Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Obama Acknowledges Elephant in Living Room

Did Barack Obama speak out on fatherhood to impress conservative voters such as me? It worked.

No, I still can't vote for him, but I give him credit for saying what other black leaders are afraid to say. Below are excerpts from his Father's Day address on fatherhood.

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Too many fathers are is missing from too many lives and too many homes. They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it.

You and I know how true this is in the African-American community. We know that more than half of all black children live in single-parent households, a number that has doubled – doubled – since we were children. We know the statistics – that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and twenty times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home, or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.

How many times in the last year has this city lost a child at the hands of another child? How many times have our hearts stopped in the middle of the night with the sound of a gunshot or a siren? How many teenagers have we seen hanging around on street corners when they should be sitting in a classroom? How many are sitting in prison when they should be working, or at least looking for a job? How many in this generation are we willing to lose to poverty or violence or addiction? How many?

We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception. We need them to realize that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child – it’s the courage to raise one. Too many fathers are MIA. Too many fathers are AWOL. There’s a hole in your heart if you don’t have a male figure in the home that can guide you and lead you and set a good example for you. What makes you a man is not the ability to have a child — any fool can have a child. That doesn’t make you a father. It’s the courage to raise a child that makes you a father.

We need to help all the mothers out there who are raising these kids by themselves; the mothers who drop them off at school, go to work, pick up them up in the afternoon, work another shift, get dinner, make lunches, pay the bills, fix the house, and all the other things it takes both parents to do. So many of these women are doing a heroic job, but they need support. They need another parent. Their children need another parent. That’s what keeps their foundation strong. It’s what keeps the foundation of our country strong.

It’s up to us to tell our sons, those songs on the radio may glorify violence, but in my house we live glory to achievement, self respect, and hard work.

1 comment:

OmaSteak said...

The truly wretched condition of the "black" family can be directly traced to the Great Society programs of democrats and LBJ. Mr. Obama is proposing more of the same in terms of his social policy proposals while covering himself with this fig leaf. As a far left socialist "progressive", Obama has proposed nothing of substance other than the old socialist income redistribution plans with different names. Remember that welfare queen on the front page of the OWH a few weeks ago? Her vote counts just the same as yours if she actually takes time to vote.