• Former Tea Party Congressman Now a Deadbeat Dad?

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    If he gets one, it’ll speak to the power of white privilege in America.

    That’s because every day around this country, men, usually men of color, are either jailed or stripped of numerous privileges for non-payment of child support.

    Unlike Walsh, these aren’t men who had opportunities to make money or capitalize on connections they made while holding a political office.

    Oh no.

    According to the Center for American Progress, half of all men who owe child support are the poorest men in society, and 70 percent of all past due payments are owed by those making $10,000 or less.

    Many struggle disproportionately with unemployment, which makes it tougher for them to pay child support; right now the black male unemployment rate is 13.4 percent, while the white male unemployment rate is 6.6 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    Some wind up in jail for not paying, while others lose privileges such as driving licenses – which makes it even tougher for them to get a job and earn money.

    Yet these are men who tea partiers like Walsh and others would roll their eyes at and tell them to get a job. These are the men who they’d blame for having children in the first place, and who they’d treat with contempt, not compassion or understanding.

    But it seems that even now, with the specter of being a deadbeat dad hanging over him, Walsh is pushing on. He’s trying to start a new, conservative Super PAC, and to land a radio gig.

    You’d think he’d want to lay low, get himself a job and settle his child support woes before venturing into anything as public as being on the radio.

    But Walsh feels more privilege than shame. Shame is for the poor, struggling black men who cannot pay child support, and, unlike Walsh, can’t afford to pay a lawyer to explain why they cannot pay.

    Unlike Walsh, they’ll wind up in jail. He may very well wind up on the radio – or maybe even on Fox News.

    And sadly enough, in this day and age, no one would be surprised.

    Tonyaa Weathersbee is an award-winning columnist based in Jacksonville, Fla. Follow her @tonyaajw. Or visit her webpage and blog, “Tonyaa’s Take,” at www.tonyaajweathersbee.com.

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