President Obama rarely refers to his race and has gotten some criticism from minority groups for not doing enough to help African-Americans during his time in the White House.
But the president has wisely been reticent about personal racial issues, saying he is every American’s president. And given that the very notion of a black man serving as the U.S. president still makes some people in this country apoplectic, Obama is right to play down race while in office. But for once, he put the issue front and center last week in announcing an initiative, My Brother’s Keeper, aimed at empowering boys and young men of color to help them succeed in life.
Referring to his own youth, Obama talked about growing up without a father present in his life and lamented that so many minority children – especially black children – are in the same boat today. “I didn’t have a dad in the house. And I was angry about it, even though I didn’t necessarily realize it at the time. I made bad choices. I got high without always thinking about the harm that it could do. I didn’t always take school as seriously as I should have. I made excuses. Sometimes I sold myself short,” he told a gathering of Chicago teens and others at the White House on Thursday. (Sacramento Bee)