Monday, June 16, 2008

"O" man stop telling our business.



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




That was the "O" man yesterday giving a special little father's day message to his own peeps from the pulpit of one of the houses that jesus built.




Let me read that quote again: Okay, nothing wrong there. The man is right, many of our men are acting like boys, and our families are weaker as a result of their actions. Nothing new there, it's the kind of shit that I have been talking about as someone who sees this problem up front and personal on a daily basis, from day one.


Of course some of our black men are ducking their responsibilities and not acting like fathers. Of course it is having a negative effect on our communities. So why were so much of us mad at the "O" man for his little Father's Day message to his fam.? People like my friend Keith for instance (His real first name, he won't mind), who stormed into my office today with some choice words for the "O" man.


"You know what field. I might have just had it with that Negro Obama. Man I am so sick of the same Cosby bullshit. Here I was coming home from the beach on Father's Day with my two little ones, kicking back to watch the television, and I have to listen to this Negro tell me what bad fathers black men are; all to appease white folks." Keith's son is autistic, he is an attorney who actually gave up some serious billable hours to spend more time with his son. From everything I can tell, he is a devoted and loving father, and he is seriously holding down on the family front. "Come on field, what do you think of this shit?" Yeah, I hear you except Obama is right. Honestly man, I don't have a problem with what he said. Maybe it's because I don't have any kids. But I didn't take that shit personally." Yeah but did he have to preach to us like that? Come on field on Father's Day? he should be talking about some of the positive brothers out here, and some of the root causes which prevent black men from being good fathers. You know, like this ...."I know I know, the court system and the child support system in place." We both laughed. Did I mention that Keith is a defense lawyer who represents quite a few male defendant's in our court? That is one of his pet peeves, the child support guidelines here in Pennsylvania.


Keith and I ended that discussion and moved on to other things. But then I came home tonight and ironically there was Dr. Marc Lamont Hill on FOX NOISE talking about the same thing, right down to the child support guidelines (He lives in Pennsylvania too). And quite a few other black folks besides my man Keith seem to be pissed at the "O" man for his little Sista Souljah type moment. Most of the black folks that I talked to (yes even the Obamaholics) feel that what the "O" man did was political gamesmanship done to get white folks, and especially conservative white folks to be sympathetic to his campaign. Trust me, nothing gets a black man more "brownie points" with conservative white folks than talking about his own people. Did you see that Barack tell it like it is to the other blacks? I like that guy, he reminds me of Cos. He has balls.......ahhh yes, calling out your own, and saying what other people say about your ass secretly but are afraid to say publicly, will always make you a hero in A-merry-ca. Just ask Chris Rock or Bill Cosby.


But again, how can I rip the guy? What he said was true. Why is it okay for some field Negro talking shit on his blog to say the same thing, or a bunch of black folks at a barbecue to talk about the same thing and agree on that point? But Barack Obama, who is running for President, can't state the obvious? Well, because he is running for President I guess, and everything he says will be scrutinized for political purposes. Everything he says will be viewed form a political context and this, of course, is what's happening now. Poor "O" man, he just can't win. Damned if he does damned if he doesn't.


Boy, I sure hope that you black folks don't think that if the "O" man wins he is going to be just our president. He will be the president of everybody in these divided states. And when he talks about shit that effects black folks, he won't be able to go on a black radio station with a secret black frequency and say, hey black folks, I have a message for you. Nope, everybody is going to hear that shit. It's called the information age. Let's face it folks, we just can't hide shit from white folks anymore. Hell, I bet some of them are reading this very post right now.....

99 comments:

Chris said...

the child support guidelines are in place because of jackasses like the people he defends that refuse to pay up for their children.

rikyrah said...

FN,

This is the fourth blog where I get a feelin' there's gonna be some 'debate' here.

1. This isn't a new speech. He's been giving this speech, or variations of it for some times. So, he just didn't pop up with it yesterday.

2. What he said was the truth. It's not the truth because 'O' Man said it. It's the truth AND ' O' Man said it.

3. I know he's not talking about my father or any Black man in my immediate family - because they took care of their business. So, I'm not getting sensitive about it.

4. FN, you bring up, from time to time, the ramifications of everything Obama's talking about in this column. You know you do.

5. I think he's in a no-win situation. If he ignores it, then we'll continue to pretend that it's not as bad as it is. We don't have 10,000 Black men in jail; we have 1,000,000 whose most common demonator traits are: Fatherlessness and Illiteracy.


I'm sorry, but I'm a conservative (small c) when it comes to this issue.

SingaporeSwim said...

Field,
This isn't the first time Obie has brought up this dirty laundry for national public consumption. This is the first time that he has mentioned it since becoming the presumptive Dem nominee.

Unlike GWB, Senator O is not shrouding the truth under lies and omissions. A good start. We should expect candor and openness from our Prez. This country is not a community of us, it's a community of all.

I wouldn't get overheated about this or you'll be out of steam by the end of the election.

Missy said...

Damn...hope and change is starting to look like just another stage for blasting the hell out of black men. Sure, there are men that don't do what they are supposed to do...in ALL races. The only thing I see is him opening the door for everybody to bash black men. Damn...some black men are doing the right thing, aren't they? We get it in our movies, music, and "news". When is somebody going to say something positive about us. Father's Day is about celebrating men that not only made children but are being fathers--it is NOT about bashing the ones that shirk their responsibility.
And yes, there is a problem with it in our society but again, it is not only a black issue and just because he give voice to the issue does not mean that he's offering hope, change,or a solution. Where the hell did THAT message go?
I'm saddened...

Angie-Nuvision said...

Field, sho' you're right!

It's time for us to stop thinking that that we're the only ones that can smell our dirty, stanky laundry. So, Obama might as well tell us, even when he knows that others are listening, to wash them stank draws and get right.

And you're right about there not being a secret black outlet for Obama to address us on a secret frequency. That's a word.

We might as well get ready for the "black conversation" to be watched, to be documented, and to be archived. Now that black folks have proven that they can be seriously considered and possibly elected as the POTUS, they will be clocking every word we say. And you better believe that.

My daddy, who is a great father, does not take offense when people talk about how black men need to step up their game. In fact, he always tells me and my sisters, his four daughters, that we have to be careful with these so called men out here. He often reminds us that many of these men are certainly capable of getting us pregnant. But there are only a few that will stand up and be a real father to their children.

Now grant it, slavery was a terrible teacher for us and the black family. It got all of us screwed up.

But now it's time for us to shake off those damn shackles and to be the free, respectable, responsible, loving men and women that we were born to be.

And guess what Field? I ain't just on the black men. Black women have got to do better too.
Hell, we all need to step up and do what's right.

Peace to you brotha.
And Happy Father's Day to all of those who have accepted the responsibility to love, protect, provide for, embrace, direct, guide, discipline, teach, comfort, and uplift black children.
Whether you do it as a father, uncle, big brother, or just a kind, giving brotha on the block, I applaud you for giving, not only to those kids, but to all of us.

Blessings,
Angie

Leota2 said...

Obama spoke the truth.

I'm sick of the whining and the "don't let the white folks know we're just as fucked up as them crap."
Everybody needs to either thank the stars if they had a good father, or think of our children who don't have fathers and stop being so put off when somebody speaks to the truth of the matter.

Hell, if they don't like it---they can vote for John McCain who not only doesn't give a damned about our children, but would never mention anything about our black asses--ever.

Angie-Nuvision said...

I agree with Rikyrah's comment above.

metafisikal said...

The problem is not Obama "airing dirty laundry" (have you ever read Ishmael Reed's piece on this subject?)...it's his use of this issue as a political chip...cashing in on it's value to assuage undecided white folks fear, showing he ain't afraid of playing overseer to his brethren.

See just like cosby...many of us understand the message, but also recognized HOW the message is delivered (language, timing, location..), which is also a important part of the message. Let's keep it real...I personally have no illusions that Obama is some super-negro...oh lawdy, lawdy, he da black jesus...he gonna make it so much better for black folks...NOT!

In truth...and you know this...he's really no different from Billary or McSame. Different sides but the same coin.

field negro said...

Damn! rikyrah, I know where you stand with he "O" man, and you have been with him from day one. I like that. And please believe that I agree with you about black folks taking responsibility for our actions. But do you honestly think that giving this speech on Father's Day wasn't done for poliitcal purposes? I am pretty sure it was.

