Usually, I don’t take jabs at other columnists because they’re just expressing an opinion same as I am. Every now and then though, I have to call a “time out” on someone who has left their petty biases and prejudices run rampant.
Typically, I enjoy Earl Ofari Hutchinson’s writing. I agree with his views on police brutality and how the Black Community has dropped the ball in the oppression of gays and lesbians. He is one of the best in the business. Lately though, I’ve had to be very selective in determining which of his columns are worth reading and which are not.
You see Hutchinson doesn’t like Barack Obama. Not much. And it shows.
A casual viewing of his columns indicates how little he thinks of Obama:
“Does Obama Profit from White Guilt? (Who cares? The real problem is that the media treats him with kid gloves)”
“Obama Needs a History Lesson about Hillary and King. (The Obama campaign has misunderstood a comment by Senator Clinton about MLK’s role in the civil rights movement)”
“Obama’s Farrakhan Problem (Obama can’t denounce the Nation of Islam leader without alienating many black voters)”
Even when Hutchinson isn’t talking about Obama, he can’t resist sticking it to him.
“Gender is Hillary Clinton’s Achilles Heel (No one would dare make a blatantly racist comment about Obama. Yet sexist remarks are constantly spewed at Hillary Clinton)”
And all this time I thought Hillary’s Achilles Heel was the one she married. That, and the fact she came into the campaign with more money, more endorsements, more organization and as the prohibitive front-runner and pissed away every single advantage. Books will be written on how historically inept and how monumentally awful a campaign Hillary Clinton ran.
Besides being totally in the bag for Hillary Clinton AND a full-time Obama basher, Hutchinson is a idiot. He recently wrote an article for The Daily Voice, a online publication I contribute to as well slamming Obama over his Father’s Day speech.
Hutchinson writes, “Obama commits the cardinal error that every critic from the legions of sociologists, family experts, politicians and morals crusader Bill Cosby who have hectored black men for being father derelict have made. He omits the words “some,” “those,” or “the offenders” before black fathers. Instead, he makes, or at least gives the impression, that all, or most, black men aren’t in the home, and are irresponsible. That being the case ipso facto they are the cause for the much fingered crime-drugs-violence-gross underachievement syndrome that young black males are supposedly eternally locked into.”
Okay, Earl. That’s your side of the story. Here is Obama’s.
Of all the rocks upon which we build our lives, we are reminded today that family is the most important. And we are called to recognize and honor how critical every father is to that foundation. They are teachers and coaches. They are mentors and role models. They are examples of success and the men who constantly push us toward it.
But if we are honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that what too many fathers also are is missing – missing from too many lives and too many homes. They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it.
You and I know how true this is in the African-American community. We know that more than half of all black children live in single-parent households, a number that has doubled – doubled – since we were children. We know the statistics – that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and twenty times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home, or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.
How many times in the last year has this city lost a child at the hands of another child? How many times have our hearts stopped in the middle of the night with the sound of a gunshot or a siren? How many teenagers have we seen hanging around on street corners when they should be sitting in a classroom? How many are sitting in prison when they should be working, or at least looking for a job? How many in this generation are we willing to lose to poverty or violence or addiction? How many?
Yes, we need more cops on the street. Yes, we need fewer guns in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. Yes, we need more money for our schools, and more outstanding teachers in the classroom, and more afterschool programs for our children. Yes, we need more jobs and more job training and more opportunity in our communities.
But we also need families to raise our children. We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception. We need them to realize that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child – it’s the courage to raise one.
Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see anything controversial or untrue about those remarks. I’m surprised Hutchinson does. Apparently he believes Obama saying out loud what many African-Americans only say privately is giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Hutchinson doesn’t much like Obama messing with his idealized, fantasy world where every brother who impregnates a sister stands by her, supports her and is a father, instead of just a sperm donor.
I’m wondering how much he pays in rent to live in this Black Utopia of his.
One day, I’d like to take him for a drive around my town on the first sunny day of spring. He would see the trees and lawns turning green, the birds happily chirping as they gather twigs to build their nests and most of all he’d see hordes of little Black girls pushing strollers and/or carrying their babies. What he won’t see are any young brothers with those baby mamas. They’re too busy holding in one hand the leash of a straining pit bull and their crotches with the other.