In consideration of Casper’s request for a weekly positive post, I will do my best here, go out on an unchartered limb, and compliment President Obama for a fairly good speech yesterday. Of course there were the usual smatterings of leftism sprinkled in, but that is to be expected, however I do want to compliment him for stating the following:
Legitimate grievances against police brutality tipped into excuse- making for criminal behavior. Racial politics could cut both ways as the transformative message of unity and brotherhood was drowned out by the language of recrimination. And what had once been a call for equality of opportunity, the chance for all Americans to work hard and get ahead was too often framed as a mere desire for government support, as if we had no agency in our own liberation, as if poverty was an excuse for not raising your child and the bigotry of others was reason to give up on yourself. All of that history is how progress stalled. That’s how hope was diverted. It’s how our country remained divided.
“As if we had no agency in our own liberation” – what an excellent phrase. I hope the black community accepts that as a challenge to overcome whatever elements of racism exist in our society to personally motivate themselves and reach for higher economic ground. In my opinion, there are two HUGE obstacles confronting the black community and only they can remedy them – out of wedlock birth and education. Men have to be responsible for the children they sire and that is a universal truth regardless of color. Unfortunately, black men are falling down in this area, and their children suffer enormously, as does society. Black on black crime constitutes 92% of all black community crime, and that is a shame that only they can address. Discipline and love within the family unit of a two parent household is not the entire answer, but it is one good step in the right direction and it is incumbent upon the fathers and mothers of those children to see that it happens more often. Michelle and Barack Obama are two very good examples for that community to aspire to.
Education – one of the tragedies that I even see here in my area amongst the black community is the notion that being smart is “acting white”. Where in the hell did that come from? A while back I wrote a piece on what Don Lemon with CNN had to say and he was spot on – “pull your pants up”, “stop using the N word”, “respect your community”, “finish school”, and “stop having babies”. Don Lemon should have been applauded for his “tough love”, but instead he was excoriated. Young black kids need “tough love”, they crave it, and it is long over due they receive it. I want every black child to receive a demanding education, and that will require that they have the choice to attend the school that delivers it, rather than being forced into attending a school simply based on where they reside. We need school choice!
I long for the day that our country can get to the point that Obama envisioned again in yesterday’s speech:
We can get there, but it will require that we actually listen to each other, and stop the knee jerk reaction of wanting to call everyone a racist for pointing out hard truths. Are you listening Chris Matthews?