OBAMA’S FATHER’S DAY SERMON 


Bob Herbert in a June 21st New York Times piece summarized the importance of Obama's Father's Day Sermon. He noted that “In 2006, a majority of births to women under 30 (50.4%) were out of wedlock. Nearly 80% of births among black women were out of wedlock”. By comparison in 1960 these numbers were just 6%.

It is significant that Senator Obama who is part white and part African-American chose to deliver his remarks in a church. In the Judeo- Christian context this is a moral issue. He advanced several policy proposals that might help address the resulting consequentially severe problems. He suggests that African/ American men should stop acting like boys and start behaving like men.

In the District of Colombia for example 80% of black babies are born to single mothers. Fifty per cent of young black males fail to graduate from high school and 50% are on their way to jail, in jail, or just out of jail. The leading cause of death in young black men is murder. There simply are very few jobs available for an uneducated black man with a prison record. When a man, black or white abandons his pregnant partner he dooms her and his child to a life long sentence of poverty and hardship.

Up until now with the exception of Bill Cosby and a few others this problem has been ignored by both black and white political leaders. It is enormously significant that the problem is so destructive in both white and black communities because Senator Obama comes from both communities. He has the courage to raise the issue. Up until now both black and white leaders have found it more convenient not to offend either white or black man but to blame the problem on social injustice or poor schools.

It is entirely possible that this sermon will go down in history as being immensely important to all Americans particularly if Senator Obama is elected President of the United States.



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