President Obama's busy day in New York
President Barack Obama (D) had a busy day in New York on Monday, according to the White House schedule.
As Fox New York reported, Obama paid an important visit...
... to speak at the launch of the My Brother's Keeper Alliance, a nonprofit organization that is being established to continue the work of the My Brother's Keeper initiative started by the president.
Under the year-old initiative, businesses, foundations and community groups coordinate spending on education and other programs to help minority males stay on the right track.
"This is an issue that the president intends to continue to be focused on long after he's left the Oval Office," spokesman Josh Earnest said, in part because of recent high-profile deaths of black men during encounters with police in Missouri, Ohio, New York City, South Carolina and Baltimore.
Well, this is certainly very nice, but isn't the job of parents (plural, mother and father) to help males, majority or minority (whatever that means), stay on the right track? And isn't that what Baltimore's controversial – to some – Mother of the Year was doing to her son when she so famously applied some mild physical emphasis to reinforce her negative words about participating in riots?
Obama acknowledged this.
Obama described the plight of young minority men in deeply personal terms, alluding to his own youth raised by a single mother.
"I grew up without a dad. I grew up lost sometimes and adrift, not having a sense of a clear path," he said, adding that he was lucky because he was in an environment where people cared for him.
"Really that's what this comes down to, do we love these kids?" he said.
Yes, Obama was raised by a woman who was sometimes a single mom. But his grandmother and grandfather, whom he doesn't mention, were also directly involved with him, being there, sacrificing so the young Obama could attend a fine private school. And as for being "lost...and adrift" with no "sense of a clear path" – well, that's part of youth. Can mentors provide that core love along with the proper guidance he asks for? Can they substitute familial love?
Not really, as Obama seemed to acknowledge.
But he said a broader sense of hopelessness is at the root of the periodic eruptions in poor communities.
"We ask police to go into communities where there is no hope," he said. "Eventually, something happens because of the tension between society and these communities, and the police are just on the front lines of that."
Why does that hopelessness exist? Could it be the passivity that results from relying on government welfare stifling initiative, creativity, and hope, leading to a lack of personal and familial responsibility and ultimately hopelessness? And, as mentioned here yesterday, didn't Baltimore and other urban, Democratic areas receive stimulus billions for education programs and jobs among other benefits? What happened to this money? Will the new alliance be more of the same? Sure does seem that way.
The new alliance will be led by Joe Echevarria, the former chief executive of Deloitte, the giant accounting and consulting firm. The alliance already has obtained financial and in-kind commitments of more than $80 million from such companies as American Express, Deloittte, Discovery Networks, and Fox News parent company News Corp., the White House said.
The alliance board is a who's who of the sport, corporate and entertainment world. Singer songwriter John Legend is the alliance's honorary chairman; former Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning is a member of the board. The alliance's advisory council will include former Secretary of State Colin Powell, former Attorney General Eric Holder and Sen. Cory Booker, a New Jersey Democrat, the mayors of Indianapolis, Sacramento and Philadelphia, as well as former NFL player Jerome Bettis and former basketball standout Shaquille O'Neal.
And then it was off to do the David Letterman Show. But for all his professed love of kids, Obama did not inform Letterman that it really isn't nice to mock children in public, even if they are the offspring of political figures he doesn't care for, as Letterman notoriously did to Sarah Palin's children. Nah, Obama would never do that.
Rounding off his busy day, Obama spoke at two fundraising events for the Democrats attended by those the occupiers – remember them? – scornfully referred to as the one percent. Money and politics, politics and money; Obama always complains about that, even as he participates in the necessary process.
But it's for the kids.