Barack went to church on this Father’s Day to talk about some uncomfortable truths.
Addressing a packed congregation at one of the city’s largest black churches, Senator Barack Obama on Sunday invoked his own absent father to deliver a sharp message to African-American men, saying, “We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception.”
“Too many fathers are M.I.A, too many fathers are AWOL, missing from too many lives and too many homes,” Mr. Obama said, to a chorus of approving murmurs from the audience. “They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it.”
This is a man who not only aspires to return moral leadership to our Presidency, he’s willing to teach the hard lessons of responsibility and distinguish between rights and privileges. He is saying things to the African-American Community that no white politician would be willing to say, and which I have not heard from the lips of Jay Z or Kobe Bryant either.
And in return, the Black community is raising him up as a role model that some say has been missing in the community. In Louisiana the number of new African-Americans registering to vote has both overwhelmed the registrars and scared the white Republican Secretary of State who controls the voting rolls.
Democratic officials said the Louisiana drive, which was called Voting is Power, had produced 74,000 applications by the time it concluded last week. Registrars in the four main parishes where the drive operated report numbers closer to 50,000, but there is no breakdown of how many were submitted to other parishes.
Registrars have reported that as many as a third of the applications cannot be entered into the system, and many of the rest require more information. The state Republican Party called the operation “the Dems’ phony registration drive.”
Democrats say the burden is on the registrars to double-check and verify application information.
Though Louisiana Republicans may try the old Jim Crow tricks of keeping people from voting, I think this is just the start of a massive voter registration drive, aided by the Obama Campaign’s grassroots Vote For Change campaign. As The Times points out, the demographics of the registered electorate have not represented the population.
Nationally, 39 percent of eligible blacks and 46 percent of eligible Latinos are not registered to vote, compared with 29 percent of eligible whites, according to a 2006 study by Project Vote, a nonpartisan group that promotes voting in low-income and minority communities.