“I’m reaching out to some of America’s leading foundations and corporations on a new initiative to help more young men of color facing especially tough odds to stay on track and reach their full potential.” – President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama is determined to empower young black men. And today, America knows it, too. Obama chose Thursday to mark an historic breakthrough at the White House introducing “My Brother’s Keeper” – a new and unprecedented national initiative to uplift and empower every boy and young man of color who is willing to do the hard work to get ahead.

In one of the president’s most passionate speeches during his tenure in the White House, Obama looked boldly to the future to ensure that young men of African American and Hispanic heritage become an integral part of America’s success, prosperity and educational excellence.

“If you’re African-American, there’s about a one-in-two chance you grow up without a father in the house. If you’re Latino, you have about a one-in-four chance,” Obama said Thursday. “We assume this is an inevitable part of American life instead of the outrage that it is. It’s like a cultural backdrop for us in movies and television. We just assume — of course it’s going to be like that. But these statistics should break our hearts and they should compel us to act.”

Last year, Obama traveled to the South Side of Chicago and spoke to 16 black male students growing up poor, troubled, and some without fathers in their lives. The students, who attend Hyde Park Academy High School, are part of an anti-youth violence program called “Becoming A Man” (B.A.M.) that teaches at-risk students about violence prevention, accountability, self-determination, positive anger expression and respect for women. Obama was joined at the White House by several of the young black males who participate in B.A.M.

Valerie Jarrett, a Senior White House Advisor, said the president chose the Hyde Park Academy High School because the neighborhood is a mile from his home — a predominantly black community of poor residents, urban blight, and unemployed black men, but also an area that has seen progress in recent years, with newly constructed housing and banks. And meeting with young black men who are at-risk, Jarrett said, served as a profound moment in Obama’s presidency.

Jarrett said Obama personally identified with the young black men, in part, she said, because Obama, as a black man himself, was raised by a single mother who sometimes relied on food stamps to make ends meet.

“I explained to them that when I was their age, I was a lot like them,” Obama said. “I didn’t have a dad in the house. And I was angry about it, even though I didn’t necessarily realize it at the time,” he said. “I made choices. I got high without always thinking about the harm it could do … I could see myself in these young men.”

It was the initiative – and speech – that many black Americans have been waiting for. It’s the right decision at the right time in our nation’s history when young black men are being routinely ignored, marginalized, overlooked, insulted – and even gunned down in the streets for no legitimate reason.

“The group that is facing some of the most severe challenges in 21st century America is boys and young men of color,” Obama said in the East Room. “I believe the continuing struggles of so many boys and young men … this is a moral issue for our country. We need to give every child, no matter what they look like … the chance to reach their full potential.”

Perhaps Obama conjured the wisdom of Ralph Ellison, the noted black writer who became famous for his book “Invisible Man” and the powerful first line: “I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.”

Today, 62 years after Ellison penned those profound words, Obama, the nation’s first black president, desperately wants America to see young black men through his eyes: as productive members of our society. The president is using his White House bully pulpit to acknowledge that America has systematically disregarded young men of color, and particularly black men.

For decades, Obama aides said, opportunity has lagged behind for boys and young men of color.  Young boys of color are disproportionately expelled from public schools, disproportionately locked up in America’s prisons and disproportionately refused jobs by employers who prefer to hire white workers. Among the challenges faced by the “My Brother’s Keeper” program: The jobless rate for black men older than 20 in January was 12%, compared with 6.6% for the nation as a whole.

There are more sobering statistics according to White House aides. Large disparities remain in reading proficiency, with 86 percent of black boys and 82 percent of Hispanic boys reading below proficiency levels by the fourth grade – compared to 58 percent of white boys reading below proficiency levels. Additionally, the disproportionate number of black and Hispanic young men who are unemployed or involved in the criminal justice system alone is a perilous drag on state budgets, and undermines family and community stability.

These young men are more than six times as likely to be victims of murder than their white peers and account for almost half of the country’s murder victims each year.   On Thursday, Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum establishing the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force, an inter-agency effort, chaired by the Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary Broderick Johnson, that will help determine what public and private efforts are working.

