June 19, 2009 – Mr. President, I Agree

I have plenty of political and philosophical differences with President Obama, but today I heard him speaking at a special White House Event and agreed with every word. The subject was the importance of fathers in every child’s life. He spoke from the heart of his own abandonment and the hole left in his life by a missing father.

We’ve all heard that part of the story, what made this speech special was what came next. He quoted the statistics on children in homes without fathers, statistics that are bad for white kids and horrible for black kids, and delivered what may be the most important message for the future of America. We need fathers to take responsibility for raising their children. Having an absent father or an abusive father is no excuse but even more reason to step up and do better yourself. He is in a unique position to deliver this message to black America, to lecture without the perceived condescension a white messenger might be chastised for. His visible delight in his own active fatherhood makes him a great role model for young men, and especially young black men in the inner cities.

If he can turn the horrible statistics around, if he can redefine fatherhood for today’s young men, it may be worth putting up with his politics for four years. Better fathering for a generation will do more for the country than any political program over the next four years.

P.S. Happy Father’s Day, Dad. You did a good job, thank you for your guidance, love and support.