With all of the presidential election coverage, I’ve almost forgotten President Obama was still in office. Of course, I’m reminded of that fact whenever I see the ticker flash news of United Healthcare pulling out of another state exchange because of millions in Obamacare (PPACA) induced losses or his Solicitor General at the Supreme Court arguing AGAINST nun’s religious freedom and FOR illegal immigrant’s rights.
Last Friday, I was dumbfounded to see social media posts touting a White House meeting with celebrities such as Common, Busta Rhymes, Niki Minaj, DJ Khaled, and President Obama.
The meeting was part of the “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative that was launched in 2014. The purpose of the program, which is funded mainly by nonprofits, is to promote early intervention from civic and community leaders in the lives of “youths of color” who face “unique challenges”. The initiative also addresses the issue of social justice.
In the spirit of full disclosure, the President and I don’t see eye to eye on virtually any policy solutions but I remember thinking (when the program launched) that he had a unique platform from which to address this important topic. It seemed fitting that the nation’s first Black president would focus on the plight of minority youth. As a conservative, I was pleasantly surprised that the $200 million raised for the project came from the private sector and not the federal government.
In the past, President Obama has invited NBA MVP Steph Curry and others to discuss potential partnerships and record PSA spots. Last week’s assemblage of celebrities and social media stars gave me cause to pause however.
Many of those particular artists and rappers make a living of off exploiting the very youth they were purportedly brought in to help. Their R rated lyrics glorify attitudes and behavior that only increases the racial and societal divisions within our country. Basically, it’s like having the Kardashians headline a forum on the ills of social media or modesty. Do they have influence? Of course! They have millions of Twitter and IG followers. Do they have credibility on the topic? Absolutely not!
At the end of the meeting, an event occurred which underscores my aforementioned concerns. During the President’s closing remarks, Rick Ross’s (a.k.a. Hood Billionaire) ankle bracelet monitor started beeping and interrupted his speech. You read that right. His electronic MONITORING device (which he was wearing because of a kidnapping/battery/assault charge from last year) went off in a session at the White House during a meeting to discuss helping the youth! Does anyone else see the irony in that?!!
I’m all for helping the youth but let’s pick better role models for our children.To read more about the meeting, click here.