Charles M. Blow offered a weak defence of Barack Obama in an Op Ed piece in the NY Times entitled Talking Down and Stepping Up:
The Rev. Jesse Jackson wants to do what to Barack Obama? Ouch!
And why? Because he thinks Mr. Obama’s speeches on fatherhood have been too hard on black men and not hard enough on The Man? I’m sorry, Mr. Jackson, but that’s just ... what’s another word for crazy?
Well not exactly. Here we have opinion error number one. While I'm not one to speak on behalf of Jesse Jackson, I do know that his issue with Obama predates Obamas speech in that Chicago church on Father's day. Jesse Jackson had issues with brother Barack (as Dr. West puts it) when Obama had nothing to say on the national stage about the noose hangings in Jena La., I also believe Jackson had issues with Obama's absence from the King memorial at the Lorraine Hotel in Tenn. So we see that Mr. Blow is woefully ill-informed on the origins of Jesse Jackson's issues with brother Barack.
But the problems with "brother" blow only start with his opening paragraph. As is typical of those of Mr. Blow's ilk, the stats and charts play a prominent role in his defense of Obama.
According to the United States Census Bureau, black children are the only group more likely to live with a single mother than in a two-parent household. (That’s in part because black men are the least likely to be married and most likely to be divorced or separated.) And, according to a 2002 report by Child Trends, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research group, in 1997 single black mothers were the least likely to receive full child support payments (and most likely to receive none) and only about half of black children had any contact with their absent fathers in 1996.
Poor people are more likely to be on welfare. Wow imagine that. You'll note that in order to get around the glaring number charts at the head of the article, Mr. Blow, like others before him use the term "more likely." It's the same argument about blacks being more likely to commit crime, and more likely to be this, that and the other. While Mr. Blow's statement will possibly be quoted by someone somewhere, the chart above paints a different picture.
Firstly we see that 32.5 million white children live with both parents. By comparison 3.9 million black children live with both parents. Well here's the problem: these aren't percentages these are a straight up head count. By that chart, more white children live with their mothers, by a margin of 1.1 million, that black children. More white children live with their father's, by a margin of 1.5 million, than black children. And there are more than 200,000 more white children who do not live with their parents than there are black children.
As is usually the case, while certain things seem to be disproportionately affect black folk in America, it is usually the case, as is here, that the raw numbers show that white folks lead by far in the numbers. Don't expect Mr. Blow to get this though.
Mr. Blow's next blunder is here:
Are there social ills, racial injustices and economic hardships in the black community? Of course there are. Are there biased judges, outmoded laws and difficult exes? Yes, some. Do these issues excuse child support not paid, time not spent, hugs not given, foreheads not kissed, “attaboys” and “big girls” not spoken? Absolutely not.
Mr. Blow shows absolutely no evidence that the fathers, even those who are not married to the mother of their children or living with the mother does not have contact with their children. Yet there he is blowing off hot air about what he thinks they are or are not doing. But lets go back to the chart on the NY Times page. You'll note the clear disparity of child support payments made and not made but damn, they went as far back as 1997 for this data? Is this some kind of joke? I'm just going to point out NY as an example. The black unemployment rate in NYC in 2003, the same year that the charts in question was published, was 48.2%. by comparison, white men had an unemployment rate of 25%. In 2006 the unemployment rate of black men fell to 40% In some states the rate of unemployment is three times the state average and nationally upwards of 8 times, so Mr. Blow needs to explain how men who aren't working who have reproduced are supposed to magically come up with child support payments. I'm sure Mr. Blow would say that they ought not to have reproduced. Fine. However that fails to address the current problem and we are here to solve current problems aren't we? Or are we here simply to get press for talking junk about black folk (again)?
So really what we have here is a man who clearly knows not what he speaks of. Unfortunately this "dumb in the light of Obama" disease afflicts a great many voter, as discussed in my last blog posting. So let me set Mr. Blow straight here. It is usually bad for a politician to go to a group of people for whom he or she wants votes, to get up and insult them. Obama doesn't go to Appalachia and talk this way to poor white folk who dropped out of High School and are on welfare. He hinted at them being bitter and had his head served back to him on a platter.
You don't go to Texas and tell Hispanics about their illegal immigrant family members and how they ought to stop taking citizen jobs and using fraudulent Social Security numbers and the like. No you don't do that. If black folk had any kind of self-respect, they would have put Obama on notice the first time he insulted them on national tv ( That would be the charges of anti-Semitism, homo-phobia, and racism) that he would not receive our votes if he continued. He would have stopped. But black folk, like Mr. Blow, who clearly have not an iota of self-respect will make excuses for Mr. Obama using Father's day to beat up on black men (calling them boys no less) in order to make a national appeal for white votes.
Anyway, As for the proverbial nuts that Jackson claimed to have wanted to cut off, he would find that those nuts have long since been in the possession of AIPAC. Mr. Blow has another piece of Obama's anatomy in his mouth and I suggest he remove the offending organ from his mouth prior to writing another trash piece for the NY Times.