White House officials said the foundations supporting the initiative have already made extensive investments, including $150 million in current spending that they have already approved or awarded. On Thursday, the foundations announced that over the next five years they will invest at least $200 million to assist with job creation, early child development, parenting and parent engagement, 3rd grade literacy, educational opportunity and school discipline reform, and interactions with the criminal justice system.

“The challenges these young men face are of personal importance to him,” Jarrett said of Obama. “This is an initiative the president has been involved in every step along the way and he and the First Lady will remain active until the end of his presidency.”

This, in my view, is perhaps the president’s greatest legacy.

What do you think?

35 thoughts on “COMMENTARY: Obama’s Greatest Legacy – Saving Young Black Men

  1. I think President Obama is doing an OUTSTANDING JOB!! When critics complain about our President , I say COMPARED TO WHO?? What other President has done so much!

  2. Mac Ben on said:

    Where are these boys’ daddies?? The president has the business of the country to run; he does not have time to do what other grown ass men should be doing for their own children! The is ludicrous!

    • iann11 on said:

      OMG!!!!! Thank you, Mac Ben I soooooo agree with you. How dare black men and women expect The President of The United States to save the children that they MADE from despair????????? They should be ashamed of this BULL____ Raise your own children, and take responsibility for them. The reason black and brown boys and girls are in the state that they’re in, is because of black and brown PARENTS!!!!!!!!

  3. GregAbdul on said:

    (trying not to sound like an angry black man) 
Those who criticize this program from the left, who doubt the President’s sincerity or say, “we’ll have to see” are so full of it. First off, this President gains absolutely nothing politically and no advantage whatsoever in proposing this program. So the Tavis Smiley’s and the Paul Butler’s need to quit. This discussion of structural barriers versus personal responsibility is nonsense. We are talking about young black men who cannot get jobs. Is Obama, or anyone else for that matter, supposed to create some magical government jobs program where young men of color can come to work every day with their pants hanging off their butts as they curse and use the N-word in some negro utopian workplace? The workplaces of America are overwhelmingly run by older people who have no use for thug behavior in the workplace and I use thug in its pejorative sense of being code for the N-word. The other major thing is, any real jobs program has to get past the Republican controlled House, which we all know quite well simply ain’t gonna happen. The President, in spite of Congress, is doing all he can in this case to reach out to an underprivileged class and some of us really don’t care about black boys (caring means you tell your kids to pull up their pants and work hard in school). Instead you hear words used in totally wrong contexts, like “the new generation has appropriated the N-word and use it now without fear or its negative connotations.” That’s code for, “we old black people have no desire or energy to actually confront the behaviors that disadvantage our young men and we would rather patronize them and criticize the government for not patronizing them too.” It’s the Obama hater’s cop out. The Obama coalition is a color blind coalition based on a morality that serves the greater good for the greatest amount of people and his “critics” need to get over themselves.

    • iann11 on said:

      I don’t know if I agree with you, Greg Abdul. The responsibility of young black and brown men success or lack of success falls on the shoulders of their parents and them. It’s 2014 there should not have to be another government program to make sure that black and brown men have equal opportunity in our society. Why aren’t young black and brown boys graduating from college with degrees. That’s their fault and fault of their parents. If you cannot see that you’re going to have to be seriously educated in this world, that shouldn’t fall on anyone else’s shoulders, but yours. Maybe if the Majority of black and brown young men would STOP idolizing ASAP ROCKY, 2CHAINS, JAY-Z, FUTURE, RICK ROSS and that insufferable KANYE WEST and start admiring men of substance and education, maybe there would be a turn around in their lives and situations. Take responsibility for yourself and stop clinging to another government program!!!!

