FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
The man who could become the first black President of the United States is calling on blacks to take more responsibility for improving their own lives.
Speaking to the NAACP in Cincinnati, Obama got the most applause when he urged blacks to do more for themselves, saying:
"When we are taking care of our own stuff, then a lot of other folks are going to be interested in joining up and working with us and taking care of America's stuff… Teaching our daughters to never allow images on television to tell them what they are worth; teaching our sons to treat women with respect, and to realize responsibility does not end at conception; that what makes them a man is not the ability to have a child but to raise one.”
Obama said the problems that plague the black community aren't unique to them, but "we just have them a little worse."
Obama was criticized by Jesse Jackson for talking down to blacks. But Jackson is clearly in the minority – no pun intended. The largest study ever done of African-Americans – shows 84% of those surveyed say they think blacks need to be "more responsible for themselves as individuals." And other civil rights activists give Obama high marks for balancing his role as a black candidate with the need to speak to all races.
Here’s my question to you: Is Barack Obama "talking down" to blacks, as Jesse Jackson claims, when he tells them they must take more responsibility for themselves?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
I don't understand how encouraging someone, anyone, to be a better parent is talking down. My father left when I was younger and was never around. Even though I am white, I wish someone with such stage presence could have encouraged him otherwise. That isn't talking down to people; it is encouragement that lifts them up.
Rob from Tucson, Arizona writes:
While I will never vote for Barack Obama, I don’t believe he is "talking down" to blacks. All he is doing is stating the obvious. Bill Cosby has been saying this for the last several years as well: just show a little responsibility for yourself and your family. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton both feel a little "dissed" by Obama mostly because he managed to get to where he is without their help.
Gord from Boston writes:
Dead beat dads are not exclusive to the black community. I suspect Obama has the black vote "in the bag" and he is trying to appeal to some white voters. While his message is certainly not Willy Horton, it sounds a bit like the old "tough on crime," hint, hint, line. Obama has certainly thrown a lot of his primary supporters under the bus now that the general election is here.
Absolutely not! I am an African-American male and was impressed with what he had to say. For too long, we have depended on government to do for us what we should and can do for ourselves. The black family is deeply fractured with very few father figures in the household, which is having an effect on our young black males who have no role models.
Rhonda from Lemont, Illinois writes:
He’s telling all men to stand up and be men. The only people who think they are being talked down to are the ones that it hits home with.