And hey, I am not sure I am mad at the guy. He does have to get elected right?

He gets a slight pass with me because as someone above said, this is something he has talked about before. I just think he might have crafted some positives in his speech to make people like my friend Keith feel a little better about themselves on Father's Day.

"Damn...hope and change is starting to look like just another stage for blasting the hell out of black men.."

Now now missy.

rikyrah said...

Damn! rikyrah, I know where you stand with he "O" man, and you have been with him from day one. I like that. And please believe that I agree with you about black folks taking responsibility for our actions. But do you honestly think that giving this speech on Father's Day wasn't done for poliitcal purposes? I am pretty sure it was.

Like I said...

Damned if he did, and if he didn't.

Ok, he goes to church, on FATHER'S DAY,

Stands there and gives a ' Go, Brother Go, Handle Your Business' speech.

What's the elephant in the room?

Oh yeah....

All that dirty laundry.

Personally, I believe it should have been a tagteam with him and Michelle. Michelle could talk to the Sisters about:
1. Supporting Black fatherhood
2. Helping out the Brothers who are on the positive tip
3. Talk about her own father and what having a GOOD Black father meant to her, as a woman.

One of the main complaints is that he didn't talk enough about the Brothers handling their business. Michelle's talk could have handled that.

Political? Well, he's a politician.

Like I said, he didn't offend me, because I'm very conservative on this issue.

SingaporeSwim said...

O will not be able to please everyone at all times. He killed two birds with one stone in his Father's Day speech. Some will say at the expense of the black man but he is in a position to speak on the subject since his black father abandoned him at an early age.

For all I know, O may have paid homage to those black fathers who are taking care of business. He's a shining example of one himself.

We are going to have to get used to swallowing the good and the bad of O becoming U. S. President and leave pride and shame by the wayside.

The ability to admit the truth, accept/confront reality and overcome hardships are character builders for us and our children.

Just because we may not want to hear something doesn't mean that it shouldn't be aired and heard.

Change is not free.

Bygbaby said...

I see what you are saying but if business was being taken care of then A LOT OF BLACK MEN would not have to be mad at yet more Cosbyesuqe statements. I am happy he said, & it needs to be said more until things change. I did not see him appealing to or appeasing whites, he was at a Black church talking to his people so why not be frank?

The truth hurst no matter where it comes from.

If Barack wins, he mos def will be the leader of us all but I think most of us will own him even more but, we need to understand that Barack is not the answer to all the Negro’s problems.

Bygbaby

Ms.Martin said...

I didn't like and I was a staunch supporter. If he wants to chastize AAs about anything, he will need to do what BPM suggests and take it to the streets (to every group on their shortcomings).

It was pandering pure an simple.

And to suggest that we lack self esteem and that hinered our thinking that he could win - after we helped him win. Please.

What he's said is in part true, but that's not the point. Father's day is a day for celebration, not a day to talk shit about black folks to score points with the white folks.

He tore his drawers with me.

ms_hgrits said...

Angie-nu, I can't say it better. Thank you.

Field, as you and others noted, Obama has made variations of this same speech before. He has also stated on several occasions that he will not just tell us what we want to hear - he will tell us what we need to hear. IMHO that is a characteristic of a true leader. Of course he has to be political - he is a politician. But the reason I've been a supporter since 10.01.06 is because Barack Obama is not just a politician. He is a leader. And the best one we've had (we Black Americans AND we residents of the USA in general) in a long time. I don't agree with all things Obama (I am a very strong supporter, not an automatic co-signer) but I believe in his abilities to lead from a place of fairness, justice, and dignity.

BTW, my son's father is still a 'work in progress', and he needed to hear this message.

But I know MANY more brothers who are FATHERS in every sense of the word, who work hard every day and night to maintain the title, and who do this without hesitation, as well they should. And I give them props every time I have an opportunity! I pray for the day when these men are the 'default representatives' of men in the Black community...

SingaporeSwim said...

rikyrah,
Obie's message was directed at and intended for men on Father's Day. That's probably why he and Michelle didn't double team.

O was especially on point when he said, and this is not verbatim, that government exists to lend a hand and not take over.

Missy,
Hope and change are part of the solution. The hope that women make better mating decisions and not aspire to be baby momma's and men change the way they view fatherhood. Not as sperm donors but as teachers, leaders and caretakers instead.

SingaporeSwim said...

An aspect of this discussion that I find amazing is that we seek ways to overly commend black men for doing what they should be doing in the 1st place while not voicing the same level of regard for A-A women who are mother and father to too many of our children. I already know that folks believe that black men always have and always will get a bad rap and the short end of the stick and it's the man's fault so spare me.

ZACK said...

I'm with your friend, Keith.
And although you pissed me off with your disgusting connection of a fundraiser and a rape, I decided to harass your blog once more with my presence.

Here's why I feel Keith:

He's a good black father (based on what you wrote). And so is Obama, when the cameras are rolling. For all we know, he could be pimp slappin' his daughters while his guards take a coffee break. It's always the most pleasant guy who is an angel in public and the devil behind closed doors.

But he was negative. The problem is that Obamaholics have their head so far up his ass, that they forgot what bullshit smells like.

Good fathers should be celebrated. But we turn Father's Day into a warlock hunt, a smear day. This is why so many good dads react to Obama's Cosby-esque speech. And he'd probably know why so many dads are turning bad. One reason is that you've got young boys acting as sperm donors to prove their manhood. Well, as a senator, he should be more involved in their lives. If he can't, appropriate funding for those who want to fulfill a mentoring role- like me.

Another reason is that black men just don't have it good in this country. And before you tell me that your dad raised you to be the first black on the moon with no money, no job, and no teeth- wait before you judge. Everybody wasn't raised like you. So, you can't expect every man to view fatherhood as a serious task. This doesn't make it right, but it brings things in perspective.

Blinders Off said...

Every word that comes out of Obama’s mouth is scrutinized under a microscope. He spoke the truth it does not apply to just black men, but because he is black and he was in a black church when he said it, everyone wants to believe he was referencing black men only.

As woman who had the privilege, having one of the MANY MEN who are in their children lives and the wife of one of the MANY MEN who are fathers to their children…it is time THEY receive more recognition.

The reality is ALL MEN who deposit their seed need to stay around during the duration of the maturity of that seed.

Admiral Komack said...

Of course, if Obama said everything was peaches & creme, you'd have people saying, "Is this nigger crazy?"

What he said was the truth, and he had said it on other occasions.

Who knows, he may tell others some truths that they don't want to hear.

He's done it with the "bitter" comments and his talk on race.

I don't have a problem with what he said.

heartsandflowers said...

Hmmm I wonder where all the outrage is about R Kelly not getting convicted? Or about the life of a young women who's been used by men for their sexual pleasure? Or the two people who claim to be parents that accepted money and rented out their daughter like trade for a few pennies? Some of the same people being 'indignant' are the same people that excuse the behavior and actions - or I should say inaction of Black men - by blaming Black women for it. If what Obama said was wrong then why be upset? When people were enslaved and had their families torn apart they had NO CHOICE. There is no excuse: not lack of money; the white man; racism; inexperience; not knowing better - NOTHING to excuse it. Not anymore. Some people think Obama needs to take it farther, so he can't win for trying to please everyone. It's emotionalism to respond so negatively to a speech. WHAT ARE PEOPLE ACTUALLY DOING TO CHANGE THINGS FOR THE BETTER????!!!

Hugh O'Donnell said...

The "O" Man is the best candidate to come down the pike in many a year.

Why get sidetracked by non-issues? Let's beat McCain and then thrash about, eh?

BTW, Field, you are a precious resource. Your blog is fresh, as in flowers (refreshing), and fresh as in irreverent (baaaad).

Thanks for the great reads and references!

Hugh

Anonymous said...

zack...i'm down with that! this was some politically opportunistic shit from obie and you obamites here need a reality check.

some of ya'll need to lay off that obamaid...i mean this nigga aint walked on the water yet..wtf!

rikyrah said...

rikyrah,
Obie's message was directed at and intended for men on Father's Day. That's probably why he and Michelle didn't double team.