      • GregAbdul on said:

        Most reasonable people cite clear statistical evidence that shows that America is still a hostile place for black people and especially young black men. But we should also be rational and see that conservatives and hateful denying whites are going to do all they can to aid deny aid to black boys and that they have no interest in undoing all the damage they have done by throwing millions of black boys and men into prison over nonsense drug laws. The President, to his credit has made it clear he will do all he can, in spite of white southern resistance, to aid black and latino boys. This President is showing great heart and courage and I love him for it. You can be with the haters and deniers. Of course blacks bear some responsibility for the plight of our kids, but parents do not raise kids in a vacuum. In fact the critics from the left say there is too much self help in the President’s program. I see a multiracial effort to end discrimination against children solely because of their skin color by people from all corners, of good will. It’s the Obama coalition at work again and the Obama coalition is changing America for the better and slowly but surely getting things done.

      • iann11 on said:

        Try raising your children, black men. Try being real role models for babies. Instead of looking for another government program to raise your children, try telling them this: you ARE LOVED beyond words here at home, your Mother and I support you and back you at all costs, you ARE an intricate part of this family so what you have to say and think matters very much in your home, you HAVE responsibilities here at home that your Mother and I expect you to uphold, you WILL be a exceptionable role models to your siblings, you WILL go to school each and everyday and learn everything that the teachers are teaching you, you will show them respect at all times, you WILL learn different languages every year that you’re in school, while living here at home, you WILL continue your education past high school, so that you will be able to provide for yourself and your family when you get married, you ARE a steward of this earth, therefore you have a responsibility to try to make this planet a better place, you WILL talk to God each and everyday to help you and guide you, especially if for some reason your Mother and I cannot, you CAN accomplish anything and everything that you want from this life. And your Mother and I are extremely PROUD of the MAN that you are!!!!!! Black men stop this BULL____ and raise your children, they’re yours and no one else’s!!!!!!

      • iann11 on said:

        And you WILL NEVER EVER listen to or idolize rap music or rappers, that form of entertainment is for sub humans and uneducated people, you WILL NOT have that disgusting form of entertainment on you personally, EVER!!!!! Black men become involved in your children’s lives. Their success or failure is your responsibility. The fact that the President of the United States had to create a program to save young black and brown men, should make you weep forever!!!! Black men that is your responsibility and not the government, and black men and women should be ashamed to let this happen. SMDH!!!!!!

      • GregAbdul on said:

        Mr. Iann, you are spouting white racist nonsense. This is America. So who told you in the 60s and 70s not to listen to rock and roll and that it ruins children? Did ANY of you listen? Don’t get me wrong. I am no fan of rap, but do you have some super telescope that you can look into every single black parent’s home and tell us what we do and don’t do with our children? Michael Dunn and George Zimmerman were very white men who gunned down black boys and they are getting away with it because of an unsaid rule that says the lives of black boys do not matter. Black boys have been subject to mass incarceration for decades, driven by the white racist party (Republicans). After all white America has done to ruin black boys, you have the nerve to come here pontificating about how black people need to love our children? Blacks do fail as parents, but our failing is basically that white America is hostile to black boys and as hard as we do try, we often fail to protect our kids from all the white-laid traps out there. We need whites to drop the racism, which is only reviving because you see your hold on America slipping away. The President today is a black man. Tomorrow it will be a woman. So get over the sideways bashing and learn to accept all people and drop this caveman language where you get to constantly imply someone is not quite as pure (white) as you. There is plenty of blame to go around. Those of us who really care, instead of playing blame politics will see where we can fix things in every single area the problem occurs. That means we don’t play this “government has no role” lie, when millions of black boys are sitting in government funded prisons instead of colleges. And we don’t absolve parents because white wolves have always been a central part of the black American experience that we have to compensate for as we live our lives as an oppressed minority in America. I always say: You want to blame the lion for eating your babies, instead of fighting like crazy to protect your kids from the lions….You want to blame the doe for not being able to fight off the wolf.

