In a widely acclaimed speech at an African American church on Chicago’s South Side to commemorate Father’s Day, Barack Obama gave a presentation that, while acknowledging the racial challenges of the past, gave great weight to the themes of personal responsibility and moral uplift confronting African American men. The central theme that resonated through the presentation was “stop making excuses” for your own failings to be fathers.
Youth joblessness is reaching record highs this summer, hitting 66 percent nationwide (the highest since unemployment data was first collected in the 1960s). These numbers rise dramatically for African American youth, who in Chicago face an unemployment rate of 85 percent. These numbers also rise across the board if you include young people who have given up looking for work, who currently go uncounted. But this is not a numbers game.
With the windup of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, much attention has been focused on the role of sexism in our national discourse.