Singaporeswim,

I really have been reading the criticisms of Obama on this speech around the Black Blogosphere.

One of the main criticisms is that 'Obama didn't uplift the Black man enough'.

' Don't we get the Black man run down 364 days of the year? Can't we have just ONE day?'

Michelle Obama, from everything that I've read about her - was a Daddy's Girl.

I believe that the Black woman has a role in aiding the relationship between the Black man and his children. I'm specifically speaking to those in our community who aren't married, but are co-parents. I'm not one who believes that all Black men are bad. In fact, there is a nice chunk of Brothers who truly want to do the 'right thing' by their children, and, have impediments put in their way by the mothers of their children.

I think Michelle Obama could have addressed that issue, as well as praise the Brothers who do their business, and used her own father as an example - he was a blue-collar Brother who took care of home, all the while being disabled to boot. Could have even added in there that she gave Barack her father's ' basketball test' - to see if he passed muster.....another way Daddy looked out for his Princess.


Michelle could have ended her part, asking for Sisters to stand up and make promises to the children in their lives that they would help uplift the Father/Child relationship in our community.


The 'Praise the Brothers holding down the fort' part out of the way.

And, then, Obama could have come in with his speech.

rikyrah said...

Hmmm I wonder where all the outrage is about R Kelly not getting convicted? Or about the life of a young women who's been used by men for their sexual pleasure? Or the two people who claim to be parents that accepted money and rented out their daughter like trade for a few pennies?

heartsandflowers,

I see girls like this one as the flip side of the fatherless Brothers in jail.

This girl didn't have parents. She had an egg donor and a sperm donor - both of which are parasites that pimped her out.

PARENTS would be in jail for what they did to R.Kelly after they found out about the tape.

Open-Source said...

On this blog and many others, blacks have openly condemned the shortcomings of the black community, denouncing lazy mothers and shiftless fathers.

Like several here, I believe that Obama used Father's Day more as a political ploy (since politicians are forever running for office with no timeouts) to place himself in league with the likes of Bill Cosby and others seeking to reform the black community by shaming the wrongdoers.

The problem with this approach is that wrongdoers have to have a conscience in the first place if it's going to have the desired effect.

Had that been the case, Obama and others would have had very little to rail against--a conscience would have precluded that.

Now that Obama has shown that he will attack family to curry political favor (regardless of the merits of the attack), will he use his bully pulpit to attack what is at the heart of this nation's racial discord--racist's behaviors and attitudes?

I don't recall, in my time, a white candidate for the White House attacking whites for widening the racial divide in this country, except in times of a racial crisis.

And then it was done selectively, and with utmost care.

I don't believe that Obama's attack would have found a similar voice from a comparable white candidate.

Whites show amazing restraint when it comes to laying bare the insufficiencies of whites.

How many Tim Wises can you count on one hand?

Will Obama make so bold as to attack whites for their racial shortcomings?

I don't think so.

It's one thing to attack family, and yet another to attack members of another's family.

Obama scripted his speech knowing full well that blacks wouldn't judge him as harshly as white's would have, had they been attacked.

Perhaps the speech shouldn't have been so race specific and attacked deadbeat dads of all nationalities, all races.

It's not that they don't exist.

Could it be because one side of his bread is buttery white, and the other side is burnt black?

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Hold up now, wait just a minute. When Farrakhan said the same things at the "Million Man March", which was by the way, aired on national television, I didn't here one black man or woman come down on him for saying it. Oh, and I like Farrakhan, because he has done more in the black community than a lot of folks jaw jacking to help get some young black men to turn their life around. I may not agree with everything he says sometimes, but I believe in giving a person credit when they deserve it. Granny could care less about who doesn’t like it, nor will I refuse to give him his props to please white folks either. I'm not a puppet. I refuse to let anyone have that much control over me.

What Obama said was true, but white folks and other races have deadbeat dads as well. I'm not going along with its only blacks doing it, because it's not.

I went to an all white college before and can tell you first hand they are not angels or without faults. Some of the stuff they do and get away with would make the devil blush. But you don’t hear them holding their dirty laundry up to the light, or helping others to do it. Instead they’re encouraging their own. Wake up!

Marcus Garvey once said, “There is nothing more dangerous than to build a society with a large segment of the people in that society who feel they have no stake in it, who feel that they have nothing to lose. People who have a stake in their society protect that society, but when they don’t have it, they unconsciously want to destroy it.”

Cornel West said, “White supremacists’ ideology is based first and foremost on the degradation of the black bodies in order to control them…by convincing them that their bodies are ugly, their intellect is inherently underdeveloped, their culture is less civilized, and their future warrants less concern than that of other people.”

There are plenty of positive black men, but it’s funny how you don’t see the media trying to hold them up to the light, do you? . For over 200 years blacks have been thought of as nothing but entertainment, nothing positive said, unless, it’s sports or some form of entertainment. Obama is a positive role model, but they’ve even degraded and put him down numerous times. STOP HELPING THEM PUT YOUR OWN RACE DOWN! Fault pointing is not the way to reach those who’ve made the wrong choices. It only helps kill what little self-esteem they have left if any. Showing by example, respect, kindness, and encouragement is the way to reach them.

Now, Granny has said her little two cents worth, I'm going back to amen corner, and take a nap.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

*hear*

szechuanpork said...

Great post Field. I don't think the speech was a departure from what he and Michelle have been saying. It was just more defining and it really can't be singled out to just AA if everyone hears or reads it. If a person bears his dirty laundry everyone else will make sure there's is clean before they go off, if you know what I mean.

texas girl in l.a. said...

I hear ya Rikyrah

kid said...

This time Oreilly was right. It was a dog whistle for white folks.Oreilly was livid.My boy Dr.Hill said it was like Bill Clinton using Sister Souljah. He just filling out his Republican quota.
Bill can't stand a SMART black man.My boy was SMOOTH.

PrimeTime said...

rikyrah said... I'm not one who believes that all Black men are bad. In fact, there is a nice chunk of Brothers who truly want to do the 'right thing' by their children, and, have impediments put in their way by the mothers of their children.

Rikyrah, thanks for keeping it real. This side of the story is seldom aired.

I'm one of those black men you referenced. Way too often, despite the fathers' credentials as dads, women have used children to punish fathers.

Angry at the fathers for a failed relationship, they have lashed out by withholding the children.

And these were fathers who consistently paid child support and wanted nothing more than to have a father-child relationship.

Angie-Nuvision said...

I'm of the opinion that the African American Family, for lack of a better way to define it, is in a crisis. It doesn't matter who sounds the alarm and makes us wake up.
Pride comes before destruction.
You can sit back and be full of pride if you want to, but the truth is that our children, little brown girls and boys, are suffering.
You're dang right that white folks got problems too.
But why are we using their problems to some how let us off the hook for the grossly disporportionate problems that we have?
And yes, I'm clear that many of our problems were birthed via slavery. But when, when will we be free?
If we don't see ourselves as free, we will forever be bound. And we won't be bound by the white man's chains either. We will be bound by the chains of our mind.
The spirit is meant to be free, to uplift, to elevate, to rise, to enlarge, to shine.
We, Black Folks, need to realize that we are free people in spirit and mind. Then the physical freedom will follow.

Our children deserve the best. And it is up to us to stand up and give it to them.
I am not a mother. But I sacrifice life and limb to be a good example of strength, dignity, and respect to my nieces and nephew. I believe that they deserve the best that we can give them.

My father, a country boy from the cottonfields of Louisiana, a man that did not graduate from high school, a blue collor worker gave and continues to give me his best.
And if it wasn't for him and my mother standing behind me, never allowing be to fall backwards, I know for a fact I would have given up on me, my life, and God.
It is my prayer that we, all of us, whether we are fathers or mothers, rise to the occasion to give our babies what they deserve.
Daddy didn't have a lot of education and money. But what he did have was a solid commitment to be a father. And that's what we need to demand of our men today. And who better to demand it than other black folk?

In the past, certain folks on this blog always took offense to what I'm about to say. But I'm going to say it again.
We need to start creating healthy families. And the way to create healthy families is by creating healthy, strong marriages.
And of course, there is a lot more work to do along with that. But we need to stop acting like the lack of marriage in our community is not having a massive impact on the households of AA's.
It's impacting the bottom line in many areas. Financially, emotionally , physically, and even spiritually.