      • iann11 on said:

        Your argument is old and tired. While you’re still talking about how ‘the man’ is keeping you down, the world is progressing at a rate that your community will never be able to keep up with, Instead of destroying your community with the lack of education and rap music( which should have been banned a long time ago!) Try taking some of drug money and invest in all 10 of your children by 10 different baby momma’s future. It is sooooooooooooooo Heartbreaking watching this irresponsibility from the black community regarding your children and their futures. It must be hard for you also to watch, that’s why it’s easier to blame ‘the man’. Mr. Abdul I beg of you, for the LOVE of God, drop that argument and get to raising your children!!!!! Don’t you people see, their future is slowly slipping away?

      • GregAbdul on said:

        Dude you are a crazy Klan person or a black person playing a joke. No normal white person can be as dense as you are pretending to be. I don’ t pretend to know what goes on in every white home. I just know that when white boys get in trouble, we all giggle and then they get let go. When a black boy gets in trouble, whites get red hot mad and do all they can to make sure they ruin the black boy in a way so severe he never recovers for the rest of his life. I don’t like rap. But I don’t like bigots even more. Black and white suburban kids have a sort of generational right to their music just like white hicks like country and white city boys like rock and roll. Rap is no more inherently evil than any other form of music. Mr. Iann, we have a black American President and he just announced he is implementing a special program for black and brown boys. Thank God for progress. I really don’t even know what you are here rambling about. I think the President has a little more influence than you just maybe?

      • iann11 on said:

        And the fact that the President had to create a program to save young black and brown boys doesn’t make you see, that black parents have FAILED their children??????? How can you not see this?????? Don’t you understand that your children are for YOU to raise, no one else!!!!! How dare you have the audacity to accept and expect the President of The United States to save YOUR OWN children??????? My God , if you’re not willing or able to raise your children, then for the love of God STOP MAKING BABIES!!!!!!! A real Man and a real Women would be insulted by this message that you’re sending the world, that black and brown parents are incapable of caring for their own!!!!!! Get out of my way, these are my children, NO ONE takes care of them, but me and their Mother. That’s the normal way things are suppose to be. But I see you don’t even have the SENSE to realize an insult when you see one!!!! God help us!!!!!!!!

      • iann11 on said:

        You know, this just proves that what I thought about some people but did not want to admit it, is true, some people get it about life and the right normal way things are suppose to go, and some people are incapable of understanding their real purpose in life and what your suppose to do in life. I just have to accept that and just live my life, and let other people do what their going to do. Everybody isn’t going to be able to figure this thing called life out!!!!! And that’s the real travesty about life. Some will succeed beyond their dreams and some will sink to the bottom without EVER realizing they could have had an AMAZING life!!!!! OK, now I accept this fact!

    • GregAbdul on said:

      Nice chatting with you mr. Iann (not!) Please stop being a racist white man who looks down on black people. My guess is you are an old retired white Republican man and you hate Obama. You are here to tell us the President should not help black people and that we should be insulted that the President, after almost six years in office, has decided to come up with something that specifically helps blacks. You are not black, so IN YOUR MIND, that makes the program bad. We are not ashamed. We love this President and we vote for him over and over at a more than 90% rate. Please see the racism in your thinking and stop it. The government is there to help people. Our government helps white people every single day and you do not get mad about it or tell your white brethren they should be ashamed, but in our mind the government is not supposed to help black and brown people. Your indignation is an unsaid rule IN YOUR MIND, a white code, that says help and good are only supposed to go to white America. Those days are gone! This President is black and the next president will be a woman and those games are going the way of the dinosaur. Nice talking with you. Shame is for those who do wrong. Aren’t you ashamed of being a racist?

      • iann11 on said:

        Sorry Greg, But as usual you’re wrong. I love and support our President 100%, I just wish you would love yourself enough to stop handicapping your race. Why do you feel black people need so much help? Why can’t you do for yourselves? I f you think something is right about creating a program to help today’s black and brown people succeed, you’re wrong sir! HELP YOURSELVES, stop looking for a handout. REALIZE the state of the black community is the black community fault. DON”T blame others for YOUR short comings. Wouldn’t you feel better if you accomplished things by your own hands????? But I give up trying to make sense, when all you’re looking for is a handout but no real responsibility on your part. I am soooooooo sorry Mr. Abdul that life has taught you this. Maybe one day if it’s not to late you’ll get it! But I doubt it! Have a great life, if you can.

