Back in April, President Obama invited Nicki Minaj, Chance the Rapper, Ludacris, J. Cole, and Common — oh, and Miami resident DJ Khaled — to the White House to discuss criminal-justice reform. A White House official told Time magazine the president had selected these artists because of the work they have done with communities to represent the issues of young people, especially those of color.
The group discussed criminal-justice reforms and Obama's initiative My Brother's Keeper, designed to help inner-city youth. That's something I've been involved in for only more than a quarter-century.
My question is this: How dare Obama not include me?
Whatever the highest degree of being pissed off is, that's where I'm at. The president and his staff should know how much work I have put into helping my community deal with gun violence, teen pregnancy, kids dropping out of high school, and lack of jobs.
No disrespect to the artists Obama invited, but I don't believe any of them have put in 26 years running an Optimist club that has saved countless lives from the streets. Those folks haven't forfeited hundreds of thousands of dollars in entertaining people to work as a volunteer high-school coach helping young men get into college.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Miami New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Miami's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
I work with people who have put in unlimited hours in underfunded youth programs in one of the worst neighborhoods in Miami.
This proves Obama is out of touch with the people who stand shoulder to shoulder with the mothers and fathers of murdered children. And it's why the president hasn't solved the gun violence in black communities during his eight years in office.
My guess: This was all done for a photo op and political correctness. Everyone knows Uncle Luke keeps it real. When Obama leaves office, he needs to head back to the streets.
Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.