Monday, June 16, 2008

Barack Obama Calls Out Missing In Action Black Fathers! - Now What?

"They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it," - Barack Obama

Ever since I started blogging and participating in podcasts, one thing has been consistent, if black women criticize black men about not holding up their end, black men have gone universally ape shit on me and my other sister bloggers. We as black women get blamed for their failures, we are responsible when they fail to ever be responsible, we are too tough, too mean, and clearly have too many expectations.

Now, yesterday on Father's Day, one of their own called them out. Barack Obama, the success story, from the female, single-headed, welfare having household to Yale to steps from the White House. Barack Obama, the proud black man, married to a black woman, with two black daughters. All the excuses black men make, Barack Obama has defeated with a black woman by his side that he does not have to "control" or "condescend" to in order to feel like a man. This is truly an interesting development.

Will black men finally get it now? Will black men finally get off their collective asses and step up to the table? Will black men finally get it together because they have the ultimate example of success campaigning across the country for the next six months? I sure hope so.

“The second thing we need to do as fathers is pass along the value of empathy to our children. Not sympathy, but empathy — the ability to stand in somebody else’s shoes; to look at the world through their eyes.” - Barack Obama

And black men could get off to a great start by showing much more empathy and understanding to black women. Understanding that R. Kelly being acquitted is a major problem for black women and girls. Understanding that when Michelle Obama is attacked that all black women and girls are being targeted. Understanding that failure to capture all the attackers in the Dunbar Village rape case is a major problem for black women and girls. Understanding that blaming black women for your failures and short-comings is painful and infuriating.

Since our deeds, words, and cries couldn't motivate you, maybe Barack Obama's can.


A Voice From the Battlefield June 16, 2008 at 1:06 AM  

I missed this speech and will have to read it in its entirety. But, from the quotes that you have provided, I must give kudos to Barack. FINALLY!!! This is definitely a step in the right direction. Thank you for sharing Prof. Tracey.

Selena June 16, 2008 at 2:36 AM  

Nope black men will still "not get it". And for the sake of black women around the world, please DO NOT continue to wait for the proverbial light bulb to switch on.

Anonymiss June 16, 2008 at 8:09 AM  

Someone will clap back at Barack after licking their wounds.

Pride is the biggest problem for failed men. Pride won't allow them to hear tough love. They want to be praised and coddled and don't want to be reprimanded when they fall short.

How does one become better without critique?

SheCodes June 16, 2008 at 11:05 AM  

Yes, Barack did earn brownie points for me with his sermon. I considered posting the entire speech on my blog, but then realized I have no desire to talk to a bunch of apologists for black male failures.

Trust - this talk from Barack will backfire. He will suddenly become 'not really black' to some black men -- many of these men THOUGHT this Barack was going to give them a leg up on the money and power ladder without questioning their integrity or fitness for leadership... just like the CBC did.

Now all Barack has to do is say that he BLEW IT on the Genarlow Wilson case, and I will officially become a true supporter instead of a reluctant one.

What we need now is for REAL black men to stand with Obama and loudly AGREE WITH HIM. However this would be a violation of the pact of silence/inaction between black men about abusive behavior, so I am not holding my breath.

Naima June 16, 2008 at 11:31 AM  

I wonder how many of the men he is talking about actually know about this speech, or a they too busy analyzing the latest Lil Wayne album?

tusk91 June 16, 2008 at 12:22 PM  

Well maybe hearing it from a potential president may carry a bit more weight.

But, man yall being a bit hard on the brotha’s and right after father’s day ;-)

faith June 16, 2008 at 3:28 PM  

Don't forget all the Black women upset about Barack "pandering to white people" or "airing dirty laundry" or being "overly critical". I've had to add my 2 cents asking why people are having an emotional response instead of thinking critically about this. Barack was in fact speaking from some personal experiences and yet appears to be an active participant in his children's lives. If he was blaming Black women we'd be the only people protesting.

A Voice From the Battlefield June 16, 2008 at 9:39 PM  

Everyone has great points in my opinion. But we can't allow those great points to prohibit us from actually taking overdue action.

I agree, this will most likely backfire, those needing to hear it were probably not listening, some will feel like he's "airing dirty laundry", etc. I agree with all of that. But, despite it all, the man stood up and spoke out.

If he does what we as black women want him to do, which is speak to our issues, these same issues will come into play. Yet, we require it of him anyway.

No, I won't hold my breath waiting for this one speech to touch the hearts of all the deadbeat dads of the world; but I'm so glad that he stood up and addressed the issue.

As Shecodes said:

"What we need now is for REAL black men to stand with Obama and loudly AGREE WITH HIM." June 18, 2008 at 1:59 AM  

@ Tusk91

Are you kidding? You really think women are being hard on the men? Really?

Do you know how many black children are in foster care who don't even know the NAMES of their fathers? I am not saying that there is promiscuity on the part of women who keep having baby after baby out of wedlock and not knowing who the father is...and yes women need to be more selective about WHO they allow to impregnate them...but still...THAT'S not the point of what is not being addressed by black men.

Please...let's rethink this equation...shall we?

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

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