Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Friday, February 28, 2014

From the earliest days of his presidency, Barack Obama has faced high expectations from African-American leaders -- and a persistent question: What about a black agenda? High unemployment. High incarceration rates. High dropout rates. These and many other pathologies have long plagued communities of color. But for the nation's first African-American president, dealing with the "black" issue has been tricky. "I'm not the president of black America," President Obama has said many times. "I'm the president of the United States of America." But increasingly, Obama has been addressing minority issues more directly. On Thursday, he will focus on the challenges of young black and Latino men when he unveils "My Brother's Keeper" -- an initiative named for a biblical phrase he uses regularly, conveying a belief that society must help those facing challenges. It aims to keep young minority men out of what is often called the "school-to-prison pipeline."

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"Across the country, communities are adopting approaches to help put boys and young men of color on the path to opportunity and success," says Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to Obama. "The president intends to build on that work."

The initiative holds deep meaning for the president, and is one that he and the first lady will remain committed to after the end of his presidency, Ms. Jarrett says.

"Not only does the president personally identify with many of the challenges these young men face -- as a man of color himself, whose life was not always on the right track, and the son of a single mom who at times depended on food stamps to get by -- but he also, as president, sees the larger picture," Jarrett said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday.

Obama will sign a memorandum establishing the My Brother's Keeper Task Force, a federal interagency effort to be chaired by Broderick Johnson, assistant to the president and Cabinet secretary. The task force will identify best practices and how to expand upon them; how federal policies and programs can best support these efforts; and how to involve state and local officials, the private sector, and philanthropies more effectively.

The task force will also create an administration-wide "What Works" Web portal to publicize successful programs.

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Two simple reforms would help such kids.
1) Stop using the urban schools for every nut educational experiment. Return to basics.
2) Get the kids who will or can not learn out of the mainstream. Once the twig is bent with gang types we should have them realize the door is closed until they are willing to learn. If that means waiting until they are in their 20's so be it. The children who want to learn and their parents deserve better than these corrals they call schools in the poor neighborhoods.

#1 | Posted by Diablo at 2014-02-28 02:30 AM | Reply | Flag:

So I guess, "don't let the door-knob hit you" if your POOR and WHITE?

Why not just create a program the helps ALL the poor. Not JUST the ones that have a certain complexion......racist.

#2 | Posted by GotTruth at 2014-02-28 02:48 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 3

Calling me or Obama a racist, Got? Not sure.
I actually support the intent of the president. I just doubt he has the real world smarts to have a real effect.
And yes, poor and white have many problems similar to urban blacks. But living up here in the liberal utopia, the black kids are getting slaughtered on the streets by their own. That's not happening among poor whites. The problem is out of hand.

#3 | Posted by Diablo at 2014-02-28 03:50 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Great post, Bruce. I love the President's initiative on this. He laid out the reasons and the impact in clear and relatable terms. This is Obama at his best.

#4 | Posted by YAV at 2014-02-28 06:48 AM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 2

Lip service as usual from Obama

#5 | Posted by fishpaw at 2014-02-28 09:48 AM | Reply | Flag:

Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't.

You folks are boring as s%&t.

#6 | Posted by YAV at 2014-02-28 09:52 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 5

They better watch out b/c every other program the president has attempted has failed.

#7 | Posted by Dalton at 2014-02-28 09:58 AM | Reply | Flag:

As much as I disagree with the president's political policies, this looks like it could be a benefit to the poor black community, even though it seems racist on the surface, I see Diablo's point. We must break the cycle that create these growing pits of poverty, black or white or Latino.

#8 | Posted by Daniel at 2014-02-28 10:19 AM | Reply | Flag:

Should we be concerned that he hasn't promised a laser-like focus, and to not rest until this work is done?

#9 | Posted by DoofusOfDeath at 2014-02-28 10:20 AM | Reply | Flag:

If Obama wanted to help young black men he would end the prison-industrial complex and the War on Some Drugs.

#10 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-02-28 10:24 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

So I guess, "don't let the door-knob hit you" if your POOR and WHITE?

President Obama is launching one task force to help people he's particularly well-qualified to reach due to their shared background. That doesn't mean he has no interest in helping everybody. Most of what he's done for five years to help the poor has been broadly targeted to all groups.

