Obama Rhetoric v. Obama Policy On “Acting White”


The Wall Street Journal editorializes today in favor of Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper program:

Obama on ‘Acting White’
Some honest remarks about culture and authenticity.

July 24, 2014 7:36 p.m. ET

President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative doesn’t get much media attention, perhaps because it isn’t controversial.

Actually, it drove TN Coates nuts with rage when Obama came out with it. Of course, Coates couldn’t attack Obama over it, so he attacked various white liberals like Jonathan Chait.

And on that score Mr. Obama had some pointed but honest remarks at a town hall in Washington, D.C. on Monday: “Sometimes African Americans, in communities where I’ve worked, there’s been the notion of ‘acting white’—which sometimes is overstated, but there’s an element of truth to it, where, okay, if boys are reading too much, then, well, why are you doing that? Or why are you speaking so properly? And the notion that there’s some authentic way of being black, that if you’re going to be black you have to act a certain way and wear a certain kind of clothes, that has to go. Because there are a whole bunch of different ways for African American men to be authentic.”

Okay, but how are the Obama-appointed personnel of the Obama Administration operationalizing the boss’s sentiments? Do they have a worldview that allows them to create policies based on the idea that some of the bad outcomes of blacks are their own fault?

Of course not. Instead, this initiative turns into a disparate impact-driven federal exercise in encouraging bad behavior by blacks by punishing those who punish blacks and Hispanics more than whites. Back on July 20, Motoko Rich of the New York Times reported:

Obama to Report Widening of Initiative for Black and Latino Boys
My Brother’s Keeper Program Grows to Include More Impoverished Minorities
By MOTOKO RICH JULY 20, 2014

President Obama will announce on Monday that 60 of the nation’s largest school districts are joining his initiative to improve the educational futures of young African-American and Hispanic boys, beginning in preschool and extending through high school graduation.

The districts, which represent about 40 percent of all African-American and Hispanic boys living below the poverty line, have committed to expand quality preschool access; track data on black and Hispanic boys so educators can intervene as soon as signs of struggle emerge; increase the number of boys of color who take gifted, honors or Advanced Placement courses and exams; work to reduce the number of minority boys who are suspended or expelled; and increase graduation rates among African-American and Hispanic boys.

President Obama announced in February a five-year, $200 million initiative, known as My Brother’s Keeper, to help black and Latino youths. …

Black and Latino students have long experienced a pattern of inequality along racial lines in American schools. According to data from the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, black and Latino students are suspended and expelled at much higher rates than white students and attend schools with less-experienced teachers. …

The My Brother’s Keeper initiative will also address the needs of Asian-American and Native American boys.

But no white boys.

John E. Deasy, superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, said he was eager to share some successful tactics with other school systems. In Los Angeles, he said the district reduced its annual suspensions from 50,000 in the 2009-2010 school year to 8,000 this past school year, in part because of a new policy eliminating “willful defiance” as a reason for suspension.

So no matter what the President might say about black youths ought to behave better, his followers know in their bones that the real problem is discrimination against black youths.