Letter: A retort to Sederquist’s ‘Fishers of men’
Nobody would describe me as particularly “woke.” However, I was definitely awoken by Ryan Sederquist’s “Fishers of Men” in Saturday’s Sports and Outdoors section.
Sederquist’s walk down memory lane of his childhood, fly-fishing in Canada with multiple generations of Sederquists, might seem a little unfamiliar to the 37 million Americans who live in poverty. Or his description of the “hassle” of keeping up the boat, the licenses, the tackle and bait, and the rods must have aroused a lot of sympathy from the 32% of Americans that cannot afford $400 in the event of a medical emergency.
My father was too busy working to go fishing, so we never went. As an Italian immigrant arriving in America during the Great Depression, he saw sports as a luxury, so we never threw a ball together. Despite my father’s lack of presence, he managed to raise two CEOs and a registered nurse. So the fact that Sederquist’s nostalgic scene plays out in their family fishing cabin on an island is just plain insulting.
Sederquist’s main point that fatherlessness (or more accurately fatherly absenteeism — everyone has a father) is highly correlated with a host of negative outcomes is not disputable, but to juxtapose his Mayberry-like reminiscences as a viable alternative to legislation or remedy is laughable. There is no mention of potential underlying issues or remedies.
For example, we live in an asset-based economy and both wealth and lack thereof are passed from generation to generation. I would have expected to find a thinly veiled political piece in the opinion section, not the supposedly journalistic copy — way to go editors.