President Obama recently launched an initiative called My Brother’s Keeper. As a part of this initiative, he signed a presidential memorandum establishing the My Brother’s Keeper task force, chaired by Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary Broderick Johnson.
The task force will help determine what public and private efforts are working and how to expand upon them; how the federal government’s own policies and programs can better support these efforts; and how to better involve state and local officials, the private sector, and the philanthropic community in these efforts.
I fail to understand the logic of setting up this task force. You would think groups like the NAACP, the National Urban League and the National Council of La Raza would already have “shovel ready” projects that the administration could access immediately.
I can’t help but notice that Dave Steward and Bob Woodson were not invited to participate. Steward is chairman of World Wide Technology in St. Louis, the largest black-owned business in the U.S. He has built a $6 billion company based on principles that highlight morals and values. He also supports these values and morals with his money in communities throughout the U.S.
Woodson, founder and president of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, has a 30-year track record of dealing with troubled youth. He has done a lot of work in the president’s adopted hometown of Chicago.
It is impossible to adequately deal with our youth without incorporating the issue of values and morals. It means telling our kids that there is right and wrong, not saying to them, “Who are we to judge?” The president said, “I explained to them [the kids on stage with him] when I was their age, I was a lot like them. I didn’t have a dad in the house. And I was angry about it, even though I didn’t necessarily realize at the time. I made bad choices. I got high without always thinking about the harm that it could do. I didn’t always take school as seriously as I should have. I made excuses. Sometimes I sold myself short.”
Was this not the same president that said a week before in the White House that he supported legalizing marijuana? But then he tells kids, “I made bad choices. I got high without always thinking about the harm that it could do.” If it was a bad choice and it could cause harm, then why would you want to legalize marijuana?
As with the president, I am extremely confused and concerned with Michelle Obama’s fascination with people who promote values that are antithetical to creating a healthy environment for young girls to flourish in. Beyoncé is the personification of this.
Two years ago, Ms. Obama was asked by People magazine who she would choose to be other than herself. She replied with, “Gosh, if I had some gift, I’d be Beyoncé.” She and Beyoncé are purported to be very close personal friends, but is Beyoncé the person you really want your daughter to emulate?
Allow me to share a few lyrics from Beyoncé’s most recent CD, Drunk in Love: “I’ve been drinking, I’ve been drinking/I get filthy when that liquor get into me/I’ve been thinking, I’ve been thinking/Why can’t I keep my fingers off it, baby?”
On her song “Bow Down,” the lyrics include, “I know when you were little girls/You dreamt of being in my world/Don’t forget it, don’t forget it/Respect that/Bow down, b----es/ ... Don’t get it twisted, get it twisted/This is my sh--/Bow down, b----es.”
There's more. On the song “Partition,” the lyrics include, "Oh, he so horny/Yeah, he want to f---/He popped all my buttons, and he ripped my blouse/He Monica Lewinsky-ed all on my gown.”
And the first lady wants to be like that? Beyoncé has become the Howard Stern of music—vulgar simply for the sake of shocking the public. Her concerts border on pornography. Yet Mrs. Obama had no problem taking her two daughters—Malia, 13, and Sasha, 10, at the time—to watch Beyoncé perform two years ago in Atlantic City.
Here is a Twitter exchange between Beyoncé and Michelle Obama before the concert. Beyoncé tweeted, “Michelle, thank you so much for every single thing that you do for us. I am proud to have my daughter grow up in a world where she has people like you to look up to.” Mrs. Obama’s response? “@Beyoncé Thank you for the beautiful letter and for being a role model who kids everywhere can look up to. –mo.”
The president and his wife are sending out conflicting messages. Kids need to be told and shown how to behave. You can’t support legalizing marijuana and then tell kids not to use it. You can’t tell little girls to carry yourself like a young lady and then tell them you want to be Beyoncé.
That’s not "Drunk in Love." You have to be plain drunk to think that Beyoncé should be anybody’s role model.
Raynard Jackson is president and CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, a Washington, D.C.-based public relations/government affairs firm. He can be reached through his website, raynardjackson.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at @raynard1223.
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