Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin on Friday attacked President Obama’s new initiative aimed at creating more opportunities for young minority men, many of which are disproportionately imprisoned and impoverished.
Speaking about his own experience growing up without a father at a White House event on Thursday, Obama recalled a misguided youth that “got high” and “made excuses.”
The new plan, called “My Brother’s Keeper,” would entail a private and public partnership of businesses, foundations and community groups that would work to keep troubled youths in school and off the streets and to expand their access to higher education.
“In any event, it’s insipid to suggest one’s ‘brother’ for whom you should look after is defined by skin color or ethnic background,” she writes.
Rubin further equates the new initiative with a divisive anti-gay discrimination bill passed by Arizona’s legislature that was vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer (R) this week.
It’s odd, really, that we just got through celebration of the veto of Arizona’s anti-gay legislation that would have allowed business owners to refuse service on the basis of sexual orientation – if they could show they are acting upon a sincerely held religious belief. That was Wednesday. Now on Thursday the government itself wants to exclude at-risk boys who don’t meet the racial and ethnic requirements of the program. (If it was focused on only “straight” youth, would the left be up in arms?)
“Pretty soon words like ‘discrimination’ lose meaning,” she adds. “It seems you are either for an inclusive society – devoted to diminishing racial, ethnic, religious and other distinctions — or you’re not.”
Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site’s coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at email@example.com.