Monday, June 16, 2008

Real Fathers

Whereas many fathers spent yesterday receiving ties or other well-intentioned gifts, Barack Obama called out America's absent black fathers. "They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it," Obama said.

This is the kind of thing you don't hear from too many presidential candidates. That's in part because McCain would probably be accused of playing some sort of race card if he did say it. But that's partly what makes Obama's statement nice. Not only is he uniquely positioned to say it and be applauded (rather than condemned) for it, but he actually did say it.

Not only did he just call fathers to task (in CNN's words), he has also taken specific actions to try to make it financially feasible and desirable for fathers to stay with their families. He's actually doing something about it.

There's no question that this is an important issue. The point Obama makes abouot the foundations of our families being weaker without fathers is absolutely true. Yes, a single mother or father can do a good job, but it's much harder. Once we strengthen the families we can begin to strengthen the communities in which they exist. And that's a tremendously important step to take. It's good that there's a presidential candidate who's saying so.

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