Black youth need more Carsons and Cosbys, not Obamas [Letter]

March 04, 2014

If ever there were an opportunity for our president to exercise his moral authority from the bully pulpit, the opportunity is now. In your editorial, "My brother's keeper" (March 2), you describe President Barack Obama's initiative to improve the economic and educational status of young black boys and men. Who among us could not be fully behind this goal?

The elephant in the room, of course, is the fact that young black males are simply the most easily identifiable demographic segment of our culture to suffer the economic and social consequences of illiteracy and lawlessness.

What is profoundly puzzling in the president's initiative is his apparent unwillingness to demand that the leaders of "the black community" step up to this crisis. Just as puzzling is why Mr. Obama does not want to point out the obvious: the breakdown of the nuclear family — which is happening throughout our culture irrespective of race or ethnicity — that will eventually lead to further increases in illiteracy and unlawful behavior among all segments of our culture.

We need more Ben Carsons and Bill Cosbys showing leadership and speaking out on these problems to really shine a light on the need to focus on building and maintaining a basic family structure.

Philip Grantham, Baltimore

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