Monday, January 26, 2009

Good Read: No More Excuses

This past Saturday's NYT had a great op-ed by columnist Charles Blow - who finally said what I've been saying all along: Just because Obama is the president doesn't mean that every form of injustice, institutional racism, poverty, and structural inequity will disappear for black people. Especially for black people. Read as he puts Congressman Clyburn in his place after he made the ludicrous comment that "Every child has lost every excuse."
What? That’s where I have to put my foot down. That’s going a bridge too far.

I’m a big proponent of personal responsibility, but children too often don’t have a choice. They are either prisoners of their parentage or privileged by it. Some of their excuses are hollow. But other excuses are legitimate, and they didn’t magically disappear when Obama put his left hand on the Lincoln Bible.
He then goes on to list some really daunting stats about African American children and closes with this sharp comment:

So black people have to keep their feet on the ground even as their heads are in the clouds. If we want to give these children a fighting chance, we must change the worlds they inhabit. That change requires both better policies and better parenting — a change in our houses as well as the White House.

President Obama is a potent symbol, but he’s no panacea.

Couldn't have said it better myself. Check out the full piece here

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