#11 | Posted by rcade at 2014-02-28 10:24 AM | Reply | Flag:

Better headline: Obama Establishes a Committee.

As usual, Obama gives lip service to something without doing anything meaningful. How about pardons, President Choomgang?

#12 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-02-28 10:27 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't.
You folks are boring as s%&t.

#6 | POSTED BY YAV

Ain't that the truth.

He'll never be pure enough for the ideologues.

#13 | Posted by Corky at 2014-02-28 10:29 AM | Reply | Flag:

He'll never be pure enough for the ideologues.

Nor will he be held accountable by the sycophants.

#14 | Posted by Daniel at 2014-02-28 10:37 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't.

#6 | POSTED BY YAV

Damned if he does BY PEOPLE WHO RECOGNIZE THE RACIST PANDERING

Damned if he doesn't BY THE BLACK COMMUNITY TO WHOM HE IS NOW PANDERING

FTFY

#15 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2014-02-28 10:38 AM | Reply | Flag:

Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't.

You folks are boring as s%&t.

#6 | Posted by YAV at 2014-02-28 09:52 AM | Reply | Flag:

How so? I don't have a huge problem with this but in general I don't like racially focused programs regardless of their good intentions and I don't think our government has any business funding them. If you removed the racial element, I'd think the program is a good idea.

From where I'm sitting: You're trying to stifle crticism by attacking a strawman. What you think you get out of such silliness, I have no idea.

Sycophants aren't particularly interesting, BTW.

#16 | Posted by Sully at 2014-02-28 10:38 AM | Reply | Flag:

Another blue ribbon task force. I feel better already.

#17 | Posted by Huguenot at 2014-02-28 10:41 AM | Reply | Flag:

How about an Executive Order to play the role of Father to their children?

#18 | Posted by wisgod at 2014-02-28 10:44 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

I appreciate the attention but the reality is that we've been implementing anti-crime/poverty/apathy/
joblessness/dropout and pro-education/job skills/parenting, etc programs for a couple of generations and it's always been focused on the black community.

IOW, it's not a new effort. What's different about this one?

Recently we had a great discussion here about how to help blacks perform better in all of the metrics we are measuring currently. The only real answer anybody could agree on was the war on drugs needs to end because it is the most disproportionally unfair way we are incarcerating young black men.

I'm no expert but at least it's something different than we have been doing.

If we really want to help....do something different.

#19 | Posted by eberly at 2014-02-28 10:51 AM | Reply | Flag:

What has Obama done to end the U.S. position as the world's number one Incarceration Nation?

#20 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-02-28 10:55 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

If you are even implying I'm a sycophant, then I don't think that word means what you think it does, Sully.

As to racially focused programs, I disagree. Obama's already (for the previous 5 years) put forth policy he believes helps all people. That doesn't negate (the rationale clearly laid out in his presentation) the need for targeted programs and policy.

I mean, look at Boaz' postings for use of "black culture" as the issue, or the folks on this thread calling positive action to fix a problem endemic to a community as "racist."

As far as "stifling criticism by attacking a straw-man" I give you your post as an example of how that's actually done. BTW - it won't' work on me.

#21 | Posted by YAV at 2014-02-28 11:00 AM | Reply | Flag:

But living up here in the liberal utopia, the black kids are getting slaughtered on the streets by their own. That's not happening among poor whites.

I wonder why? Any of you liberals have an answer?

#22 | Posted by boaz at 2014-02-28 11:44 AM | Reply | Flag:

I wonder why? Any of you liberals have an answer?

I'm more interested in hearing your opinion of this initiative, given your history of citing black culture and the causes.

#23 | Posted by YAV at 2014-02-28 11:56 AM | Reply | Flag:

But living up here in the liberal utopia, the black kids are getting slaughtered on the streets by their own. That's not happening among poor whites. The problem is out of hand.

#3 | Posted by Diablo

Because the drug war affects blacks more than whites. And it sure is out of hand. If obama really wanted to help young black men, he'd end the drug war immediately.

I guess we all take care of our own though. Obama grew up poor and black, so that's who he cares about. Dubya grew up rich and white, so he spent his 8 years trying to make things easier for others like himself.