  4. uptil I looked at the receipt which had said $9859 , I did not believe that…my… sister had been actualie receiving money in there spare time at their computer. . there aunts neighbour had bean doing this for only about fifteen months and just now took care of the morgage on there appartment and purchased a great Porsche 911 . over at this website W­ o­ r­ k­ s­ 7­ 7­ .­ C­ O­ M­

  5. my co-worker’s step-sister makes $75 every hour on the laptop . She has been fired for five months but last month her pay was $18141 just working on the laptop for a few hours. look these up …………WWW.JOBSZT.OCM

  6. til I looked at the receipt for $5432 , I accept that…my… cousin had been truley bringing home money part-time on there computar. . there aunts neighbour had bean doing this for only about 1 year and just paid for the mortgage on their home and purchased BMW M3 . read more B­ A­ Y­ 9­ 1.­ C­ O­ M­

  7. Dawatha Davis on said:

    Hi I was wondering how to get my son in this program?
    He is a 19 year old young man that has been in jail for two an a half years. He has just finished trial and there trying 2 sentence my son 25 years to life. He has never been in jail before. My son is innocent.

    • iann11 on said:

      Yeah! Sure he’s innocent….. Why didn’t you raise him right???? There are two people to blame for him being in jail: You and Him!!!! Innocent? Yeah right, that’s what they all say!!!!

      • GregAbdul on said:

        being right does not give you the right to be crude…I thought the job of angry and nasty black man was taken already…by me? “Stay in your lane!”

      • iann11 on said:

        I’m neither angry or nasty. I just hate to hear people blame others for their failings as a parent. Raise your children the way you should and I’m sure you wouldn’t have to worry about a life sentence in jail for your child, and as usual they’re always ‘innocent’ which is BULL____ which everyone’s knows it’s a bunch of lies. If you take the time to truly devote yourself to your family and REALLY be a parent, these things you wouldn’t have in your life!!! Hopefully you and your son have both learned some valuable lessons! Good Luck and Good night Mr. Abdul

  8. til I looked at the receipt for $5432 , I accept that…my… cousin had been truley bringing home money part-time on there computar. . there aunts neighbour had bean doing this for only about 1 year and just paid for the mortgage on their home and purchased BMW M3 . read more W­ o­ r­ k­ s­ 7­ 7­ .­ C­ O­ M­

  9. my best friend’s ex-wife makes $60 /hr on the computer . She has been fired for 9 months but last month her payment was $19487 just working on the computer for a few hours. Look At This W­ o­ r­ k­ s­ 7­ 7­ .­ C­ O­ M­

  10. VBucGreen on said:

    “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”; Ecclesiastes 3:1. This is President Obama season, God will continued to order his steps.

  11. Timekeeeper on said:

    No onw is asking for the president to help. He clealry sees this from his own vantage point. No one is aksing for the government to help either. Yes, there is a whole lot more black communities can and should do for the sake of our young boys. However, there are some things clearly we have no control over. Trayvon Martin had no contriol over what happened to him. Newither did Jordan Davis. I believe this is at the heart of Obama’s Initiative. You can teach your children, love your children, educate them, the whole nine yards. and yet,at times ( and I stress at times) the stumblingblocks and institutionalized things that affect us can still bet in the way and Impede a young black boys dreams. Obviously, there are some who hav escaped these issues. If so, then thank God nothing like this ever happened to you. That doesnt mean though that these issues arent real. Becuase they are. Truth be told men of all races are aving equal trouble raising their sons. That is Fox news propoganda that makes us say otherwise. the one thing they dont have to deal with is “Stand Your Ground” I would prefer to see if the prgram has some merit before I begin railing against it. Truth be told, white, black, yellow or brown, we all could use a little help. Excpet for those few who feel they are above it all and have never, ever needed some guidance.

