There are a fair number of folk who support Barack Obama who are rather non-plussed at his speech given on Saturday.
You will not find me to be one of them.
I have read and watched the speech and I found it to be pitch perfect…challenging without being accusatory. Equal parts accusation and exhortation.
I find it interesting that most of those who take issue do not take issue with the speech so much as they do with the coverage of said speech and the general habit of the general consensus of white folk to instigate whenever “good” Black folk take “bad” Black Folk to the woodshed in public(all y’all down ass white folk hush, i know y’all understand…or at least think you do).
There is nothing THEY like to see more than to have a Black person (especially one who has the near universal acceptance of Black folk) saying all the things that White folk know they want to, but cant.
There are two specific reasons that I have chosen to issue this sparkling rhetoric Pass.
1. He’s earned it.
Say what you want about Barack Obama, he is the standard by which all Black Husbands and Fathers are now measured. Unlike the former standard, Heathcliff Huxtable, he is not a fictional character. Barack Obama is the living embodiment of the working father who is actively involved in the life of his children. Mr. Obama is not merely the breadwinner…he is an active participant who shapes his schedule around ensuring that he is a participant in the lives of his children. if ANYONE is going to lecture ME (who I remind you is a non-custodial father) about whatever shortcomings I may have as a father, it would be Barack Obama. The man walks the walk…he can talk the talk.
2. It is his JOB, dammit.
It would be different if the numbers aren’t what the numbers are. It would be different if single parenting wasn’t the norm. It would be different if the speech wasn’t a WHOLE speech, one that outlined the problem, acknowledged the stakes and offered solutions. It would be different if…if men (and not just Black men either, mind you) weren’t fucking up so bad.
Yo, every two weeks I start off $373 in the hole, after taxes in the name of child support. I do pretty well, but I don’t do well enough to not notice 7 and a half bills trotting off into the ether, cause Lawd knows the former Mrs. Ink doesn’t issue spending statements on where the $ goes once it leaves my payroll statement.
And that’s fine. It isn’t for me to worry about the fiduciary arrangements of her household. I can verify that my sons are well cared for and that is all that I need concern myself with
What I can say with certainty in the days of 4 dollar a gallon gas and 4 dollar a gallon milk, is that times would be harder on the boulevard without that money. That, boys and girls, is what we mean when we say “charge it to the game”.
Just as important, is having a face and a purpose to that $. Babies do not grow by bread alone.
End of the day, though…it is simply like this.
If you are on your job, this speech is about encouragement. to maintain.
If you are not…this speech is about exhortation.
To take it as anything other is just a lot of Hit dog Holleration. And that is not cute at all.