The video of a young man’s peaceful confrontation with his absentee gang-banging father is generating a wealth of praise — and a storm of criticism — on social media.
Garren, a 22-year-old singer from Compton, Calif., sat down with his dad, Greg, in a soul-bearing video clip where he questioned why his father focused on gang-banging rather than supporting his eight children.
“I grew up that way,” Greg says when asked why he chose that lifestyle. “My friends [were in a gang]. We were all buddies. So, we all stuck together and … it was a gang.”
Garren said Greg, who was in and out of jail, put his friends over his son and other children.
“You chose the streets as a priority, in our eyes,” Garren says. “On the times that we did find out that you were out [of jail], we were knowing after your homies. You were on the block hanging out, you wasn’t coming straight home when you got out.
“Even on my birthday, I remember seeing you,” he continues. “You know, it was my birthday. I’m looking for you … you should be looking for me or at least calling for me.”
Garren revealed he considered committing to a gang when he was 11 or 12 years old because of his father’s associations, but he didn’t go through with it.
“Your mama raised y’all good,” Greg says. “Your mama did a good job. You know, my example is you can make a decision saying ‘I don’t wanna do that, I don’t want to do that like my daddy. He was in jail, he never was here, he this, he that.’ But, what you learn from it is you know that your daddy ain’t no Buster.
“I’m proud of all of y’all … I’m proud of myself, well, I’m still alive,” says Greg, who advised others in a similar situation to keep their families together.
Garren encouraged others who identified with the story to share their experience, but many chose to simply share their opinion on the matter.
Some applauded Greg’s willingness to own up to his actions.
Others criticized him.
Still others thought the mother should be held accountable.