    • Guidance comes from the Home! Black folk should be embarrassed by this. You can lie down and screw and make babies, but your dumb ass can’t raise them properly!!!!!! No matter how you slice it, it’s a down right dirty shame, that some people don’t have any LOVE for their children to give them a fighting chance in the World. How do you look yourself in the mirror and have any respect for yourselves!!!! It’s heartbreaking!!!!

    • GregAbdul on said:

      Davis and even mores Martin had control over what happened to them. When we make ourselves powerless, how can there be any hope for us? Will we forever be on our knees waiting for a white savior?

  12. This is ridiculous. This “My Brothers Keeper” initiative is a drop in the bucket. Here are thngs that Obama can do but won’t that will be much more effective. 1. A job is the best social program that there is, yet Obama is pushing amnesty for illegal immegrants that would cement in jobs that illegals have stolen from blacks. (See http://www.theroot.com/articles/politics/2010/02/how_illegal_immigration_hurts_black_america.html?utm_medium=feed&obref=obinsite and after reading the first two paragraphs you’ll realize that illegals have stolen millions of jobs from blacks.) Here’s immigration reform we can believe in: 1. Make E-Verify mandatory for current and future employees and have the process issue a numbered receipt to show compliance 2. Have enforced penalties of at least $20,000 per employee per day that do not pass E-Verify. 3. Couple that with prompt appeals of those who do not pass. 4. Couple that with the provision that expenses for employees that do not pass E-Verify are not tax-deductable as a business expense. This will turn off the magnet of work and will not lead to deportation costs. The unemployment rate of US citizens and legal immigrants will go down as the illegals go back home by train, plane, automobile, boat or foot! Problem solved!

    2. Penal-Industrial Complex Reform. The US has one-quarter the population of China yet it has more people in jail and prision —and China is an authoritarian or totalitarian country. Between the ages of 20 and 30, 30% of black men in America will be in prison, parole, jail, or probation. About 40% of jail/prison inmates in the USA are black. Are blacks more prone to crime? Perhaps because of poverty and lack of jobs (See point 1 above) and racial discrimination but they are not inherendtly THAT much more prone to crime. The criminal-justice system (Part of the Penal –Industrial Complex) is not a level playing field. Study after study after study have shown that it’s titled against black at evey level—and severely so—from arrest, to booking to charging to convicting to sentencing to probation and parole. And once these men get out of jail, they have a heck of a time finding jobs because not they have a criminal record. And the absence of such as productive members of black society tears the fabric of the black community, meaning more crime, children without the postive influence of a man, etc. And yet Obama can do something about this. He has the power of pardon that he doesn’t use in this effort and he has the power of what to prosecute in the Department of Justice. And he has the power of the Bully Pullpit and example for reforms that need Congressional and approval in the 50 states.

    3. Obama should start and lead an effort to come clean with the effects of slavery and Jim Crow. Every time such a discussion as this comes up about the ills that plague blacks in America, some “wise-guy” such as “iann11” here that says something like “This is a Travesty, Why are black families failing their children every day!!! Black men should live with their children in the same home, Stop having multiple children with multiple women, Educate your children, Talk with your children everyday about expectations you have of them. Love your children, don’t walk out on them.” This is blame the victim talk. Why do we know that it’s blame the victim talk. Because it’s not all blacks in America that he’s talking about. It’s about African Americans—the descendants of Africans enslaved and brought to America and not Nigerian Americans, Kenyan Americans, Ghanaian Americans, etc.

    African Americans are the vast majority of all blacks in America but there are many blacks in America that are not African Americans. And we know that blacks such as Nigerian Americans do better than African Americans—much better. (See http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2014/02/tiger_mom_amy_chua_says_nigerians_and_other_groups_have_cultural_edge_to.html?wpisrc=newsletter_jcr:content&mc_cid=d0e33f79bb&mc_eid=55c4352833 and listen to http://www.kqed.org/a/forum/R201402141000 ) So it’s clear that the difference between the high-acheivement blacks and the low-achievement blacks is culture—not race.