#24 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2014-02-28 11:57 AM | Reply | Flag:

I wonder why? Any of you liberals have an answer?

#22 | POSTED BY BOAZ AT 2014-02-28 11:44 AM | FLAG:

Yes. The head liberal, Barack, just gave an answer that works for me. He just announced a plan that addresses the structural problems in these minority communities. I've been trying to make you understand this for years now.

#25 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2014-02-28 12:04 PM | Reply | Flag:

He just announced a plan that addresses the structural problems in these minority communities.

Translation: Throw some taxpayer money at it and see what happens.

#26 | Posted by wisgod at 2014-02-28 12:07 PM | Reply | Flag:

For the people speaking out against this plan; congratulations on a nice easy life, full of luck and good fortune. The rest of us will need to learn how to build and use networks. We will have to keep learning and evolving to stay at the top of our fields. At his point, I can't imagine another way to be successful. I'd like to know how you guys did it.

#27 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2014-02-28 12:07 PM | Reply | Flag:

He just announced a plan that addresses the structural problems in these minority communities.
Translation: Throw some taxpayer money at it and see what happens.

#26 | POSTED BY WISGOD AT 2014-02-28 12:07 PM | FLAG:

That's kind of a stupid statement. The government only has taxpayer money to spend. Therefore, your statement applies to everything the gov does.

#28 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2014-02-28 12:09 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

On the funding (FTA):

Obama will be joined in the East Room of the White House by foundation heads who have pledged to invest $200 million over five years in helping young men of color, on top of the $150 million they are already spending. Business and political leaders will also join the president, including former Gen. Colin Powell, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

#29 | Posted by YAV at 2014-02-28 12:19 PM | Reply | Flag:

If President Choomgang wants to do something for black Americans, he could start by pardoning thousands of non-violent drug offenders.

#30 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-02-28 12:22 PM | Reply | Flag:

If President Choomgang wants to do something for black Americans, he could start by pardoning thousands of non-violent drug offenders.

I agree completely. That doesn't negates this effort, however.

#31 | Posted by YAV at 2014-02-28 12:31 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

For the people speaking out against this plan; congratulations on a nice easy life, full of luck and good fortune. The rest of us will need to learn how to build and use networks. We will have to keep learning and evolving to stay at the top of our fields. At his point, I can't imagine another way to be successful. I'd like to know how you guys did it.

#27 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2014-02-28 12:07 PM | Reply | Flag:

Well to the extent that you or your kids need any help you won't be getting any from this program unless you are willing to go the route of the main character in the 80's comedy "Soul Man". Seems odd that you would use "we" to discuss a program that specifically exludes someone like you for the most superficial of reasons.

#32 | Posted by Sully at 2014-02-28 12:36 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Sully; On this issue, I feel like we're all just people trying to make a living. A easily identifiable group doesn't know how the game is played.

I won't be getting any help. My kids won't either. But I will benefit if the murder rate goes down around here, and there are less kids (predominantly of color) milling around in the streets, and less muggings/robberies.

I don't resent being excluded. I'm happy not to need help.

#33 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2014-02-28 01:10 PM | Reply | Flag:

So more money set aside to help blacks learn the excruciatingly difficult concepts of staying in school, not committing crimes, and not having babies whilst in their teens? How many billions of dollars have been spent already on those 3 basic ideas?

They're hooked on the government teet. There's no turning back once that happens. Look at the euro riots when their govts tried to actually get their citizens to earn what they were getting...

#34 | Posted by 101Chairborne at 2014-02-28 01:23 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Dubya grew up rich and white, so he spent his 8 years trying to make things easier for others like himself.

#24 | Posted by SpeakSoftly

I guess you missed his initiative to help the millions of Africans with aids?

#35 | Posted by Daniel at 2014-02-28 01:25 PM | Reply | Flag:

I want some of that Mitt Romney welfare. That's what I'm talking about.

#36 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2014-02-28 01:26 PM | Reply | Flag:

I guess you missed his initiative to help the millions of Africans with aids?

#35 | Posted by Daniel

Funny how he cared more about suffering foreigners than suffering americans isn't it?

#37 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2014-02-28 01:27 PM | Reply | Flag:

guess you missed his initiative to help the millions of Africans with aids?

