You'd think President Barack Obama could do a better job of relating to the plight of young African-American men in today's society. In the wake of the Baltimore riots and national outrage over police treatment of unarmed young black men, Obama last week announced he was launching an initiative, My Brother's Keeper, to help African-American youths. His aim is to improve education, job training, and placement in poor communities.
The alliance won't accomplish anything. The board of directors is made up of prominent African-Americans who unfortunately don't connect with the black people protesting in the streets from Ferguson to Baltimore. For instance, Obama picked NBA Hall of Famer and ex-Miami Heat center Alonzo Mourning, whose Overtown Youth Center doesn't work with other neighborhood organizations to give kids a place to play when school is out.
Because Mourning's center wouldn't allow the Overtown Optimist Club to use its gym, the area's Community Redevelopment Agency is spending $5.1 million to build a new one at Gibson Park. Now a Heat vice president, Mourning, along with the other bourgeois blacks named to the alliance board, is a safe, uncontroversial choice. Obama also chose Debra Lee, the chief executive of Black Entertainment Television, which should be the CNN of the African-American community but isn't.
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The alliance also has an advisory council that includes Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, who bamboozled the public into believing her charity, the 5000 Role Models for Excellence Project, actually helps African-American youths. But during her tenure as a state legislator and now as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Wilson has made almost no effort to pass laws that actually help black people.
Mourning, Wilson, and everybody involved with My Brother's Keeper don't represent the hood. If Zo were to endorse a local candidate, not a single black person would vote for that person. White people have more poor black friends than these uppity types sliding up to Obama.
According to media reports, major corporations have committed $80 million to the alliance, so don't be surprised if the board and advisory council members start steering money to their own organizations and pet projects. None of it will go to help the black community.
Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.