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My brother’s keeper starts at home

Queen Brown | 3/6/2014, 9 a.m.
During President Barack Obama’s first run for the Whitehouse, his opponents called him inexperienced and unprepared to run the country. ...

During President Barack Obama’s first run for the Whitehouse, his opponents called him inexperienced and unprepared to run the country.  However, after serving six years in office and half way through his second term in office we know just how politically savvy and astute our President really is.  Never before have we had a president whose experience is as broad as that of President Obama.  President Obama’s experience is broader than the political aspect of running the country. As a matter of fact, he brought to the White House a social perspective of life in the United States that many refuse to admit even exits.  President Barack Obama is a testament to the social, racial, systematic and political injustices that still exists in America. 

On February 27, President Barack Obama launched his latest initiative “My Brother’s Keeper.” This initiative will engage the faith based community, businesses and foundations in developing strategies that will allow boys of color the opportunity to get ahead in America. President Obama’s initiative, aimed at providing better opportunities to minority boys, is not the first of its kind in the country.  There are other initiatives with the same or similar objectives such as the 5000 Role Model of Excellence which was founded by our very own Congresswoman Frederica Wilson.  She too, is a testament of what positive role modeling and structure can do to increase the chances of minority boys succeeding in today’s society.   

I credit the 5000 Role Model of Excellence program for giving my son opportunities he never would have experienced.  Several years ago I attended a company’s party with my two teenage sons. While at the party my oldest son recognized one of my co-workers as the man that taught him how to knot his tie.  I had no idea nor did I recognize until that moment that someone took the time to teach my son an important activity that I neglected to see or was somehow oblivious. Nevertheless, this one simple act of caring will go a long way in the life of my son, who is now the proud father of his own son and a volunteer coach of a little league football team.  The 5000 Role Model Program has been successful in improving lives as a result they are now able to see the fruits of their labor. This is the type of commitment our President hopes to see among businesses, faith-based organizations and individuals like the man who helped my son.

The Presidents latest initiative “My Brother’s Keeper” is aptly titled and only one step in the right direction. However, we must understand that we all have a responsibility in saving our sons and brothers as well as sisters. It’s not just the job of the President to look out for our sons. It’s the job of the parents, teachers, clergy and neighbors to guide them as well.  We must work to dispel myths and fallacies about people of color, especially boys and men of color in America.  We must not allow anyone to exploit our image in the name of entertainment; nor should we sensationalize the social ills that plague minority communities all across America. We must continue to advocate for the abolition of laws that justify the killing of minority youths based on personal prejudices and preconceived notions about boys and men of color.