Luther Campbell, the man whose booty-shaking madness made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke addresses the president's biggest fail.
I hope President Barack Obama is tuning into the George Zimmerman murder trial. It is showing off his greatest failure. Last week, media pundits, trial commentators, and internet racists ridiculed Rachel Jeantel, the 19-year-old star witness who was on the phone with Trayvon Martin right before Zimmerman shot the boy. This cruel crew made fun of her manner of speech and her embarrassing admission that she cannot read or write in cursive.
Her shortcomings personify the first African-American commander-in-chief's refusal to help this nation's blacks obtain the same opportunities he and his wife had. First-class education helped the first couple become articulate, productive members of society.
Jeantel represents the Obama generation. She began high school in 2009, the first year of his first term. She is one of the hundreds of thousands of African-American children who were supposed to benefit from his promise that change was coming. Almost halfway into the president's second term, most kids attending inner-city high schools speak like Jeantel; that includes everyone from those struggling to maintain a 2.0 grade point average to honor students posting better than a 3.5. I understand Jeantel's plight, because as a public high school volunteer, I mentor teenagers just like her.
But when no one is teaching children how to speak proper English, how can anyone expect them to survive in the real world? Forget crumbling on the witness stand. They won't stand a chance during a job interview.
Obama has been too busy quibbling with Republicans over immigration reform and going after government leakers to help fix illiteracy, the greatest challenge facing educators at inner-city schools such as Miami Norland High, where Jeantel is a senior. Just as Obama couldn't do squat about banning guns that kill thousands of African-Americans in cities like Miami and his hometown of Chicago, he has done little to improve literacy and grammar skills of black teenagers like Jeantel.
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
African-Americans only want a fair chance. We don't want a handout. His predecessor George W. Bush took care of all the people in the oil industry who helped him get elected and relected. Bill Clinton took care of his supporters in the media and entertainment industry by passing the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Obama need to do better for the for the people who put him in office.
The clock is ticking on his legacy.
Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.