Kevin Fobbs
Will Obama's 'my brother's keeper' help minorities or is it a faulty band aid?
By Kevin Fobbs
March 2, 2014

There is no question that minority teens and young people in America have are the most challenged educationally, economically and as victims shoulder the most violent crimes statistics in the nation. So when President Obama decided to create yet another movement effort to rectify this continuing plague upon minorities he delved into his own drug-use and other experiences as rationale for launching it, according to the New York Times.

Personal experiences aside, the fact that he got high on drugs as a teenager and even was "indifferent to school" is that really the reason the over whelming negative unemployment and education dropout rates afflict young minorities in America?

There is no coincidence that Obama decided to launch what could be a worthwhile effort to deal with lifting black and minority youth up from the cellar of under achievement. But upon closer examination, the 'My Brother's Keeper' appears to be more of a convenient dodge and a very thin band-aid that never really travels to the core of the problem. Black families are being headed by single parents and fathers are for the most part on the lam away from their responsibilities as positive role models.

My Brother's Keeper is projected according to the New York Times to last about five years. And Obama reportedly came up with this notion in the wake of the Trayvon Martin national debate during and after the trial of George Zimmerman. What is totally unclear is how this new effort is connected to "young men of color" and the statistics of school under achievement, inability to read and encounter the criminal justice system more regularly than non-minorities.

One has to ask just where is the beef in this plan? What is going to magically occur now and what will be the expected results in five years? Trayvon Martin had a mom and a dad, and true enough they were divorced, but according to records of his school achievement he was not performing badly in school. His problem it appeared that he was performing badly in his life pursuits.

So, instead of having a 'My Brother's Keeper' organization that is targeting to help black and minority youth get back on track it seems logical that the old-fashioned "This is my child and I am his or her keeper," is what should be reinforced in each and every minority community and home.

Why is there a need to reinvent the wheel and find new and unique ways to say to young people and their parents, get it through your noggin, be a responsible parent and be a responsible child? There is no need to raise hundreds of millions of dollars to 'be 'My Brother's Keeper' when the church community is right down the street. Drop the focus on race and increase the focus on getting your parental act together. Stop the blaming and start the changing!

Obama likes to point to his own experience as a youth growing up in America. He somehow believes that having a grandfather and grandmother who cared, but was white was a detriment. Instead he should be focusing on how Americans of any and all colors can be good parents and good grandparents who are involved. Why is it about race when it is more about love, compassion and caring?

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke quite eloquently about the notion that all Americans should be look at for the conduct of their character and not the color of their skin. Trayvon Martin was not a black kid who was acting badly as much as he was a bad acting kid who caused a citizens patrol supervisor to fear for his life.

Sure 'My Brother's Keeper' may be supported by the mainstream media as well as all of the race baiter and race pimps and pimpettes who love the idea of creating yet one more vehicle that will grab headlines and disappear beneath the waves in less than a year.

Here a clue that Obama and his racial dividers like Mark Anthony Neal, who is a Duke Professor of African-American Studies. Instead of listening to people like Professor Neal who suggests that Obama has to do more because he accuses him of forgetting his roots, take a page out of the bible.

Ephesians 6:1-4 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 "Honor your father and mother" – which is the first commandment with a promise – 3 "so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."

This is the program that Obama should have discussed and instead of the racial naysayers and finger-pointing apologists, the word which has disappeared in far too many households in America is both colorblind and effective.

So if there is a 'My Brother's Keeper' program that should be used in the homes of all families, including the most challenged families in America start and end with the Bible.

© Kevin Fobbs


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Kevin Fobbs

Kevin Fobbs is founder and president of a policy organization called National Urban Policy Action Council (NuPac), that supports conservative colorblind solutions to universal issues and domestic policies that impact urban America... (more)


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