Well, that's my nickel for tonight.

Angie-Nuvision said...

rikyrah said... I'm not one who believes that all Black men are bad. In fact, there is a nice chunk of Brothers who truly want to do the 'right thing' by
their children, and, have impediments put in their way by the mothers of their children.

Again Rikyrah, you pointed out a strong truth.

Okay, I'm really gone to bed now.
Peace,
A

Anonymous said...

Whatever the "O" man says about black men being irresponsible, the irresponsible men aren't suddenly going to start being responsible. And the black men who are already responsible will continue to be so, because that's the way they are made. So I'm not exactly sure to whom the "O" man was speaking. People generally don't change their behavior because of a speech, and those irresponsible black men who don't do the right thing will certainly think that the "O" man is not talking about them; they never identify with what is being said; it's always "someone else" everyone else is talking about.

The Angry Independent said...

FN:

He gets a slight pass with me because as someone above said, this is something he has talked about before.


Why does this man need "a pass" of any kind to tell the truth? Others are allowed to lie with impunity...with no accountability or consequences whatsoever, but Obama needs a pass and permission to tell the truth...particularly a "Black Pass". Give me a break. I'm so tired of this bull----.
Why does the idea of a pass even come up? The fact that someone believes a pass is even necessary shows a problem in the thinking process of those in the BC.
Blacks now need a permission slip from Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson in order to speak on issues concerning the obvious problems in so-called "Black America". Nonsense!

I have always believed...and will continue to believe, that if crazy white neo-cons & bigots don't bring him down, the "Not Black Enough" gang of negroes in this Country most certainly will. MLK, Malcolm X, and many others before have had to deal with this sickness.

They have almost destroyed him already (twice). Once when he started his campaign... when he wasn't "Black" enough...meaning...all things negative...not beholden to the traditional Black power system, not held hostage by corruption, not anti-white enough, not a follower of Black nationalist ideology, too articulate, etc etc etc. Then there were the clowns at his former Church, TCC, who just couldn't show restraint for a while...knowing full well that their antics and cameras in the Church/recorded speeches could hurt him. But hey... more controversy meant more publicity for the Church and the new Pastor, which seemed to be more important. I'm sure the new Pastor wouldn't mind a book deal. So they continued right on...despite calls from other clergy to tone it down. Obama's first mistake was joining the church in the first place. He should have found a mixed Church.
Obama will continue to have to fight this two front war...although it will be easier with McCain as the opponent.

It all goes back to Dubois and two-ness. This is where Obama is right now... trying to deal with this two-ness problem.

In his Fathers Day speech he clearly pointed out that 1/2 of the Black households w/ children are fatherless... therefore, this would infer that there is another portion that does not directly apply to the message that he offered.

If Black "fathers" (raising their children) can't figure out that they were not the targets of his speech, then that's too bad.

If they wanted him to praise them... well, he acknowledged them...but also stated that being there for their children was what they are supposed to be doing. Clearly, he was sending the message that these men were not the direct subject of his speech.

They shouldn't feel too strongly one way or the other. Instead of getting mad at Obama about a social condition that Obama did not create, perhaps these fathers should go back to each-one teach-one and form support groups/educational organizations, job training centers, etc...to help & encourage men to take care of their responsibilities.

Everytime a Black person mentions personal responsibility, they are automatically castigated by those from the so-called "Black Community". The BC is the only culture (quickly closing in on gutter culture status) that seems to reject the ideals of personal responsibility and family. Why is that?

Other cultures embrace these ideals and would be embarrassed by the thought that they would even be in a position where someone would have to criticize them for not taking care of their families... This is just unthinkable in most Asian cultures, in Jewish & European Cultures, in East Indian Culture, Muslim Culture, White American Culture, etc... The idea of men not taking care of families (although it happens everywhere) is still a foreign concept to them...and they would be kicking themselves in their own behinds if things were as bad for them as they are in the so-called "Black Community". But for the BC, this situation (fatherlessness) has become a social norm and a right of passage. It's accepted now. And the sense of urgency has faded.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Nope, because whites folks are doing it too, doesn't let blacks off the hook. Not at all!

However, it takes four legs in a bed to make a baby, not two. Therefore, young women need to learn how just say no, unless their married to that man, he is able, and willing to provide for his child.

Every time a person has made it across the bridge to success, they should be reaching back to help those who haven't, cross that same bridge. Encouraging them to do better, showing them the way to do it, instead of putting them down in front of others works better.

Bob said...

Give this much to Barack; As President he won't be able to do miracles, but he's not going to look away. Bush can't do anything right because he's in denial about everything: Iraq, fine. New Orleans, heckova job. Economy, not as bad as you think. Be wonderful to have a president who worries about America, might even lose a little sleep over his job once in awhile.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Obama speaks from the heart. His own father abandoned him. I don't think his situation is anything like Cosby's. That said I do think there is a damned if you do, damned if you don't thing going on here. He was in a Black church on Father's Day. We do have a crisis in our community.

My dad and my brother are great, responsible fathers and I hope my two young nephews will learn from example. However, that doesn't mean I can act like we don't have a serious problem here. This situation impacts all of us. This level of dysfunction is not healthy. I don't see why we can't talk about it and try to change the situation.

Bob said...

P.S. Think on how it great it'll be to have a real family in the White House, with a couple of kids running around. Been a long time since we had that.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

nyc/caribbean:

I agree with you, Obama does speak from the heart.

Also, I agree with both you and angry Independent man that Obama is fighting two battles at the same time. Either we're going to stand behind him 100% or not. But I don't think we should be fighting against him and making it harder on him that what it already is.

I definitely agree with you Bob. I had a lot of family living in New Orleans when Katrina hit. I watched a couple of my relatives being lifted off the rooftops on television. How Bush treated the people in New Orleans really upset me. Just today, I was watching the people down in Iowa and wondering where is Bush and my mind went back to what he did for Katrina. I got angry all over again.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

BTW, Trinity was a mixed church.

NSangoma said...

~
That was the "O" man yesterday giving a special little father's day message to his own peeps from the pulpit of one of the houses that jesus built. ...
field negro 9:55 PM

field negro, you spell deh Lawds Gawd Jesus' name with a lower case "j"; Lawdsy!!, Lawd!, Lawd; lawd, lawd.

field, do you think the Negroe males that need to hear Obama's message were in that chuch yestidity?

This was a YouTube move, to help counter all the Rev. Jeremiah Wright YouTube videos out there.

Faux News shows Wright screaming on white folk; this is quickly responded to with a video of Obama screaming on the dangerous and loathsome, Negroe male.
`

field negro said...

"Why does this man need "a pass" of any kind to tell the truth? Others are allowed to lie with impunity...with no accountability or consequences whatsoever, but Obama needs a pass and permission to tell the truth...particularly a "Black Pass". Give me a break"

AI, I am not worthy:) I didn't know I speak for ALL black people now. Sorry, I speak for me and me alone. I think I wrote that "I" give him a pass, not the black race or certain black people.

"Give this much to Barack; As President he won't be able to do miracles, but he's not going to look away."
bob, that's pretty profound. But never underestimate the weight that office brings. He might have to look away. I know one thing, he better look away from some things now if he wants to get elected.

"Like several here, I believe that Obama used Father's Day more as a political ploy (since politicians are forever running for office with no timeouts) to place himself in league with the likes of Bill Cosby and others seeking to reform the black community by shaming the wrongdoers."

Yes open-source he did. But that damn O-Aid....Look, no one, and I mean no one, has called out trilfing ass behavior among black folks like yours truly. But come on now, can we just admit that the "O" man gave a political speech? It's not so hard. It doesn't mean that you will have to give up the O- Aid.

jjbrock said...

@GrannyStandingforTruth thank you for telling the truth. Farrakhan said the same things at the "Million Man March", which was by the way, aired on national television, I didn't here one black man or woman come down on him for saying it.


Granny I like Farrakhan too and will not allow no one to change that.

OG, The Original Glamazon said...

I don't get that hey don't air our dirty laundry line. I was told that once when, as the president of my black alumni association I got the alumni office involved in some resistance, actually hateration, I was receiving.

