- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 27, 2014


Recently, a man reeking and really down on his luck asked a stranger if he could give him some money for food. The stranger said, “Sure, hop in the car.” The two rode to a homeless shelter, where the man bathed while the stranger bought some food and new clothing for the man, who later asked the stranger for his name. The stranger gave only his first name and encouraged the man to drop by a particular house of worship when convenient.

Some days later, the man did indeed visit the church. And when he arrived, he asked a church servant for so-and-so and was told, “Oh, you mean ‘Bishop.’ “

The man was startled. He had no idea the stranger was a man of the cloth.

The setting for this story was Jacksonville, Fla., where, today, the man is employed and trying to walk the straight and narrow. The stranger remains his brother’s keeper.

The genesis of the story stands in stark contrast to an initiative laid out Thursday by another brother, President Obama, who wants the government to be such a caretaker.

The president’s initiative, called the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force, will be marshaled by the Department of Education, and if a detailed press release is factually correct, there is no place for good souls and Samaritans like the Jacksonville stranger.

According to the press statement, the task force will:

1) “Assess the impact of Federal policies, regulations, and programs of general applicability on boys and young men of color, so as to develop proposals that will enhance positive outcomes and eliminate or reduce negative ones.

2) “Recommend, where appropriate, incentives for the broad adoption by national, State, and local public and private decision makers of effective and innovative strategies and practices for providing opportunities to and improving outcomes for boys and young men of color.

3) “Create an Administration-wide “What Works” online portal to disseminate successful programs and practices that improve outcomes for boys and young men of color.

4) “Develop a comprehensive public website, to be maintained by the Department of Education, that will assess, on an ongoing basis, critical indicators of life outcomes for boys and young men of color in absolute and relative terms.

5) “Work with external stakeholders to highlight the opportunities, challenges, and efforts affecting boys and young men of color.

6) “Recommend to the President means of ensuring sustained efforts within the Federal Government and continued partnership with the private sector and philanthropic community as set forth in the Presidential Memorandum.”

The entire initiative is discriminatory and could face legal action because it singles out “boys and young men of color.”

Let’s this moment, however, also consider this: The plan could very well produce positive outcomes — by government standards.

But there’s no mention of a parental or familial component.

There’s no mention of a community or tribal component.

And there’s no mention of a faith-based component.

What will be the outcome of this government production line?


The initiative is government-wide and Big Brother-centric and, as we well know, that has been a major problem for black America ever since then-sociologist and bureaucrat Daniel Patrick Moynihan issued the Labor Department’s “The Negro Family: The Case For National Action” in 1965. President Lyndon Johnson took the report and ran, declaring a War on Poverty.

It was a war that subsequently wasn’t.

So here we are, several presidents and generations later, trying to stem the socioeconomic ills of black and brown America with federal government programs.

The private sector is all in on this one, throwing hundreds of millions of dollars into the kitty, and that’s fantastic.

Still, it’s more incumbent upon us, individuals, to be sustain humanity by doing as the stranger did and does.

Deborah Simmons can be reached at [email protected]

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