- - Friday, February 28, 2014

President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative is troubling on several fronts (“Obama outlines creation of rare black-focused program,” Web, Feb. 27). Although Mr. Obama maintains that his policies are color-blind, he seems intent on deceiving the black population by stating that his program will help young black men “stay on track and reach their full potential.”

I agree with the Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson’s comment that when the Democrats are desperate to maintain power (i.e., get out the black vote), “they bring in the race issue.” Of course, the president must know that youth from other races face obstacles, too, and also need to be put on the right track. Yet inclusion of all races in a teen initiative will not buy the Democrats the black vote this November.

As Mr. Peterson, former Rep. Allen West and other conservative black leaders continue to point out, raising the minimum wage, buoying exorbitant welfare programs that are a disincentive to reaching potential and throwing out a handful jobs will not help black youth stay on track. Education and building character will. The embarrassing statistic this administration continues to put in bright lights is that three of every four black births are out of wedlock. That’s a character issue. What about young black women — aren’t they half of the birth equation? Why are they left out of the program? Why should white youth be excluded just because white births out of wedlock are 80 percent lower than black births out of wedlcock? What about all other races? Will such discrimination be tolerated?

In my opinion, the most important and impressive passage from the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech was, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Let’s build some more character in all our youth, regardless of race.

BRUCE WOOD

Manassas