The thing some don't get is it's NOT A SECRET. Our laundry is already out there flapping on the clothes lines stained in dirty. Ain't nobody airing it its already being aired.

So are blacks in the public eye supposed to walk around and pretend our problems are not there like the proverbial pink [black] elephant in the room?

You know Field, I think that some blacks do believe if Barry becomes the number one man in the land that it will be like the Dave Chapelle skit about reparations. I like to think it will be more like Black Bush. j/k.

Cosby never angered me because it was true and like you said if he had been Bubba Cosby at the family barbecue saying that over a game of dominoes many of the same folks who were outraged would have agreed with him right before yelling Domino MoFo!

Thanks for the shout out on the handle, I can't take credit it was a handle given to me many years ago by my college roommate, one of my best friends.

Cami B said...

You know what people? The truth hurts. But it shall set you free. Everything Barack said was true. Don't like it? So what! What this world needs is a freaking wake up call. Let's stop burying our heads in the sand people. If what he said doesn't apply to you then you have no reason to take offense. But the truth is the truth. Sometimes what we all need is somebody to tell the truth instead of pussyfooting around the issue. If more black men stepped up to the plate and took care of their business where their children are concerned we would all see a huge turn around. If more black men decided they were sick and tired of seeing our sons murdering each other in the streets and decided to make a committment to do their part to change that we would see a huge turn around. STOP BEING IN DENIAL PEOPLE! It is what it is, and there is no time to bs around it so as not to feel ashamed. Because guess what? White people know already. You think they don't? It couldn't be more obvious if it walked right up and sucker punched you in the face. We need to own up and take responsibility for what's going on in our communities. We as a people have buried our heads in the sand for too long. That's why a huge portion of our children are in the dire situations they are in. If people stop letting their pride stand in the way of admitting there is a problem then steps can start to happen to alleviate the problem.

OBAMA '08!

Christopher said...

If you create a life -- a life that wasn't asked if it wanted to be born in the first place, then you damned better step-up and take care of your kid. It doesn't matter what color your skin is, whether you're rich, poor or something in-between.

Life is all about the choices we make and consequences that come with our behavior. If you don't want kids, then wear a raincoat -- doublebag that monster if you have to.

ArtMaggot Hysteria said...

Field
It was a wonderful speech, and perfect for Fathers Day!
Men like me need not feel ashamed in anyway, because we are holding our business.
But to have the message that I preach to the young men in my family repeated by the “O” man helps my cause.
If we as a people cry foul every time one of us makes that uncomfortable “call out” we are doomed to failure in making things better in our own house.
ArtMaggot
http://www.artmaggot.blogspot.com/

RedLipstick said...

Rikyrah is right--damned if he do and damned if he doesn't.

I listened to a report on NPR last week about an organization that brings children's books to prisons and tapes fathers reading stories to their kids. A little girl that was interviewed was said to play the dvd of her father over and over again.

All you devoted fathers should be shouting that speech just like O every second you get! As far as I'm concerned the black fathers who are doing what they are supposed to are the ones with true credibility and thus they should be the ones shaming the others into getting their @#it together.

Men really need to hear it from from other men!

vdubjb said...

Personally, I only know less than a handful of black fathers that weren't absentee fathers. Even the ones that stayed would have been better off gone. Obama can out Bill Cosby, Bill Cosby. He didn't date rape anyone/pay them off/inappropriately touch them/allegedly..

innercityrose said...

I agree..if that message was directed at 'you' then why be offended? What he said was right on the money. Giving the setting he was in, I am not sure sure it was political. Why does he have to appease white america? Many have already formed their own conclusions anyway. It's no secret that SOME black fathers are MIA. As a single parent, I am glad he said what he said and I hope my child's father was watching....as I will be waiting!!!

innercityrose said...

sorry that should have read "not directed at you"

Anonymous said...

Secret Black frequency LMAO I wish!!!! I read everyday btw. Loves it!

Connecticut Man1 said...

All I can say is that it would be great if many of you that post so thoughtfully on these topics here were taking on the roles of mentoring some of these kids (if you aren't already?) that could use the extra role models in their lives... Through Big Brother and Big Sister programs and other community outlets that many of these single parent families could use.

I am certain some of you already do stuff like that.

I try and do my little bit through Cub Scouts (I am a den leader). We have a few mothers that are single and signed their kids up specifically so their kids would have some added "positive" male role models in their lives. I say "added" because not all single Moms and Dads have deadbeat spouses, as noted here numerous times.

Discussing these problems that are bordering on epidemic in this nation (not just in the Black community) is great but what we really need are solutions from the discussions... Even if they aren't the 100% best solutions for the kids involved. Life ain't perfect, but we can/should all try to make it a bit better, if we can.

Don't mean to sound like I am preaching on this since I sure as hell am no "perfect Dad". Just ask my kids and they will (both gleefully and mockingly) give you my long list of failures in parenting. LOL!

BlackStocking said...

Sure Obama's speech was a political move, but so what? We all knew that the Sista Souljah moment was coming.

I concur...black dads should not get a standing ovation for staying and GASP! beind good dads. That is part of the job description: providing, hanging around and out w/ the kids, etc. Ovations should come from the kids and wife (oh I know I'm old-fashioned.)

My husband is a lawyer and the cases he hates the most are the dads (mostly black) who bitch and moan about their child support, their child's mother in general, and even about having to spend time w/ the child. He describes family court here in Cleveland as a place where all of those awaiting hearings are black, white women shepard the folks through and white men make judgments that wil impact black families.

Now if folks wore a condom, exercised some restraint,maybe even had an abortion (yeah I said it) and tried to parent like adults instead of acting like children, then maybe some of this nonsense wouldn't go on. I'm tired of the excuses and the whining. I'm tired of women who use their children as weapons and men who feel free to walk away from their responsibilities. I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. I can't move to Canada and even though I'd like to keep my children away from other children whose families don't share my values, that is not a real option either.

There are children, the future of our community, at the heart of the matter. Yeah, Obie might have been scoring brownie points, buty some of us need a kick in the butt. Some of us have got to do better. Nobody put a gun to your head and said make a baby.

quakerjew said...

OW! "brownie points" You cut to the quick!

Anonymous said...

Face the facts. 70% of black *men's is* triflin'. It could even be as high as 90% but, I was being nice with the 70%.

Anonymous said...

The black community needs more people telling it like it like Obama just like the white community needs more people like Tim Wise. We all love that white boy because he's white and he knws the issue his peopel have. People can't get upset when someone on our isle does the same thing. Does it make white people happy to see him do that? Yes. But if president, his words will have a bigger affect on young black children who are looking up to someone like them that is NOT in the sports or entertainment industry. Obama has a chance to really move black people in a positive direction, i could care less about white people taking joy in Obama calling people to task if it helps one black man step up to the plate.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Keith and Zack and others who agree with them.

I especially agree with whoever said that "hope and change are begininng to look like bash the black man."

Obama's Fathers Day Speech was pure politics. He is pandering to people who aren't going to vote for him and bashing the people that are going to vote for. Doesn't sound like change you can believe in to me, it sounds like change you can Xerox.

I'm just saying....

brotherkomrade said...

I always politely accept the credit or praise I receive from friends and family on what a great father I am. I say 'politely' because underneath my trite responses I'm annoyed-not by the 'praisers' but at the situation; social-created or individally- created by young, clue less sperm donors. Although I have done more than change a daiper or two, it kills me that root of what hurts us a community; parentlessness, causes random grandas in Harlem to damn-near break into applause because I'm walking my baby down the street.
Any black person you klnow who has truly lived in the hood knows parenting issue as we see it today is a huge problem and we are either angry at it, frustrated with it, or just plain disgusted at the idea that it will never change. I credit Obama for knowing this frustration and for his genuine feelings based on his own experiences. The speech was not out of place, it was NOT classist as Cosby's ridiculous Pound Cake Speech (where he singles out the, "lower income" black people as the the sludged that keeps "the rest of us" down) and it wasn't as if he was telling lies. The thing is, while I feel he was real feelings on the issue of lack of parenting in the community, I also feel that his speech was a political play not only for the Mainstream American Heartland vote (i.e., conservatives), but for the black conservatives as well. Have they not all been whining for someone to "come out and speak out" for so long as if things will become better for us.
But the thing is shaming tactics don't work. They do? Show me the numbers. No, they don't but what the grand standing does is either make white folks feel at ease that not all n*ggers are crazy, and if you're a smart politician who wants the conservative , independent vote of ALL races, then a speech like Obama's would serve that purpose.

