Hauʻoli Lā Makuakāne

Each year on Mother’s and Father’s Day, I’m reminded of how lucky I am to have such close relationships with my parents. Not everyone grows up in a home where their opinions are valued, dreams are praised, and hearts are met with love and compassion, so I recognize how privileged I am that my parents always treat me with empathy and respect. Although my mom and I are almost twins in personality and beliefs, my dad and I share a handful of mirrored characteristics. We both love sports, fashion, music, and food, and we love trading ideas and tips in these topics. We don’t agree on everything, but even when there are disagreements, we still find a middle ground of love and (semi) understanding. I love discussing topics I’m passionate about, going shopping, playing guitar or exchanging new song discoveries, cooking and baking, and analyzing football and basketball games together. I often joke about Dwayne the Rock Johnson being my real dad (it’s just a funny!!), but I’m thankful for the dad I have.

While I recognize my dad’s importance in my life, I can’t help but acknowledge how many fathers and children don’t have the same opportunities of joy and family time this Father’s Day. It would be irresponsible to celebrate a day revolving around strong father figures while also ignoring the injustices other dads are facing across the nation. May we remember all of the fathers whose children were ripped from their arms without knowing if they’d ever reunite again, the fathers who were killed by those sworn to serve and protect them, the fathers whose futures were taken as they were wrongfully imprisoned or incarcerated over petty crime.

And may we stand in solidarity with those who feel the weight of oppression and injustice where there should only be love.

In memory of Eric Garner, Stephon Clark, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Walter Scott, Oscar Grant, every other father whose life was taken from them, who are sitting in prison cells, and those separated from their babies.