Some Good Advice for Men From ... Obama?
He spoke to young black men about the dangers of promiscuity, bullying, and selfishness.
Is Barack Obama embracing traditional American values?
Seems hard to believe. After all, Democrats have a long history of mocking conservatives for speaking out against promiscuity and infidelity. But last week Obama spoke at a town hall event that brought attention to his My Brother’s Keeper initiative. According to its website, the organization seeks to “address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential.”
Addressing an audience composed of mainly young black men, Obama sounded more like a conservative than the former head of the Democrat Party as he touched upon themes that rarely come out of the mouth of a leftist. For example, he criticized “hookup” culture, affirmed the benefits of monogamy and fidelity, reminded young blacks that they’re more likely to become doctors or lawyers than NBA stars, and even suggested that the best way to make change is to start at the local level.
The former community organizer-turned-president even criticized hip-hop culture by saying, “Let’s face it: A lot of hip-hop and rap music is built around me showing how I got more money than you, I can disrespect you and you can’t do nothing about it, I’m going to talk about you and punk you. Ironically, that actually shows the vulnerability that you feel.”
He didn’t stop there.
James Hohmann writes at The Washington Post, “Obama decried bullying and selfishness while imploring young people who are involved in his My Brother’s Keeper initiative to pursue causes greater than themselves. He explained the concept of self-worth and touted the virtues of being sensitive to other people’s feelings. He criticized materialism and encouraged monogamy.”
Let’s give credit where credit is due: Obama is saying the right things. The problem is, his party has been moving full speed in the opposite direction since the 1960s, and that was exacerbated by his own “fundamentally transforming” presidency. Democrats cheerfully vote for legislation that legalizes infanticide, worship Hollywood stars who peddle smut and violence, and pass laws that replace the wisdom and guidance of a loving father with politicians encouraging dependency on government programs.
Politics and rumors aside, Obama himself appears to be a loyal husband and devoted father. And yet his party, sadly, has moved so far to the left that Obama’s family model is the exception instead of the rule.
It’s no wonder the Leftmedia virtually ignored Obama’s comments about the important need to mentor young men and teach them values. Why promote important messages that young Americans across the political spectrum need to hear when you can give around-the-clock coverage of Michael Cohen testifying against the president or Robert Mueller still searching for unicorns in his Russia collusion investigation?
While Obama focused his comments on male mentorship, he didn’t stress the critical role fathers play in the lives of their children. Young men certainly benefit greatly from the influence of male coaches, teachers, and employers who help to shape and guide them. But those men don’t replace the role of a father.
Kenny Xu writes at The Federalist, “Obama is well-positioned to talk about why children without fathers are at a four-fold greater risk of poverty, seven times more likely to become pregnant as a teen, and twice as likely to drop out of high school than children with fathers. He had the golden opportunity to make the case for fatherhood to his audience. But he opted to play it safe, perhaps sensing anger from the left had he directly addressed the crisis of fatherhood as he has in the past to mixed results.”
Xu adds that it’s “a fundamentally conservative temperament to care about people in a specific and personal sense, rather than as taxpaying objects of a big progressive program. The restrained, family-oriented, and mentoring Obama is a part of him we can all respect.” (If only Obama had spent more time pounding this message during his eight years in office, rather than imploring his legions to “get in their face” and “punish our enemies.”)
Just don’t expect family values to be a part of the 2020 Democrat platform. For more than a century, “progressives” have supported policies destructive to America’s social fabric. A brief outburst of sensible comments from an ex-president won’t turn that record around anytime soon.