Natalie said...

The difference between Obama's speech and Cosby's is that Cosby directly attacked poor Blacks in his piece. Obama was telling it like it is.

I have read many comments from white folks and they are mad that he didn't include fucked up white fathers in his speech. It's true, he can't win.

Anonymous said...

I didn't get offended but after reading this blog, it came to my attention that "O" man did to black fathers the same thing that Dr Wright did, and in a church setting; yet he criticized Dr. Wright.

Anonymous said...

I think this was a great piece of political theater! Lots of folks were kind of upset that the Senator tossed over his church of 20 years for political reasons. Great photo of the Senator standing in front of the blue robed choir like something out of a Debbie Allen movie. But wait...he delivers a message to the black man that no white politician would dare give. In addition, he gives a well deserved shout out to the white grandparents who raised him after his black dad abandoned him.

Bottom line he appears in a new, more conservative, black church and at the same time manages to remind folks of the fact that he was raised by white people and he shares their values.

I call this political skill of the highest order.

I once didn't think he could win but I'm starting to believe.

Anonymous said...

Just a note to let you know that the link you have in your article to Dr. Marc Lamont Hill does not work. It has a 404 error message. Would it be possible to fix?
Thanks. I read your blog daily and have learned much from it..

Anonymous said...

I saw the speech and interpreted it as the Christian message that it is....that only the love of Christ can fill the "hole in your heart" and help you "live a life of righteousness".

I saw it not so much as a message of hating on men but more of a plea to help women (who overwhelmingly make up the membership of this and any other church...in America) raise the kids that were conceived by both people.

It is similar to the story he tells in his book...that of his mom having to raise him by herself and the struggles that it entailed.

The notion that it was all about a subset of the conversation (AA men)is part of the problem and narrows the conversation. It was as much about single mothers and children with absent fathers, the destruction of the family, the destruction of the community, and the destruction of a nation.

The focus on self when the message was so much wider in scope is telling. As a teacher, who has to teach these angry children with holes in their hearts, and don't be fooled....they are angry beyond belief....it was refreshing to see one of those little boys (Obama), grow up into a man of faith and replace his anger with a burning desire to change the things that can be changed...and help a nation help its citizens to heal.

Anonymous said...

I love many of the opinions expressed here. Obama's own father abandoned him and maybe he felt a little sore on Father's Day. Maybe he should have addressed all absent fathers and not just black, it did seem a political move.
In every city child support laws are ridiculous, I know many fathers that take care of their kids, but the child's mother will go to court stating they aren't helping. a friend of mine keeps his receipts, when he went to court the judge scolded him based on the word of the mother for not paying child support, when my friend showed him a box full of receipts the judge did not want to see them . the judge ordered him to pay $500 right then or go to jail. He would have lost his job. His sister paid even though he had not missed any support payments. I have many stories, I know many men who live with their parents after being in a relationship many years because they cannot afford their own apartment because of child support payments.
Personally, yeah my father was around, he was a mean drunk. He was there, didn't jerk his responsibility, terrible father. Men are not the only absent parents, so instead of judging and lamenting absent fathers (what about the absent mothers) mentor. I had a mentor in 11th grade, she was excellent, I wish she could have mentored me longer. I had no parental support, my stepmother accused me of being a user when I needed tuition. So it's easy to jump on the band wagon, the black community is hurting. I think the issue comes from education. the black man learns the first thing he was is a slave, we need to change how we are taught about ourselves

Jonzee said...

Yes. Clearly it was a political speech. He is running for office after all. But it was a political version of a speech he has given many times. More times than I can count has he mentioned responsible parenting and the role it plays in a childs education.

He gave a message on something that particular congregation... and many other churches in poorer neighborhoods care about and try to combat everyday.

The laundry has been on the line, drying, mildewing, and getting wet over and over again. It is no secret. It is an enormous problem. And we individually and collectively need to take some responsibility for that.

I'm so sick of the word pandering. Perhaps if he didn't whole heartedly believe what he said, it would be appropos. But the O'ster has been talking about the importance of strong family forever.

Anonymous said...

Word...

west coast story said...

I'm with FN on this one. Even before the info age, the idea that black people could talk about our "laundry" in the privacy of some venue that could accommmodate a few million people is silly.

We need to grow up.

Obama is not saying anything that a lot of us have been saying for many years. Cos came out and said it out loud you'd have thought someone farted real loud in church.

The black family is in a crisis. I see it daily and it's ridiculous to not have an open public discussion about it until someone builds a super dome big enough that we can all fit in to discuss this matter "privately."

Grow Up!

Obama wasn't pandering, he was speaking the truth. And it's a truth for not just black people.

As for all the good fathers, he wasn't talking to you. Tell Keith to pull his panties out of his butt and pat himself on the back for doing what he is supposed to be doing.

field negro said...

The "O'ster"? Jonzee you are killing me:)

"Just a note to let you know that the link you have in your article to Dr. Marc Lamont Hill does not work. It has a 404 error message. Would it be possible to fix?"

Anon.2;47PM, I got ya,it's fixed.
I can't have Dr. Hill mad at me for not giving his link its props.

natalie made a great point about the speech Cos gave as opposed to this one. Cos did seem to be talking down to poor folks a little more. I never really juxtaposed the two until reading those comments.

Dave said...

What's bothering me is the notion that Brother "O" was speaking specifically to Black men when in fact he NEVER mentioned Black men specifically. Now correct me if I'm wrong but I read the actual speech here:
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/06/obamas_speech_on_fatherhood.html

and no where did I come across Senator Obama specifically calling out Black men... he does say "You and I know how true this is in the Africa American community..." and he says...more than half of all black children live in single parent households..." but I was hard pressed to find a single comment that called out Black men.

Maybe its just me but when he says "there are certain lessons we must strive to live and learn as fathers, whether we are black or white; rich or poor; from the South Side of the wealthiest suburb." - That gave me the impression that he is talking specifically about Black men...

To the point I made yesterday while filling in for Albert Butler on the "Al B! In the Afternoon" show (shameless plug) 4-7pm WURD 900AM (Philly) - www.900amwurd.com. Sen. Obama never calls out Black men - the Media did...

One of these days we trust each other and on that day we might actually be free.

Anonymous said...

oh please, white people already know. how could they not? wake up, people, he said what had to be said.

plus, he's a politician. my god, he made a political speech. what do you all expect?! he's not president yet, he still has that little thing called an election to win.

KCinCali said...

If any of my brothers and sisters here believe that what Obama did wasn't out of political expediency...

No doubt we have a problem in our community with fatherless households...but let's keep it real, we have a problem with mothers too..when is someone gonna address these young sisters having all these babies? Just like fathers, mothers need to instill moral and personal self-respect in our black daughters...regardless of whether there's a daddy in the home or not! Personally, if I see another young (12...13...14 years old)black girl walking down the street with one in the stroller and another in arms...I'm gonna lose my fuckin' mind!

I hear alot of folks here praise Obama on his little soliloquy on black male responsibility...but that issue has a duality and complexity that transcends simple moralistic sophistry. I'm probably alot older than many here (except granny...who in my opinion makes sense...) and was raised during a time when the MAJORITY of black men worked harder to feed, house and clothes their families. And the MAJORITY had to cope with the degradation of racism, prejudice and classism. We must remember the black family was VERY intact prior to the assimilation of peculiar cultural and social values that we adopted to become accepted amongst the great white majority. Now, I want to be clear...as a black man...husband...father of four (two son, two daughters)...grandfather (three beautiful black babies)., I can completely related to Obama's call for responsibility to black fathers (men) but I wasn't born yesterday and my father taught me that ALL politicians are bullshit artist...and the art of political gamesmanship (i.e, calling out "black" men on Father's Day..) is part of the game to becoming the first "black" man in the "white" house.

Regardless...I'm still working on his campaign to get him in there.

Chris said...

on your sidebar about cal thomas:

the local paper carries his crap, and he recently wrote about how obama is a 'false prophet' in regards to his christianity.

