Daddy blogger Doyin Richards spends most of his days recounting the joys of fatherhood on his website, Daddy Doin’ Work: Adventures of a First-Time Father Raising His Daughters.
Last October, Doyin (pronounced doe-WEEN), 39, took a month off from his day job to “baby bond” with his newborn.
It was during this time that he snapped this adorable photo of himself styling his three-year-old’s hair while the baby rests comfortably in a BabyBjörn.
Doyin says he took the photo because his wife, Mariko, refused to believe he could do his daughter’s hair, and he wanted to show her that he could.
“After 15 minutes of multitasking, the final result was a nice, tight ponytail for big sister and a happily sleeping baby in the carrier. Mission accomplished,” he wrote in the blog post. “I emailed the photo to her with the caption ‘Boom.’ and we both got a good laugh out of it.”
So far so innocent, but when the photo was reposted late last month on social networking sites it quickly went viral, and that’s when all Hell broke loose.
Doyin was inundated with racist comments calling his devotion into question and suggesting his daughters couldn’t be his because they didn’t share the same exact skin color (Mariko is half-white and half-Japanese).
“I would bet anything that you’re a deadbeat,” said one commenter. “OK buddy, cute picture. Now why don’t you hand the children back to their mom so you can go back to selling drugs or your bootleg rap CDs?” said another.
“He probably rented those kids,” said a third. “They don’t even look like him.”
And the vile kept coming: “Look at this Uncle Tom. No chance he would be doing this if his kids were black,” read one particularly unacceptable remark. “So do you do this for all of your illegitimate kids?”
Responding to his haters with signature levelheadedness, Doyin decided not to stoop to their negativity, and instead turn their sorry behavior into a teachable moment, daddy-style.
“Why don’t you put big boy shorts on and get in on the revolution of good fathers?” Doyin inquired of his detractors, rhetorically. “It’s not a good look to tear down dads for doing the work your wives wished you were man enough to do on your own. If you don’t believe me, just ask your spouses. They’ll tell you. But don’t worry. I’ll still be here whenever you’re ready to step your game up and join #TeamGrownAssMan.”
In a lengthy response post since reposted by The Good Men Project, Doyin invokes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and says he dreams of a day when “people will view a picture like this and not think it’s a big deal.”