‘We know young black men are twice as likely as young white men to be ‘disconnected’—not in school, not working. We’ve got to reconnect them,’ Obama said in February announcing the My Brother’s Keeper program. ‘We’ve got to give more of these young men access to mentors. We’ve got to continue to encourage responsible fatherhood. We’ve got to provide more pathways to apply to college or find a job. We can keep them from falling through the cracks.’
Even The Daily Beast’s Jamelle Bouie, one of the many columnists who insisted that Republicans carry historical ‘baggage’ which impedes their ability to talk about poverty issues, acknowledged that Obama’s was ‘the latest in a line of programs that are aimed at impoverished, urban areas.’
This is not the first time Obama has addressed chronic poverty in America’s inner cities. Writing in POLITICO Magazine this week, National Review editor Rich Lowry compiled a series of quotes showing how often the president has addressed the issues of poverty and opportunity in ‘troubled neighborhoods.’
‘When Barack Obama says such things, which are undeniably correct, he is a brave truth-teller; when Paul Ryan says them, he is making an odious play for racist votes,’ Lowry observed.