Adam said...

Hello Field,

I am a 33 year old white man married to a woman of color. I raise three children. I was born and raised south of Chicago and I still live in Illinois.

Permit me to add a few comments:

1) My fellow white fathers would do well to listen to our Senator's words. There is no shortage of passive white men in the U.S. who prefer have the Wii, the computer, and the 300-television station(s) satellite dish raise their children.

2) I know three black men (each who I consider to be my friend) who are excellent fathers to their children…and a source of encouragement to my children. My children are better children and I am better father as a result of my relationships with them! I raise my proverbial glass of Guinness to them.

On the other hand, my fellow black fathers who are in the trenches raising their children (much less your cohort, Keith) do NOT need another lecture (from a political figure or religious figure) on how fatherlessness is plaguing our communities. As a defense attorney, you see it. As a public school teacher, my wife sees it. All of us see it and feel it from various vantage points.

I think the dignity and respectability of being a father in the U.S. has been torn to shreds from many cultural influences. Fathering needs to be viewed as the deep, powerful, and excellent vocation that it is. To be called, "Daddy"…"Dad"….or as my Half-White/Half Hispanic children would say, "Papi"…is an honor.

All the best and thank you for your thoughtful posts.

-Adam

Miranda said...

Dave,
I'm glad you pointed that out because it wasn't until I read comments on the huffington post where I saw the full text that I realized that too. It seemed to me that more white readers (my perception)said that the message was one for all men not just black men....but the black folks seem to be taking it personally....as my very wise father would say...a hit dog WILL holler.

hennasplace said...

Field:

I agree with Obama's speech, and do not have a problem with saying what he said, and with you on that one. Whether anyone believes that it's political pandering, the fact of the matter is that we have a problem within the black community when it comes to raising our families. Absentee fathers is nothing new and has a occurred since time and memorial, but we only keep in private conversations. I believe extended families are important and it includes fathers. Fathers not only should be thought as the providers and are just important in teaching as mothers. We get caught in this traditional role of mothers and fathers without realizing that the world has changed, and we need to something better as our children deserve better.

Obama is right fathers should be interactive in their children's lives. My brother may watch ESPN, but he has never missed one dance recital, play, or event his daughter and son participated in. We need to have discussions with them, help them with their homework, and damn it if they want to become anything their dreams desired like a scientist or drama teacher, then you support them 100%. We forget that children are that the center and we should their best interest than getting angry at Obama for saying what he saying which was more effective than Bill Cosby's rant.

Yes, we should congratulate children for meeting their objectives, but they need to reach the larger goal. Frederick Douglass once said to a white audience in a speech, you praise us for every little thing as if we could not anything at all. We have to set higher aspiration for our children as this is a global society and we are falling behind.

So anything who has a problem with another parent for reason that I do not like him or her. Let me put it this you liked the person when you slept with him or her, and now that there is a little person involved, I suggest you set those differences aside for the larger goal and greater good, developing and nurturing a well-rounded productive individual.

Now I have a disclaimer, I do not have any children, but was child who had absentee father. I have be honest, my mother threw my father out of the house because he did not want to work, but wanted to run numbers. My mother did not bargain for that when she married, and I have to say that I did not blame. However, my father was really never around when he lived with us. Now he has admitted to me that he was not there when he should have been, but that was in hindsight after my mother just died which I really did not appreciate the sentiment at the time, but it was as close as an apology. I accepted it after I was able to grieve as life is much too short to live with grudges and resentments. I think I have written too much, so I am going to end it.

mellaneous said...

Field good points and post and you are right, of course it was a political speech. And of course he was pandering to whites in general and black conservatives in particular who tend to blame the victim. He couldn't have picked an easier target.

The press picked up on what he was doing, it wasn't that subtle.

What would have been nice would have been to talk about how he was going to help get these young brothers back to work. (Job training with no job promised at the end of it is just propaganda.)A national public works program which is badly needed to rebuild our failing infrastructure, would have been a nice solution to offer. And make these jobs, jobs that pay a livable wage.

He could have talked about instituting a program to help these folks get back in school to finish their HS diploma. Or he could have talked about ways to make a college education more affordable for poorer folks who want to better themselves.

He could have talked about how when he is president he is going to make sure that the same amount of money is spent on all kids education; bringing the spending level of the suburbs to the inner city and the rural areas. And thereby giving these folks a fighting chance and a chance to feel better about themselves.

He could have mentioned that if he is elected president that young black males will not have to look over their shoulders when they see law enforcement. He could have promised to lead a more vigilant Justice Department to assure that "all" Americans are treated equally under the law.

He could have talked about how he would help Dads who are trying but were seperated from their jobs because of their color, by making sure the EEOC does its job as it was mandated.

He could have encouraged all Dads by promising to make sure that his Department of Labor made sure they weren't ripped off of wages or overtime and that if they wanted to form a union they weren't harrassed or filibustered out of it. He could have told us men that if we get hurt on the job he wasn't going to stand for the company playing games with us but rather do the right thing and make sure we are taken care of.

He could have told the congregation about how since he was a christian who believes in "redemption",he would work with us to help rehabilitate those who are drug addicted by providing funding for drug treatment centers.
He would have insisted on treatment rather than jail. And he would have insisted on shorter sentences for drug users,so that they could return to society sooner and be there for their children.

He could have suggested that this so-called Christian nation put its christianity to use by insisting that employers look a little longer at prospective employees who have a black mark on their record (esp. those who got because of racist harrassment)

He could have talked about bringing the disenfranchised and the hopeless into the process and working with the community to help instill real hope. Because many of these Dads may just might do more if they had more to work with.

But instead he took the easy way out!!!
liberation then peace

ZACK said...

I think you all are too sensitive about Obama. Even McCain supporters know how to take a grain of salt in their eye. They've learned that skill from watching porn, I presume. (Kidding, Kidding. A little naughty joke).

This has NOTHING to do with R. Kelly. In fact, the same blacks offended by Obama's elitism, are the same ones who couldn't believe that Kelly got off. So, wait before you judge or make an ass out of yourself (because there ain't no me when you assume).

Yes, he IS under a microscope. That's what happens when you run for President. You could be Mother Teresa and people will still analyze everything you do. That's what you sign up for when you run.

And yes, white fathers can be sorry as well. But white folks don't watch Apostolic Church (it comes on TV every Sunday in Chicago, or on the church's website at acog-chicago.org). The church has a
"largely black" audience- as reported in the media. Thus, by process of elimination- he meant black men. That's why Obama switched to jive talk mode, abandoning his usual nasally eloquence. He cleaned it up once he realized some deadbeats were in the audience. Sorry for the long comments. You got a problem with me, come by my blog. And then I will really grill your ass then.

AgentX said...

I don't think we should focus on just this quote, but the entire speech.
Yes, some bros are giving the rest of the community a bad name, but there are a lot more responsible bros out there than the MSM gives credit for.
There was a post about the reasons behind absenteeism on the Too Sense website. I think people should read it.

Anyway, Field Negro, I have something for your sidebar.
http://bp3.blogger.com/_1xQeOPE9ePU/SFfSFWhdirI/AAAAAAAABiE/Y5M19KTgiqw/s1600-h/gopconventionracism.jpg
The Texas GOP convention buttons. It reads "IF Obama is president, will we still call it the White House?"
Gotta love Texas.

mesha said...

All I can say is looked at the number 70% of AA women are having children out of wedlock..........70% is just too darn high..1% is just too darn high...the total disrespect that we AA women are just not good enough to marry after a wonderful gift is concieved and your attorney friend come into the office to bitch after a lovely day at the beach with his children...a great percentage of 70% of AA women & children don't even have that memories for their kids...I wish Obama, Cosby, anyone else with some clout to shout to world about 70%. Why should it be a secret how we feel? It is embarassing and it hurts.

By the way, our business is everyone else business when it concern our beautiful AA children coming from single parents households.

SingaporeSwim said...

The bigger picture is how a "sacred cow" mentality further devalues and degrades us, our culture and our communities.

It's as if some of "us" thrive on keeping up appearances and keeping up with the joneses just to keep our false pride intact.

heartsandflowers said...

Cami - Co-sign on what you said. It is definitely a very prideful response from some people. And yet others see nothing wrong with R Kelly.

