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President Obama unveils his 'My Brother's Keeper' initiative

President Obama held an event at the White House on yesterday in which he launched a major initiative targeting inner-city youth. The initiative involves major corporations, philanthropists, faith leaders and local communities who've pledged $200 million over the next 5 years to promote the president’s commitment to being, “My Brother’s Keeper.”

President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama
Getty Images

Obama has in the past been reluctant to initiate programs that specifically targeted the African-American community saying, “A rising tide raises all boats,” made no secret of the fact that this program was put together with that community in mind. He used his own life’s experience to illustrate the point that we cannot give up on our young men and leave them vulnerable to the circumstances of life.

Obama was able to connect with his audience by giving a synopsis of the struggles he faced in life being raised by a single parent. By being open and candid about how he overcame the obstacles in life, the president’s message carried the necessary empathy to show that the youth today have no excuse. Even though the consequences of making bad choices growing up in Hawaii didn't put him behind bars or in an early grave, youth today can and must end the school dropout to prison pipeline that exist today.

A few participants at yesterday’s event was NBA legend Magic Johnson, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. President Obama made mention that if Al Sharpton and Bill O’Reilly could come and sit together in the same room in support of this effort then surely the nation can get behind such a monumental effort.

Obama revealed the core idea behind his initiative:

That's the core idea. That's the idea behind everything that I will do this year and for the rest of my presidency. Because at a time when the economy is growing, we've got to make sure that every American shares in that growth, not just a few, and that means guaranteeing every child in America has access to a world class education. It means creating more jobs and empowering more workers with the skills they need to do those jobs. It means making sure that hard work pays off with wages you can live on, and savings you can retire on and health care that you can count on. It means building more ladders of opportunity and the middle class for anybody who is willing to work hard to climb it. Those are national issues. They have an impact on everybody.

Despite the fact that Congress under the leadership of John Boehner has made a conscious decision to not work with the president on any meaningful legislation, most of his critics focused on the fact that as a kid in Hawaii Obama got high. That revelation was made in a book Obama wrote while he was a State Senator of Illinois.

The initiative is designed to reach inner-city kids. Some of which get high, gang bang, have kids out of wedlock and the whole gamete. In order to have empathy you must have first experienced what a person is going through. In that respect, Obama may have found his lifelong calling to keep himself busy while the Congress is still obstructing any and everything that would move this country forward.

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