Obama unveils ‘My Brother’s Keeper,’ opens up about his dad, drugs and race

Judging by some of the comments from posters at CNN’s website, this country still has a long way to go before we will see an end to the race issue in this country. That is, if it ever goes away at all.

From what I’ve been able to read from the actual document, this is basically a task force being put together to see what can be done to aid young men of color (Black, Hispanic, and Native American) in improving their chances of having a productive life.  Reading further into the document, there’s this specific passage that should end any of the impending discussion of Obama being the “President for Black People”.

Section 2 part (i)

develop a comprehensive public website, to be maintained by the Department of Education, that will assess, on an ongoing basis, critical indicators of life outcomes for boys and young men of color (and other ethnic, income, and relevant subgroups) in absolute and relative terms;

I’m sure there will be quite a few to jump on the “Why only Black kids?” bandwagon, and I don’t expect any of the talking heads to point out that the actual memorandum spells out “boys and young men of color AND OTHER ETHNIC, INCOME AND RELEVANT SUBGROUPS.

I can speak with quite a bit of authority on this particular subject as I grew up in similar conditions that President Obama did.  I am the child of a single parent, my father is around but is not a part of my life.  I was raised by my grandparents as well.  I didn’t do the drug thing, nor have I ever been arrested for anything.  However, I have witnessed a good bit of street violence that many young men in the Black community fall victim to.  I was lucky that I’m still alive today, and I don’t take things for granted because I think I was given the gift of life to be able to positively impact others.

I don’t have the pedigree of an Ivy Leaguer.  I don’t have the income level of the top 1%, 10%, or 20% either.  I’m just a guy who grew from the lower-income classes to having my own middle class family.  I never considered myself poor growing up.  I didn’t realize that I was supposed to be poor until I was long out of college.  Looking back on things, I see the benefits of having people who are actually interested in giving you a chance to do something great.  I had teachers, coaches, and others who believed in me enough that they helped instill the drive that I still have to always try to improve myself.

It’s going to be fun watching the detractors break out all the usual pejoratives and dog whistle attacks.  I’ve lived this, so this is one time that I can actually say, “Great job Mr. President.”

 

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CNN Political Ticker

(CNN) — The President has a message for young minority men who grew up like he did.

“No excuses. Government, and private sector, and philanthropy, and all the faith communities, we all have a responsibility to help provide you the tools you need. We’ve got to help you knock down some of the barriers that you experience,” he said.

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2 thoughts on “Obama unveils ‘My Brother’s Keeper,’ opens up about his dad, drugs and race

  1. Brosephus, it will not happen in my lifetime – I will be 73 next week. But truly amazing leaps forward have happened in my span of years. I remember MLK in 1968, marching & dying for voting rights & fairness for the garbage collectors and now Mr. Obama is our president! So it may happen in your lifetime. But it WILL happen. And maybe one of your daughters will be president!

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    • You never know. Sometimes, change comes slower than molasses, and at other times, it moves faster than light itself. I hope to see enough change that my girls don’t have to endure half of what I have. I haven’t had to endure half of what my parents did.

      As you said, eventually things will change. The thing that impressed me the most is that, reading the memorandum lets you know that the Native American population has not been left out. When looking at poverty statistics, they are worse off than the rest of the country.

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