.
I grieve especially for the children raised to hate others on sight.
I grieve that, in 25 years of consulting at 50 companies, I had 1 Black colleague.
I grieve that, in my middle-class suburban home, I cannot identify my nearest Black neighbor.
I grieve that my church has no Black congregants.

Yet these are the griefs of privilege.

I did not lose my father to police brutality.
I did not lose a child who was shot while fleeing.
I do not clench when I see flashing lights or hear sirens on my street.
I can assume the children will come home whole.


I must listen and learn more.
I must do better at helping people see color and the unjust results of biased systems.
I must call out complacency in myself and others.

The wounds I and my people cause will not heal themselves.