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Obama Says Black Fathers Can Do Better

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Over Father’s Day, Barack Obama delivered a strong message to black fathers: do better.

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

He also added:

”We can’t simply write these problems off to past injustices. Those injustices are real. There’s a reason our families are in disrepair … but we can’t keep using that as an excuse.”

As heartfelt and personal as Obama’s message was (his own father left, after all), no speech in a political campaign is said without forethought and intent. Notably, Obama specifically called black fathers to task rather than focusing on the problem of absentee fathers of all races.

For most of this campaign, Obama has resisted making race an issue (except when he’s had to). And yet, yesterday, he took a moment to be more of a black leader than a presidential candidate.

Will we see more of this Bill Cosby style criticism of the black community? Probably not. But I’ll be interested to see what, if any, reactions come out of Obama’s Father’s Day speech.