Occasionally, a story springs out of the primordial ooze of the internet that actually warms the heart. In case you missed it last week, this Tweet from a Morehouse college student of his professor holding his baby went viral:
The father of the baby, Wayne Hayer, is a senior at Morehouse College, an historical black men’s college here in Atlanta. The professor pictured, Nathan Alexander, had seen Hayer on his cell phone texting his wife about their infant daughter Assanta. The professor assured his student that if he needed to bring his daughter to class, it would be OK. But when Hayer showed up with baby in tow, Alexander went the extra mile: He actually held the little girl so that her father could take notes.
Wayne Hayer is a young man doing everything we could hope from him: he’s married, he works two jobs to support his family, he’s getting an education, he worries about his wife having to manage a baby while riding public transportation. And he’s willing to walk across an all male college campus sporting an infant in a pink onesie.
“I had a book bag on and a baby strapped to my chest. I looked crazy,” he said. As he approached the classroom door, Hayer felt intimidated. “Then Dr. Alexander saw me and welcomed me with open arms.”
Any professor would be within his rights to have a “no babies in class” rule. But Dr. Alexander chose to help his student out instead. He told the Washington Post “Our goal is to instill leadership in our students. I want to be a model of that, and I think Wayne is a model of that. He was focused on his academics in spite of everything else he had going on.”
That was a welcome message for Hayer and the other students in the class. “There’s a negative stereotype about African American men not being fathers to their children and a myth that most black people come from single-parent households. To see a young African American man do it was empowering for people to see. The image and symbolism were important in changing how we view masculinity.”
It was such a simple act. Helping out a father. But it’s touched a lot of people. We need more simple acts like this. If we want a world filled with children, we need to support the people who have them. If we don’t want government to be the solution to all of our problems, including child care then we all have an individual responsibility. Companies should be flexible whenever possible to allow parents to care for their children.
I can’t think of a better pro-life message than that.