Ciara and Future’s Baby Drama and the Black Mother Double Standard

Twitter cheered on Future as he called ex-girlfriend Ciara a ‘bitch’ over their child-custody spat, revealing an ugly double standard against black moms.

01.05.16 3:16 AM ET

The ongoing drama surrounding rapper Future, his baby’s mother Ciara and her current fiancé Russell Wilson has played out like primetime soap. Future and Ciara’s relationship ended in 2014 shortly after the birth of their son, and there hasn’t been much but acrimony between the former couple ever since. Added into the mix last year was Wilson, the Seattle Seahawks Pro Bowl quarterback, who is now engaged to Ciara—which draws him into Future’s crosshairs.

But Future’s latest outburst was directed squarely at Ciara. The robo-voiced emo rhymer blasted his ex via Twitter—because that’s what famous rappers do nowadays—and indicated that Ciara isn’t allowing him to see his son.

“I gotta go through lawyers to see babyfuture...the fuckery for 15k a month [sic],” Future tweeted. “I jus want babyfuture that’s all. This bitch got control problems...”

“I been silent for a year & a half..I ran outta patience,” he added.

Future and Ciara’s relationship has unfolded in the public eye—which isn’t at all uncommon in the case of celebrities, but particularly not unusual since the advent of social media. But there has been a simmering undercurrent of disrespect which seemed to culminate in Future’s tweets Monday. A disagreement over child support doesn’t have to devolve into a famous man publicly calling the also-famous mother of his child a “bitch,” but the “…Commas” crooner has already shown that he’s not above this sort of thing.

Last summer, Future took shots at Ciara and Wilson via Twitter after photos hit the Internet showing the couple together pushing little Future Zahir.

"Never make a permanent decision over a temporary circumstance," he tweeted at the time, in what was a not-at-all-subtle dig at his former fiancée. He then added a jab at Wilson: “Don’t direct my tweets to no punk ass hoe. The devil gone come from all angles, but I’m covered with Angels.”

Future elaborated on his disgust in a later interview with The Breakfast Club. “At the end of the day, I’m not for the publicity stunt,” Future said. “Leave my son out of all the publicity s–t. Just leave him out of your relationship, because we don’t need your relationship for anything.”

“Of course I wouldn’t want anyone to push my son. That’s like the number one rule,” Future said. “If I was a kid, and my mom had a dude pushing me, I would’ve jumped out the stroller and slapped the s–t out of him. You never do that in our community. You don’t even bring a man around your son. You only know this dude for a few months and you’re bringing him around your kid? Who does that? Nobody does that.”

Most importantly, this latest celebrity spat offered another window into a wider cultural perspective. There are those who believe that child support is a means to “punish” a father, and the reactions to Future’s tweets revealed that a lot of people don’t need much evidence to deem a famous dad a victim of a greedy woman.

Ciara has addressed the criticism she’s received from men regarding her decision to bring Wilson so close to her son. She reminded everyone that she tried to build a strong relationship with Future’s other children while they were together.

“It’s been interesting to hear about what a lot of guys have had to say. I feel like in a sense it’s a bit of a double standard. At one point in time when we were together, I took care of his kids as well at a very young time in our relationship,” she explained during an interview with CBS. “But I really was involved very early in the stage of us getting to know each other, and that’s been a big conversation. It’s kind of like, what’s the difference here?”

Future has three other children besides Future Zahir. It’s unlikely that he’s unfamiliar with child support proceedings. Future also makes no secret regarding his lifestyle—one that seems to be immersed in excess. Nonetheless, individuals voiced their support for the hip-hop star, tweeting about Ciara’s “dependence” on Future and the ills of the child support system—namely, how it’s used to victimized men.

There is a tendency to view Black women as tools of an oppressive system instead of understanding that men must be held accountable for their behavior and to the women with whom they have a child. Child support is just that—Ciara’s dependence or independence has nothing to do with what Future needs to provide for his son. Each parent is supposed to be able to sustain the same lifestyle they would have had if no split ever occurred. Why is her character under scrutiny?

Could you listen to lyrics like “Money comin’ fast, we never getting’ sleep / I just had to buy another safe” knowing that the guy behind those lyrics feels persecuted for having to pay $15,000 a month in child support? Artists who devote so much of their music to how much they spend on cars, clothes, strippers, and watches shouldn’t expect much sympathy from the public regarding child support payments. Outside commentators don’t need to know the specifics of a celebrity split, but also need not be so eager to drop the ballerific façade when it’s time to fork over money for your ex and child. And to the individuals working 9-to-5s, listening to wish-fulfillment anthems and living vicariously through their favorite stars, maybe be a little less eager to justify their self-martyrdom. Future and Ciara’s situation is personal and no doubt very difficult. You don’t know enough about it to support him and you definitely don’t know enough to vilify her. What we do know is that the public disrespect is coming from one side. And the fact that his disrespect is being applauded speaks volumes.

Eventually, most ex-couples put aside the bitterness for the sake of the child. Future would do well to remember that before he hops on Twitter again. And his cheerleaders need to ask themselves what they’re endorsing.