    And how did African Americans get their present culture. Well, it’s clearly the result of 350 years of slavery and 100 years of Jim Crow whereby the slavemaster and slavery stripped them of African of culture, history, languages, heritages, traditions and even names . They were beaten, raped, denigrated, castrated, lynched and taught to hate themselves by the slave master. Although slavery and Jim Crow are over, the effects and slavery and Jim Crow live on and African Americans carry that burden in their history, culture, languages and heritage. (For example, if you are a Mexican American and want to patronize a Mexican American attorney, you can look for a Mexican American name like Lopez, Juarez, Martinez, etc. among attorneys in the phone book and most likely that will be a Mexican American–in California. If you are an African American and want to patronize an African American attorney, since the names were taken in slavery, you will need to make many calls to friends and relatives–which may be difficult and not get you the results in a timely manner.) (For example, Afican Americans engage in self-hate routinely from calling each other the N word to putting down African/black features such as tighgly coiled hair (nappy hair), dark skin, broad noses and full lips to prefer European features like stringly hair, light skin, pointy noses and thin lips.) This explains why Nigerian Americans and other black immigrant groups do better than African Americans who have been in the USA for generations. That is, the difference is in culture (as the Chua and Rubenfeld postulate).

    To come to grips with this, America must come to grips with slavery and the continuing effects and legacy of slavery. Unfortunately, now America is in “blame the victim mode”. That is, African Americans are blamed for the negative effects of their culture–self-hate, self-denigration, crime, unemployment, low education, etc. An honest assessment would conclude that just as Jazz, the Blues, Rap and even Rock and Roll flow positively from that “twisted” (twisted by Slavery and Jim Crow) culture– those problems are also the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow.

    So the third thing that Obama should do but doesn’t is to lead start and lead the effort by a scientific panel to find out the continuing effects and costs of slavery and Jim Crow. To find out who benefited and who continues to benefit from them and who was detrimented and who continues to be detrimented from them and what is the cost and what is the benefit. Essentially, this would be America’s equivent to South Africa’s “Truth and Reconcilliation Commision”. The truth about the continuing effects of slavery and Jim Crow. Don’t blame the victim!

  13. This is sooooo sad, that in the year of 2014, the black and brown community has to ask The President of The United States to save our young men. This is a Travesty, Why are black families failing their children every day!!! Black men should live with their children in the same home, Stop having multiple children with multiple women, Educate your children, Talk with your children everyday about expectations you have of them. Love your children, don’t walk out on them. There is no reason in the year 2014 you should have to ask the government to raise your responsibility. The problems in the black community are self inflicted and can only be eradicated by the black community!!!!! Show some respect for yourselves and your family!!!!!!

  14. Timekeeeper on said:

    Ben, Nathan I applaude you both for these positive comments. It is never too late to hold this initiative in “Saving young black men” Some will say he should have done thi sooner and complain. However, had Obama done so , quite frankly I dont believe White america would have been ready for it. Now that he is well into his 2nd term he is taking thjis to another level, and as you say, Well Done! I also truly believe this is Obama’s way of telling America that “Stand Your Ground” is a farce and he is recognizing the painfiul loss of Trayvon and Jordan and in his own way is calling out the Racsim that exists in our country, in particular the judicial system. While other minority groups will speak agains each other and have issues, there is a line that most of them will not cross over. It seems that we, as a people are the only ones who have no problem overstepping our bounds hen it comes to throwing each other ( and Obama) under the bus. This is one of the reasons why we continue to fall behind the social, economic and political ladder. Becuase we have no solidarity. Complain, yes. Constructive criticism, no problem. Bu the over the top hateful and disrespectul comments. We make it all too easy for others to disregard our agenda. Do we need to fix our own stuff. Of course, I am glad though he is doing this for the reaosns I mentioned even if others cannot wait to chime in with the usual hatred.
    Have a blessed day

  15. This is a President who happens to be black,who has Heart and clear vision.I support our President and ask GOD to continue to watch over him and his family.Much Love President Obama.Job well done.BEN.

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