President Obama announced an initiative call “Thy Brother’s Keeper” to lift opportunities for young males of color. Obama uses his own upbringing as an example of how a young male of color can come from humble beginnings and become (in his case) President. All lofty speeches from the President surrounded by young black males; having Al Sharpton in the audience though really doesn’t bolster any credibility on the subject since Sharpton is not one to really get involved unless there is a paycheck involved.
The unemployment rate for young black males is staggering but what exactly has this administration done to correct the problem? Repeatedly you hear Democrats tout how because of Obamacare you can now choose whether or not you want to keep your job for the insurance. Nancy Pelosi brags how if you want to quit your job to write poetry you can now do so because of Obamacare! Pelosi and other democrats however fail to mention how you will pay your bills once you quit that job. The unemployment rate nationally in real numbers is well over 10% if you count the amount of people who quit looking for work. Factor in Obama’s decision to allow waivers in the “work requirement” out of the welfare program and what incentive has his decisions provided for anything, especially young people of color? Continued regulations plus a massive intrusion in the health care law that is selective in who is required to abide by it does not create the atmosphere for jobs either. How about the “shovel ready” stimulus money that didn’t create those jobs? Remember the DNC last year, do you remember jobs, education and opportunities mentioned or was it abortion and birth control?
How about education Mr. President? Historically, Obama has made it a point to cut the opportunities for families looking to use vouchers to decide which school they want their children to attend in the black community. While his children attend the best private schools available (as many in our government also do), many children of color attend failing schools while unions do nothing to correct the problem when teachers fail at their jobs; even in Obama’s hometown of Chicago. How is that beneficial for an at risk youth to get an opportunity?
The murder rate for black on black crime, especially in Obama’s hometown of Chicago is condemning enough for the national media to ignore, but the citizens who recently showed up for a town hall where Al Sharpton was attending pointed out the failed policies of this administration and its effect on the neighborhoods and the youth could not be ignored.
President Obama mentioned mentors in his speech today and it is widely known that he and his wife Michele are best buddies with Jay Z and Beyonce’. Do you really think artists whose lyrics include “He Monica Lewinsky’d all over my gown” are something to consider as a great role model for at risk youth of color or any youth for that matter? Grant it, both artists have made mega millions off this type of music but if the whole premise to the initiative is for youth whose household probably includes a single mother or grandmother raising them, using rap artists as a positive example for a male role model seems lacking.
Accountability for young people begins at the home. No amount of money or programs can change that part of the equation. The media, music industry and even Hollywood have done a stellar job in pushing gangs, guns and single motherhood as a glamorous lifestyle and reality becomes a harsh reminder in the end. Maybe President Obama should have thought about the effects of his policies, continued support of failing teacher unions, failing economy and how his own images of smoking pot would be poor example of successful initiatives he created. Add wasteful government spending on pet projects and favors for lobbyist that could be better served in the hands of non-profits through local outreach and programs. There are many non-profits who have tried and failed at making a difference simply because there was not enough support in the community to make a change. It appears thinking outside the government box is a concept this administration has yet to grasp.