Columns share an author’s personal perspective.
Gianna Floyd might well be the most prescient 6-year-old we’ve ever seen.
Just days after her father, George, was killed by a Minneapolis police officer, Gianna, perched upon an uncle’s shoulders, cheerily told reporters, “Daddy changed the world.”
At 6, you’re fairly cognizant of what’s happening around you, but this child is wise beyond her years; wise enough to understand that the world as we’ve known it has changed for the better, and her father is one of the key reasons why.
It is remarkable that a 6-year-old can discern the situation better than some adults, who have chosen to remain obtuse.
George Floyd wasn’t perfect. In fact, it’s clear he was struggling with life. Using methamphetamine and trying to pass off a counterfeit $20 strongly suggest you aren’t in a good place.
But when you’re 6, you see your dad for who you think he is. My father was so handsome and was always so impeccably dressed, I suspected he might be a movie star.
Dads are heroes, dragon slayers and monster-chasers.
In a girl’s eyes, dads are bigger than life: Batman plus Superman with a dash of Sir Lancelot.
Until it is shown to them otherwise, daughters believe dads can change the world.
George Floyd could never have dreamed that he’d be able to provide for his youngest child in a manner all little girls deserve. At 6, Gianna already has offers for college scholarships and has been gifted with Disney stock.
Certainly, it isn’t the way Floyd would have preferred to provide. Certainly, his daughter would much rather have her father alive.
But that’s what dads do - they make life better for their kids, sometimes in ways even they can’t imagine.
Moms get credit for their devotion to their children, and deservedly so. But there are a lot of fathers who have been just as supportive; men who would do anything for their kids.
There is a persistent myth that because 70% of black children are born to unwed parents, they must also be fatherless.
In his article, “No, Most Black Kids are not Fatherless,” Josh Levs, author of the book “All In,” cites statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which show that most black fathers live with their children; 2.5 million who do, compared to 1.7 million who don’t.
The CDC also found that of all minority men, black fathers are the most involved with their kids.
Before he died, the NBA legend Kobe Bryant made it clear to anyone within earshot that he was a “Girl Dad.” He was a proud parent of four daughters, including Gianna, his “mini-me” athlete who tragically died alongside her father and hero.
If you’re a dad of daughters, perhaps deep down, in a place where they can’t hear it and be hurt by it, you’ve always secretly wanted a son.
You don’t know how lucky you are.
Your daughter thinks you can change the world.
Reach Charita at 330-580-8313 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @cgoshayREP