Obama's Rebuke of Absentee Black Fathers

Obama's rebuke of absentee black fathers may score politically, but it won't help solve the problem

Alex Brandon / AP

Obama takes aim at delinquent dads in Chicago.

On father's day, when Barack Obama assailed absent fathers as a critical source of suffering for black communities, he sought two political advantages for the price of one. He embraced a thorny tradition of social thought that says black families are largely responsible for their own troubles. And he was seen in a black church not railing at racism but rebuking his own race. Obama's words may have been spoken to black folk, but they were also aimed at those whites still on the fence about whom to send to the White House.

The notion that black families are mired in...

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