Obama's Father's Day calling for black fathers to step up their game and "take responsibility" for their duties was a surprisingly direct approach on an issue stereotypically race-related. And it's refreshing when a candidate finally stops avoiding the ever-present elephant in the press room.
But the call was for black fathers, and no amount of CNN coverage will accurately reflect the (arguable) intentions of the speech.
If the call was to absentee black fathers, what is their response?
I'm certain the Anderson Coopers will have various interesting observations to share, campaign analysis' to measure, and testimonies to systematically filter- but the call was to a very specific demographic that I don't believe many mainstream journalist will fall into, regardless of how many "experts" they bring in to testify on the speeches effects. What I want to know is how the black fathers he addressed feel? I'm black male without children, I can only conjure up agreement after the initial embarrassment. Yes, there are many unspoken factors as to why the situation is the way it is(including the fact that in the twenties, families had to prove they had no males living in a household to receive welfare, thus encouraging separation among the poorest families), but regardless of the "whys", the situation is what it is- a harsh reality. Like myself, black males are growing up without fathers so often, it has become an old stigma.
My question remains: How, if at all, are black fathers responding to this?
Wait all you want, the answer won't be in this blog, and is just as unlikely to be on CNN as Fox News. If you want to know, ask a black man. If he is a father to his children, it won't apply to him. But if he is not, what is his response? Outrage? Embarrassment? Remorse? Apathy? As long as there is a dialogue, I would call Obama's call a resounding success, because "where are our black fathers" is a question I had stopped asking long ago.