Obama’s new foundation says economic development will stop police from treating minorities differently than whites. It won’t. Moreover, saying economic uplift in an area will reduce the possibility of future riots conveniently ignores racial and class underpinnings, the structural problems, that underlie unrest. Sure, a jobs program will help some disadvantaged youth get a decent job. But it’s a long way from that to saying this will somehow stop cops (of any color) from hassling Black youth with baggy pants in South Los Angeles when they wouldn’t think (or dare) do it if the kid was white, driving a new Mercedes, and in Beverly Hills.
This well-meaning plan by Obama also focuses on helping youth without fathers, certainly a worthy goal this is treating the symptom not the cause. The question that needs to be answered is why do so many poor youth lack dads? However, answering that would get into a minefield of contentious questions about race and class and would certainly scare away potential donors.
Also, um, are poor white young not a part of this, or are they just hillbillies, and who cares about them? Certainly not the liberal establishment, that’s for sure.
Amid the raw emotions and festering wounds of recent racial unrest, President Obama on Monday helped create a new organization to help him devote his remaining time in the White House as well as his post-presidency to bringing more opportunities to young Hispanic and African-American men trapped in poverty and hopelessness.
Obama is correct in saying that police too often have to play social worker, a job they are unequipped to do.
“Which is why in addressing the issues in Baltimore or Ferguson or New York, the point I made was that if we’re just looking at policing, we’re looking at it too narrowly,” Mr. Obama said. “If we ask the police to simply contain and control problems that we ourselves have been unwilling to invest and solve, that’s not fair to the communities, it’s not fair to the police.”
His new foundation will of course be his equivalent of the Clinton Foundation, and you can take that however you want. 🙂