Obama reaches out to African-American communities with tough love

May 3, 2007 | By | 2 Replies More

The Washington Post reports on Obama’s willingness to address issues that afflict many African American communities:

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is delivering pointed critiques of the African American community as he campaigns for its votes, lamenting that many of his generation are “disenfranchising” themselves because they don’t vote, taking rappers to task for their language, and decrying “anti-intellectualism” in the black community, including black children telling peers who get good grades that they are “acting white.”

As he travels around the country in his effort to become the nation’s first black president, Obama has engaged in an intense competition for black voters — a crucial Democratic Party constituency that accounts for as much as half the electorate in some key primary states such as South Carolina. But the first-term senator, who has sought to present himself as an agent of change eager to challenge political convention, has taken the unusual route of publicly criticizing his own community.

In a brief interview, Obama said he is simply giving broader exposure to the problems that African Americans discuss with great frankness in private. “It’s what we talk about in the barbershops in the South Side of Chicago,” Obama said.

The article makes reference to a 2006 speech Obama gave at a Chicago church after a pair of shootings in a black neighborhood, before his presidential candidacy.

All of us know little shorties, and we see them when they are young. Something is happening to them around age 4 or 5. A darkness comes over them, and you can see the loss of hope in them,” Obama said then. He added: “There is a reason they shoot each other, because they don’t love themselves, and the reason they don’t love themselves is we are not loving them, we’re not paying attention to them, we’re not guiding them, we’re not disciplining them. We’ve got work to do.

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Category: American Culture, Bigotry, Civil Rights, Politics, Psychology Cognition, Uncategorized

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Ben says:

    I sometimes wonder if Obama has enough *dishonesty* in him to hack it as a top politician. He won't get very far in the government if he isn't good at hiding sensitive information (and telling boldface lies). Or, he could prove me wrong and stick to his guns even once he acheives Presidential power.

  2. Ben says:

    "Secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering into the public square. Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Williams Jennings Bryan, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King – indeed, the majority of great reformers in American history – were not only motivated by faith, but repeatedly used religious language to argue for their cause. To say that men and women should not inject their "personal morality" into public policy debates is a practical absurdity. "

    -No, you don't get to see who wrote the quote yet.

    Clinton?

    Bush?

    Guiliani?

    Romney?

    Who are those other guys, oh yeah McCain,

    Nader? No way he said that!

    First thing from B.O. that I have issue with. (Of course I haven't been following him closely.) I think secularists have a point, in that religion should at least be "checked" at the door. I am accepting nominations… (and contributions)

    -B.O. Barach Obama

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