Just when you thought gospel icon Kirk Franklin was about to join the ranks of those canceled in 2021, think again.
Franklin, 51, made headlines over the weekend after his son posted a video of his father verbally assaulting him during an argument.
The “Melodies From Heaven” singer called his son everything but a child of God, and then some. Ironically, the Black community is riding with Franklin and in a strange turn of events, his son has become the subject of victim shaming.
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Kerrion Franklin, 33, expressed his frustration on social media by writing, “This is why I’m done. No father should speak to their children like this. If I have any issues it’s because Of this type of treatment that ii deal with behind closed doors. Hanging up in my face, No apology, no compassion, no effort. Stop telling me to go home to my family I don’t even know where they live. I don’t think I’ll ever trust my father to be alone around him ever again. I didn’t want to do this. I probably won’t release the entire recording because it’s too embarrassing that Im even dealing with this. No matter what ppl think I pray my dad deals with his deep hatred toward me. I don’t feel safe around him at all. This recording is recent it is not from 2018 just to clarify. Im going to learn from these experiences, live my life in peace and make beautiful art”
“Are we cancelling Kirk Franklin?”
— Eddiekangjr (@iLurk_uTweet) March 14, 2021
A lot of y’all are Kirk Franklin’s son… Your parents walked you through life, gave you every tool, put you in position to win… And you fucked it up every time. Now, your parents are done babying you, and you think it’s abusive that they wanna fuck you up.
— Rubba Band (@RubbaBand_Grant) March 14, 2021
Instead of being validated and vindicated, Kerrion was branded disrespectful, rude and a freeloader who should be ashamed for making his family’s disagreements public.
Lowkey Kirk Franklin didn’t owe y’all an apology. His 30 year old son didn’t have to disrespect him nor expose something private. Even though clearly that was only a snippet of the situation, it shouldn’t have met the public eye nevertheless
— Attack on Tip⚡️ (@coltoltheii) March 14, 2021
Kirk Franklin? LMAO
Y’all got me thinking Plies Sr. Was cussing out a child, when in reality he was cussing out his 33 YO disrespectful ass leech of a son. It was well deserved. He’s a Christian but he ain’t too Christian to lay into that ass! Y’all can go to hell. Happy Sunday. pic.twitter.com/8IMg3Xm7fa
— Nurse Hoochie Coochie ✨ (@smoke_nd_pearlz) March 14, 2021
Franklin, on the other hand was praised for being a strong leader and disciplinarian. The fact that what Franklin did was not seen as verbal abuse shows how normalized it is in the African American household and Black culture in general. Whereas being tolerant and accepting of a child has seen more backlash.
Kirk Franklin son is 33 years old talking bout “this is no way to speak to your child” you a grown ass man lol if you being disrespectful, father or not, yeah he gonna cuss you out. I see nothing wrong with what Kirk did 🤷🏽♂️
— OtaQu (@iDont_Chase) March 14, 2021
Take for instance NBA star Dwyane Wade and his actress -wife, Gabrielle Union, and their transgender daughter, Zaya. They have been heavily criticized for their support of Zaya’s gender equality and yet everyone seems to have an opinion.
In Franklin’s case, social media says “it’s none of our business leave them alone,” yet, when it comes to Wade and Union, social media has been quick to judge and shame their parenting.
lol @ how people wanna say "mind your own business" when it comes to Kirk Franklin verbally abusing his son, yet Dwyane & Gabrielle simply support and affirm their daughter and folks have ALL the opinions on what's wrong with their parenting.
Wonder how THAT Venn diagram looks.
— 🍑 (@angryblkhoemo) March 14, 2021
Verbal abuse has become so mainstream in our culture that it is heavily spoofed in our movies and imagery. For example, in the movie “Friday” with characters Smokey, Dada and Craig constantly being cursed at by their parents. It is even displayed subtly in light-hearted films like “Madea’s Family Reunion” and the “Boondocks” cartoons.
This also leaves us to wonder if it is a different response because it was a man and his son, and not a woman and her daughter.
I thought Kirk Franklin’s son was a child. He almost had me. He’s 33. That’s a grown ass man lol that’s MEN business!
— R. (@monaalisaa__) March 14, 2021
Think about it? Where was all of this love when gospel singer LeAndria Johnson was caught cursing during a live stream on the streaming app Periscope?
Johnson was ridiculed by not only society, but also members of the gospel community including Pastor Dettrick Haddon, which ultimately resulted in a sit down with Iyanla Vanzant on the “Iyanla Fix My Life” show.
Why is it that a man of faith can use profanity, threaten his child and be lauded as a hero, but when a woman does it, she is branded unholy?
What’s even more ironic is that Franklin sent a message of love and support for Johnson and uplifted her back in 2018.
In the video, Franklin can be heard telling Johnson, “Everything that you’ve experienced is an opportunity for you to be able to tell someone the story that they need. if you never went through anything how can you reach people that are facing tragedy every day. So now you are going to be a stepping stone for somebody getting better.”
But where was that energy when it came time to him speaking with his son?
Fans of Franklin have been quick to call out the fact that his son is 33-years-old, but the people that Franklin ministers to are adults as well. It’s unfortunate that he could not bring that calmness and reserve to the recent conversation.
You can’t deny that this type of hypocrisy among African Americans in the church and in the community has been evident for generations.
What Kirk Franklin did and what Black folks are justifying is the exact reason why my generation and other young Black people are leaving the church. No time for hypocrisy, myths, and fairytales. Regardless of the “He’s 33 years old” excuse. pic.twitter.com/WdVCSeW6C0
— Professor Wright 🎓 (@Savion) March 14, 2021
This type of thinking has also caused many to turn away from the church. A recent study by “The Truth Be told” finds that Millennials across all races are attending church less and it’s 12 percentage points lower for Black Millenials.
As sad as the numbers are, it’s not surprising. The misogyny and hypocrisy are nothing new. It’s just that the younger generation has been quicker to call out the lack of female representation in leadership roles and the ability to accept your gay choir director, but not his or her partner.
The Franklin debate is so much more than a man arguing with his son. It’s the ideology of faith, family, and how we interpret it as a Black community.
For what it’s worth, Franklin did issue an apology, stating that he is not perfect and as a human, he makes mistakes and is trying to get it right.
“Recently my son and I had an argument that he chose to record. During the argument, I felt extremely, extremely disrespected and I lost my temper and I said words that are not appropriate and I sincerely apologize to all of you,” Franklin said.
— Kirk Franklin (@kirkfranklin) March 14, 2021
Franklin closed by asking everyone to keep his family in their prayers. His son has continued to respond through social media and says that, although his father responded to his fans, he has yet to call or apologize to him directly.
Whew, chile… Well, let the church say Amen!
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