Just Because You’re A Parent Doesn’t Mean You’re A Saint

by Yvonne Chase on April 3, 2015

Desperate Time Of Need
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard all about Laurence Fishburne not bailing his mother out in her desperate time of need.  Hattie Fishburne is facing eviction from her LA apartment and she’s been unable to reach her famous son for help.  In an interview with the New York Post, she says, “He’s gone Hollywood!” For 20 years, I funded my son’s career.  He promised me he would take care of me. He promised me a house, a golden retriever, a calico cat. To this day, I have not got a Christmas present or a ‘Thank you, Mama’ present.  He hasn’t given me a penny.  I’m so hurt and disappointed.” I hate when people bring up what they’ve done for you in the past as a way to guilt you into helping them out in their time of need.  It’s ugly behavior.

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Mothers Have Put Them Through Hell
I watched a clip of a panel discussing this issue and one of the panelists said she can see both sides.  She says,  “If it were me personally, I’d write my mother a check. Done.  But I also know people whose mothers have put them through hell. It’s more than them just being annoying.  It’s like my mother tried to take me out spiritually.  It’s a lot of stuff people’s parents can do to them.”  I agree with her 100%.  Somehow we think parents are incapable of putting their children through hell and that is simply not true.  

All Parents Aren’t Good Parents
I don’t know the relationship Laurence Fishburne has with his mother. I don’t know the kind of mother she has been or is to him.  I don’t know if they even have a relationship today.  Maybe they had one back in the day and today they don’t I don’t know but here’s what I do know for sure, just because you’re a parent doesn’t mean you’re a saint.  All parents aren’t good parents.  

Typical Parent Move
Tyler Perry comes to mind as I write.  He’s made it known the lack of relationship he has with his father and he doesn’t apologize for it.  Parents are people too.  All people aren’t nice.  There are some wicked people in this world and some of those people are parents.  Maybe something happened between Laurence and his mother that’s made him make this choice. Tyler has forgiven his father and decided to move on with life without him.  Maybe the same is true for Laurence.  I’m sure talking to the media isn’t helping her cause.  Now the whole world is giving Laurence the side eye while she expects him to write a check.  Bad move! 

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A Drop In The Bucket For Him
Most people are probably saying, “How dare he not pay her back rent? How could he let her end up in the street or shelter?” He’s apparently worth a cool $20 million and her back rent is only a few thousand.   Clearly that’s a drop in the bucket for him IF he’s held on to any of that cool $20 million. We seem to think that because we call someone family, that label automatically puts them in the category of nice person that we are obligated to for the rest of our lives.  Does it? It’s quite possible Laurence doesn’t or didn’t know she was in need until she went to the media.  The NY Post article says they haven’t spoken in a year.  Clearly something in the milk ain’t clean! 

Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.  Exodus 20:12

Something to think about…

What say you? Are children obligated to help their parents? 

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle April 4, 2015

I found this tory fascinating. You bring up some very valid points-not all parents are good parents. I have to admit though that if I had that much money I probably would have bought a small condo for the parent in cash (even if I didn’t like them) and then they could use their own money for monthly expenses. I also like that you point out the fact that he might NOT have the money. We’ve seen numerous celebrities who have earned a lot of money….but, have nothing left.
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Yvonne Chase April 4, 2015

@Michelle,

Who knows if Laurence offered to buy her a condo…I don’t know the details of their relationship but I do know a parent would have to do something really major to a child to make them leave them out in the street.

We assume Laurence has money but he might not have a red cent. Just because you’re a big celeb, executive producing a show on a major network like ABC and a large body of previous work, doesn’t mean you have any money to spare.

Hopefully they will figure it out…
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Keisha | The Girl Next Door is Black April 4, 2015

The first thing I thought when I saw this story pop up was: he may not have a good relationship with his mother. I agree with some of the points you made. Not all parents are good parents. Some parents are downright cruel. And I have to question the motives of a mother who goes to the press to discuss their famous son’s finances and his perceived lack of charitable behavior.

Perhaps he is just stingy with his money, ut I think there’s far more to it than that.
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Yvonne Chase April 4, 2015

@Keisha,

Exactly! Why would she go to the media? How is that going to help her cause? Shaming him before the entire world. Not a good move at all but such a typical parent move; trying to guilt your child into helping you. Disgusting!

There’s much more to the story than we will ever know. Hopefully he speaks to her privately and takes this out of the media. I don’t know why celebs take pleasure in airing out their dirty laundry in social media/other media.
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AwesomelyOZ April 10, 2015

This is a great topic and one that really needs light shed on it. I come from Hispanic heritage and in that culture is it expected that the offspring take care of the parents until they take their last breath. Customarily, that has worked in the past but in recent times with the shift in economic stability and difficulty with single families maintaining themselves afloat, it’s very difficult to be responsible for others livelihood – especially ones who don’t deserve that benefactor. I’m not aware of the dynamics of their relationship either but I know there is two sides to that story and he’s probably better off not running his mouth about it either. It will not make him look good to talk bad about how mother so it’s probably best for him to just stay quiet, as he is doing; or if he has the capacity and will, to write her the check. I hope it works out! Have a great weekend Yvonne! -Iva
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