#35 | POSTED BY DANIEL AT 2014-02-28 01:25 PM | FLAG:

You talking about the abstinence plans? Around here we call it the go eff yourself plan.

#38 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2014-02-28 01:28 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

#38: So, have you looked it up yet? Apology accepted. =)

#39 | Posted by Daniel at 2014-02-28 01:37 PM | Reply | Flag:

Hahahahahaha, Obummer has been singing that tune since he came into office and you what is going to happen? absolutely NOTHING!!!!!! Just like all the other, we won't call them lies, empty promises he has made.

His socialist agenda wants to force people to have to depend on government. Look at what he has done for the black community. Unemployment rates have shot up, not down since he came into office. He has been presidnet for five years and still it has only gotten worse.

In fact he was behind pulling the vouchers for the poor in the D.C. school system. Guess he did not want his precious daughters going to school with anybody from the 'hood. Actually at one point the D.C. system was showing some signs of improving, then the status quo blew out the superintendent that was making the difference, real smart.

Just an interesting side note, D.C. is one of the worst school systems in the country, in fact it may be the worst. Guess what school system spends more per pupil than almost any other system? If you said D.C. you are a winner, I have not seen the 2013 numbers but this sure makes a point when your school board starts telling you the system is failing becasue they do not have enough money. Think it might be management rather than money?

#40 | Posted by gtjr at 2014-02-28 01:48 PM | Reply | Flag:

At least this is one reason for preferring a Democrat. We will see where this goes.

#41 | Posted by nutcase at 2014-02-28 07:08 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Obama grew up poor and black, so that's who he cares about."

Obama did not grow up poor at all.

#42 | Posted by Diablo at 2014-03-01 01:04 AM | Reply | Flag:

#38: So, have you looked it up yet? Apology accepted. =)

#39 | POSTED BY DANIEL AT 2014-02-28 01:37 PM | FLAG:

This is what I was commenting on:

Controversial requirements[edit]
Some critics of PEPFAR feel that American political and social groups with moral rather than public health agendas are behind several requirements of PEPFAR, pointing to the mandates that one-third of prevention spending in 2006–2008 be directed towards abstinence-until-marriage programs and that all funded organizations sign an anti-prostitution pledge. This pledge requires all organizations that receive PEPFAR funding to have a policy that explicitly opposes prostitution and sex trafficking which some activists compared to a loyalty oath.[23] A number of AIDS organizations felt such a policy would alienate their efforts to reduce HIV contraction rates among sex workers.[24] In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the requirement violated the First Amendment's prohibition against compelled speech in Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society International, Inc.[25][26]

#43 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2014-03-01 01:46 AM | Reply | Flag:

I guess you missed his initiative to help the millions of Africans with aids?

#35 | POSTED BY DANIEL AT 2014-02-28 01:25 PM | FLAG:

Nice try. This is a domestic epidemic. We been throwing money at Africa for many years.

Personally it sounds like a good idea - but the proof is in the puddin'

#44 | Posted by lfthndthrds at 2014-03-01 09:32 AM | Reply | Flag:

Because the drug war affects blacks more than whites.

Bull. When you say "affects", you act like it just comes out of nowhere and takes opportunity. Dealing in drugs takes an active decision to participate, knowing that it's illegal. So I don't buy your "affecting" argument. I grew up in and near the projects. Drugs "affected" me differently, made me want to grow up and do better. So it had a different affect on me. You are telling me that poor blacks have no choice in how drugs "affect" them? I don't buy it.

#45 | Posted by boaz at 2014-03-01 12:22 PM | Reply | Flag:

"I agree completely. That doesn't negates this effort, however."

The effort is tokenism. If Obama wants to help young black men he'll stop locking them up in record numbers and end the War on Drugs. Haven't any of you people seen The Wire?

#46 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-03-01 12:51 PM | Reply | Flag:

Neither party give a rats ###hole about young people until around 17.5 when they want them to register for 'selective service'.

Posturing for the next selection.

#47 | Posted by Shawn at 2014-03-01 05:15 PM | Reply | Flag:

#47

Generation Miley has spoken.

#48 | Posted by Corky at 2014-03-01 05:16 PM | Reply | Flag:

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