“It doesn’t take that much, but it takes more than we are doing now. We will beat the odds. We need to give every child — no matter what they look like, no matter where they live — the ability to meet their full potential.” ~ President Obama
It is a thing known that U.S. President no. 44 — President Obama — hasn’t really used his influence to address the plight of black youth in America current day. One would find it strange, that a civil rights lawyer doesn’t speak more on the social stratification and the institutional racial bias dysfunction in our nation. As far as political strategy, who can blame him? President Obama, much like how Idris Elba doesn’t want to be considered the “Black Bond”, President Obama doesn’t want his being black to define his presidency. When the callous and remarkably selfish right-wing identity stated that they “wanted to make sure he fails as a president” — which in turn lead the GOP to adopt a stance of obstructionism — an explicit word or focused intent on aid and assisting black youth isn’t something that was bound to fly in his first term, especially. Well, for all those who yearned for the President to address the plight of black youth with positive solutions, you might have gotten your wish.
“And the point was I could see myself in these young men. And the only difference is that I grew up in an environment that was a little bit more forgiving, so when I made a mistake the consequences were not as severe.”
President Obama is commonly thought of as “not black enough”. Strange as it may seem, his upper middle class biracial upbringing seems to place a bit of doubt in many black minds, with a sizable number of blacks even delving into birther conspiracies altogether. The biracial child that many darker blacks think “has it easy” actually has to fight it out harder in life because they are never accepted in any standard ethnic circles. With that said, President Obama is black regardless, and he notes that out of all the things he has in common with many black youth of today is that his upper-middle class privilege is the ONE THING that allowed him to
succeed regardless of fault evade the same punishment and social anathematizing that poor blacks get doing the same social infractions. So, perhaps he feels obligated to do something.
“So we all have a job to do. And we can do it together — black and white, urban and rural, Democrat and Republican. So often, the issues facing boys and young men of color get caught up in long-running ideological arguments about race and class, and crime and poverty, the role of government, partisan politics. We’ve all heard those arguments before. But the urgency of the situation requires us to move past some of those old arguments and focus on getting something done and focusing on what works. It doesn’t mean the arguments are unimportant; it just means that they can’t paralyze us.”
Personally my favorite part. No matter who you are, black, white, urban, rural, Dem or GOP… It doesn’t matter, we are all in this as AMERICANS, with an AMERICAN problem to address. I honestly do not see an argument against the Brother’s Keeper Initiative. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell was there. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, was there. The parents of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis were there. Even Bill O’Reilly and Al Sharpton — blood rivals — where there in attendance, standing ready to engage. Anyone who is not for helping America become a greater nation, may God have mercy on your soul, for any measure against this initiative should constitute treason. If O’Reilly can be there with open ear, there is no excuse.
Will the Brother’s Keeper Initiative be President Obama’s legacy? If he puts forth time, energy and effort, perhaps. Such an initiative doesn’t dwindle copious amounts of government resources, and being that this (common sense alert) will not be an overnight fix, he can infinitely work towards this even after presidency, where his word holds the same weight of many ex-presidents and Statesmen. Is he his brother’s keeper? It’s beginning to look like it. Only time can tell.