President Obama’s recent initiative warmed my heart. He is working with the young men of his hometown, Chicago, in a program called B.A.M. “Becoming a Man”. Their main goal is to motivate at-risk youth and provide them with opportunities that may not have been given to them otherwise. Many of them are high school seniors on their way to college. It was such a joy to see their faces light up when they mentioned the president’s huge impact on their dreams. Many of them have no fathers so his visits and and words obviously made a great difference.
One young man explained the difficulty of staying focused while being robbed on the way to and from school. It can be tough for those young men who live in urban areas; it can be tough being a man of color in America in general. For the first time, I find myself on common ground with our commander in chief. I do not agree with everything he says and I especially disapprove of his extensive “equality for all” agenda. Yes, I agree we should all be equal and race should not be magnified the way it is. However, that is not the society in which we live. The group of people who have been undoubtedly discriminated against is African-Americans. White supremacy obviously still rules the hand of our country because the president barely speaks on race relations and the inequality of our people. Therefore, I’ll admit my immediate surprise when I heard Obama speak of statistics of young black scholars vs. their white peers.
The “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative essentially helps all young men of color, Latinos included. Although it is a national endeavor, there is a likely chance that most of our youth will not be affected at all by this program. This is a hard truth to accept and is most likely the reason Obama encouraged parents to become more involved in their children’s academics. The constant ignorance of black people in America is at an all time high. I commend Obama’s new plans to work with our at-risk youth. But, we need leaders who are not afraid to put the spotlight on Black America. The condition of our community calls for radical change and Obama cannot do it singlehandedly. Real progress will require real initiative from everyone.