Christopher - Don't ever double-up on a condom. The friction will cause it to rip!

Let's not be tossing around abortion as birth control!

Also people may need to rethink their choices in being sexually active period and wait for the best time and situation. It's just one poor choice after another!

Before integration the entire neighborhood took responsibility for each other's children. We need to get back to that. Like someone else said mentoring is a good way of continuing in that tradition.

And yes Obama was referencing all fathers and specifically mentioned the AA as being familiar with the problem. Like I said people are reacting emotionally, didn't read the speech and are not necessarily thinking critically.

msmoses said...

What's the old saying -- "a hit dog barks loudest"? Please He was talking to a black church, but everything he said goes for the white/Latino/Asian triflin fathers out there too.

Face it yall -- ain't fixing to be no more secrets. He moves up to this level, and the light shines on all of us. That's the way it goes.

He told the truth and spoke as a (black) man who was abandoned by his own father, whose mother had to scrape by on food stamps and in spite of all that just may be the next president of the United States. He's speaking from experience. Can't be mad at him for that, political or not.

A.F. said...

I get where Obama was coming from, given that he was abandoned by his father. I was abandoned by mine, too. The thing is, though, I wonder where are all the people are saying to the likes of my father, "you men who reach a level of success have a tendency to believe that you are then entitled to more than one woman, and that's fine, but you really shouldn't lie to a woman in one city where you're on extended business, telling her that you're single and want to marry her, then get her pregnant and insist that she have an abortion because you forgot to mention you have a wife and two kids 500 miles away, and then use every power your job affords you to duck your responsibility when she doesn't have an abortion." Ahem. White people would call a politician crazy for saying something like that, but they get all excited when somebody such as Cosby or Obama comes down with the personal-responsibility lecture.

A.F. said...

when it applies to "other" people.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

hennasplace:

I think he didn't do that, because it might would have caused the church a problem with their exempt status. They only get away with that in white churches.

focusedpurpose said...

so...i am late to this discussion. here are my two cents anyways...

if you don't want to pay child support consider your right to choose. choose not to have sex (which will lead to children in most instances) with a woman that you cannot see yourself with for the rest of your life. you know, responsibility and accountability? that man stuff?

i have been teaching black women to not have coffee with a man that is unsuitable for marriage, much less a baby. both sides of the gender coin need to get it together otherwise blacks will be the permanent underclass in this society. are black men really only comfortable blaming black women while accepting no responsibility for their reproductive choices. sex is not just for a man's enjoyment, it is to reproduce. it seems that a great many black men did not get that memo. if you cannot afford to take care of a family, you should not have one. running away from your family does not mean you don't have a family and the responsibilities that come with children. newsflash---when the children are minors, you have a responsibility to that woman as well. choose and qualify wisely. i urge my son to not just focus on a pretty face and curves. how does she carry herself? are you compatible? can you respectfully disagree? do you work well together? you know, all the stuff you should know BEFORE you connect souls and procreate with a person.

for your friend Keith, what about he not shove his foot in a shoe if it doesn't fit? are black men really incapable of taking constructive criticism? does your friend not see that he is the exception not the norm? in days of old, it was the other way around and black folks were better for it.

O did the first thing so far that makes sense to me. he is the product of a black man that procreated and ran; i think he is qualified to address the issue. this behavior is hard for the mother and the child(ren).

if black men want to change something, i would think it should be the behavior not the subject. those brothers that see should also address their fellow brothers and stop coddling them as if they are delicate women and respectfully tell them the truth. black men have never been judged by their best and brightest. in fact, black people have not as a whole.

black folks will do better when black folks DO better. black folks will do better when black men do better. manhood comes with responsibilities. one cannot be the head (men) and hold no responsibility to the body (women and children). black men, in great numbers, seem to believe otherwise. it is a bad joke. enough already.

thanks for allowing me to share.

blessings,
focusedpurpose

focusedpurpose said...

hi-

in reading other comments are people really upset that a POLITICIAN dared to be POLITICAL in addressing serious issues?

so for those that want to wax poetic on father's day---it is not just a day to celebrate great fathers; especially for those of us that have no idea what it is like to have one. there are more black children feeling this pain than not in this country. if not on father's day, WHEN or WHAT DAY would be a great day to invite black men to hold themselves responsible as men to their women and children?

you can't begin to rectify problems if you won't acknowledge them. it wouldn't matter who told me the truth---i would accept the truth. i pray more black folks get on that track. our very survival is contingent upon us getting on the right side of the truth rather than squandering our energy making excuse; protecting the feelings of grown black men harder than we do the feeling of little black girls! enough!

blessings,
focusedpurpose

leneypoo said...

Wow I haven't been reading blogs lately but I would have never guess this was going to be a big issue. Then again I didn't really pay attention to the speech.

I think yes it definitely was political from the choice of church to deciding to speak. However, I don't think he threw anyone under the bus.

I guess I see Obama as not some spectator loftily telling people what to do. I think the fact that he actually knows how it feels to live and not have a father in his life allows me to give him the benefit of the doubt when he talks about it. His first book practically screams "daddy issues" here.

Obama has more than a little personal investment here. I get the feeling that when he talks about fatherhood it's not completely political.

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable. I agree with the poster who said if ain't the "others" it'll be the blackness guard that will do their best to destroy him. I ask this question: who is qualified to speak on this and what should they say? Everyone already knows, nothing to hide. And if we really want to talk about pandering where's a post on Rev. Al? He's been talking loud & saying nothing for how many years now?

Anonymous said...

my my now obama is sounding like bill cosby huh? was this a rant against his own dad who left him... a reading from his personal journals of sorts.. like blacks are not the only males in the guilty box..so too latin men who migrate here for employment leaving families behind and some poor whites... since most upper class type white have the option of adoption on credit cards..

Also, given mister obama non slavery in the americas heritage, he may be ignorant of the fact the the cultivation of these traits were at the behest of the slave masters who constantly destroyed black birth families for profit so selling off this member to here and that one to there.. who really is at fault...? White slave masters bred in the trait among Africans... not that that makes it any better... also, it takes two to tango...sometimes the mothers are as guilty by not certifying the relationship with the male party before procreating and some women use the children a political love footballs for spite against the fathers.. so...now what?

and naw i aint got no kids because i didnt have a good childhood and knew i was NOT poised to be what i never had...There are a lot of women with kids who are not suitable mothers just like their are men who are not suitable fathers.

RoJa said...

i live in PA and feel the pain of the child support guidelines we have in place here, but that does not stop me from being a great father to my child. i get her 50% of the time and do whatever i can to make sure i am in her life. why? b/c i've seen what its like for our children to grow up with out a father. i'd be damed if i see her in one of those emailed photos of 1/2 dressed chick going to the porm with a "baller".

to me mr "O" was right its time for us to start taking better care of our children. As a whole we should stop with the "why we dont take care of them" and just man

Hathor said...

I don't think slavery is an excuse for absentee fathers. It is another result of the 20th century welfare system. In the 50's when there were cries of the crisis in the black family; there really wasn't. It was the bean counters impression of the black community which they were gauging thru white lenses. There were more intact families than reported. Read some slave narratives and see how slaves valued family and how some fathers even raise their master's children.

Women also know that who you think will be a responsible father and husband can change once the vows are exchanged. Some men are Chameleons. You can help women make better choices, but in today's narcissistic and materialistic society, a baby is a motive for murder. Murder is the leading cause of death among pregnant women. I think that many black men and boys are influenced by the pop culture that spills over from the media; rather that parental influence or good peer influence. This is partly the cause of absenteeism.

There are some who thought Obama's speech was a snub to lesbian couples.
Some inference!

Anonymous said...

It's hard to be a father when you can't afford to hire a lawyer because the child support takes such a huge percentage of your income.

Anonymous said...

The Angry Independent said...
FN:

"He gets a slight pass with me because as someone above said, this is something he has talked about before.

Why does this man need "a pass" of any kind to tell the truth? Others are allowed to lie with impunity...with no accountability or consequences whatsoever, but Obama needs a pass and permission to tell the truth...particularly a "Black Pass". Give me a break. I'm so tired of this bull----..."

Your complete comments are stunningly pitiful and clueless.

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