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Or, "Yet another reason why shani-o opted out of mainstream journalism." "Obama Sharply Assails Black Fathers" - NYTimes "Obama Tells Black Fathers to Act Like Men" - AFP "Obama Chides Absent Black Fathers" - International Herald Tribune "Obama Tells Black Fathers to Engage Their Children" - AP These are the headlines I read before I actually watched Barack's speech at the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago. And maybe 600 words can't adequately capture the depth and complexities in the 20 minute speech, but reading about it is far different than watching it. I don't have a problem with Bill Cosby's speechification — I see him as a sort of crochety grandpa who has our best interests at heart — but I think people bridle at his message because he's so condescending. He talks at the young men and women, not to or with them. Obama's speech, while it does touch on some of the same issues — personal agency, responsibility, parenting — also addresses his own struggles as a fatherless father. He discusses how he went from self-absorbed to wholly concerned with his daughters. He also makes mention of the failures of the government to help the do-right men out there. I'm sure there are those who won't be satisfied by this speech, but to be honest, it's mostly directed toward the people who are active in their churches and communities, the people sitting behind him, nodding and clapping, singing out, "waaayle..." and "amen!" The voters.

1 new thought(s):

The Breaking Point said...

I get where Obama is coming from but the problem of absentee fathers begins before the child is conceived. There was a time that I held out hope that someone would use his or her bully pulpit to address the truth of the matter but I've since given up hope.