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Obama Announces Program To Help Young Minority Men

Obama Announces Program To Help Young Minority Men
With those words Thursday, President Obama announced a $200 million initiative called "My Brother's Keeper" - an effort aimed at supporting young minority men.

The Wall Street Journal reports the public-private effort will focus on providing "economic and educational opportunities to disadvantaged black and Latino youth" and will create a task force to help implement those changes.

A writer for The Grio says "My Brother's Keeper" is a two-pronged approach: Obama is ordering federal agencies to look at ways to help young men of color while foundations and business have also pledged their support. That's where the $200 million comes from.

Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to, and close friend of Obama, previously said improving the lives of young men of color is a personal issue for the president. (Via The White House)

On the White House's blog, Jarrett and Broderick Johnson - assistant to Obama and cabinet secretary - wrote "Opportunity has disproportionately lagged behind for boys and young men of color" and listed some troubling statistics.

14% and 18% - Those are the percentages of black and Hispanic boys, respectively, who read at proficient or above level in 4th grade.
42% - That's the percentage of black male students that have been suspended or expelled by 9th grade, compared to 14 percent for white male students.
37% - That's how much of the prison population is made up of young black men, more than double that group's size in the general population.

In his speech, Obama said the statistics are awful but the perceptions of young men of color that come along with those stats are even worse.

"We've become numb to these statistics. ... We're not surprised by them, we take them as the norm. We just assume that this is an inevitable part of American life instead of the outrage that it is." (Via C-SPAN)

"My Brother's Keeper" isn't just an effort to change the perception of young minority men, but also possibly a way for Obama to change how he has been perceived.

A writer for Time says Obama largely avoided race issues during his first term while concentrating on recovering from the recession and passing the Affordable Care Act. She writes Obama"has spent his second [term] taking a piecemeal approach to assisting minority youth."

Obama commented on issues of race following the death of Trayvon Martin in 2012: "You know, if I had a son, he would look like Trayvon." (Via ABC SaveFrom.net)

Not coincidentally, the speech was held close to the second anniversary of Martin's death. Both the parents of Martin and the parents of Jordan Davis, another black boy who was shot and killed in Florida, attended Thursday's announcement. (Via The White House SaveFrom.net)

According to the Wall Street Journal, "My Brother's Keeper" also has the support of prominent figures such as former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, former basketball star and entrepreneur Magic Johnson and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Join the discussion

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Mark February 28 2014 at 1:32 PM

And what's sad is the same sheeple who voted for Obama are chomping at the bit to vote for Hillary.

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inetang February 28 2014 at 1:52 PM

hypocrite i say! he barely knows his own brother

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Cathy February 28 2014 at 1:53 PM

First I am not color blind or blind at all, I know what color you are the only part that should matter is are you American, otherwise I guess I can be Tan American.
If you are of color so what so am I just not the same color you are.
when I was young my mother was shunned because she had 3 little kids at home and could not work my dad had split and would rather go to jail then pay $5 for each child.


Fathers leave the family, mom works 2 or more jobs and the kids raise themselves and what do we have? Children who are out of control and guess what it does not matter their race the color of their skin or anything else.
No one deserves everything for free we are all Americans and if your government starts programs for those of color they have to look at everyone if not the divide becomes larger and more vol-ital.
President Obama you are the President for everyone or no one you are not in a position to pick and choose who you will pay special attention to and those you do not feel deserve it.

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1 reply
red308 Cathy February 28 2014 at 1:57 PM

Well said you nailed it

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sunnyhoney95 February 28 2014 at 1:55 PM

What about white disadvantaged boys without a father?

Flag Reply +5 rate up
Jacquie February 28 2014 at 1:57 PM

So his plan is to not help disadvantaged white youth, only black & latino? To me that is racist, why not help ALL disadvanage youths regardless of the color of their skin. This is just another example of our POTUS continuing to drive a wedge between the races. They say they want to end racism, yet their action show differently.

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rick February 28 2014 at 2:00 PM

Why should any program intended to help poor or disadvantaged Americans be labled with a color or race indicator. If an American child is born into a poor family what difference does his/her skin color make. If the Federal Government is going to be involved it should be for the benifit of EVERY American.

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jb34769 February 28 2014 at 2:01 PM

the white people here complaining are the ones PAYING THE BILL . one more OBAMA BLUNDER !!!!!

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1 reply
SONKISSFREAK jb34769 February 28 2014 at 2:05 PM

WHO ELSE ITS PAYING FOR THE BILL ITS ALL THE TAX PAYERS HARD WORKING MONEY!!

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1 reply
itzvern SONKISSFREAK February 28 2014 at 3:13 PM

Whites are paying the bill. Isn't that what this program is for, to help blacks and Latinos that can't make it on their own? If they could make it we wouldn't need this now would we?

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screech6010 February 28 2014 at 2:03 PM

economic and educational opportunities to disadvantaged black and Latino youth"
this is a racist move by a racist president. what about disadvantaged white youth or disadvantaged asian youth? If a white president tried this it would not be allowed. I feel as though the president of the united states has discriminated against me and all non blacks and hispanics. I think a class action law suit should be instituted to stop this and I will be the first to sign up if there are any lawyers out there brave enough to do anything about this.

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sdspas2 February 28 2014 at 2:04 PM

Obama needs to practice what he preaches. What about being his "Brother's Keeper" to his half brother that lives in a tin shack in Kenya?

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1 reply
kimshere2007 sdspas2 February 28 2014 at 2:09 PM

Don't forget about his half uncle the drunk who lives behind a liquor store in Boston or his half auntie the welfare collecting illegal who mooches of the government dole.

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banngbanng February 28 2014 at 2:06 PM

If you don't want racism to be an issue, why play the "victim card" over it? Federal law protects people based on race- ANYBODY has the right to better their lives regardless of their upbringing if they have the passion and will to succeed. The people whose rights ARE NOT protected by law are the LBGT people, who even if they are educated and are qualified to work, are subject to LEGAL DISCRIMINATION. Blacks and Hispanics are not.

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1 reply
DENNIS banngbanng February 28 2014 at 2:17 PM

sorry, didnt know the topic was a gay thing.

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