Saturday, December 16, 2017
Parenting & Relationships

President's initiative signals more work for parents, America

President Obama recently brought attention to the plight of minority youth when he put forth an initiative known as "My Brother's Keeper," to empower boys and young men of color in an effort to improve the negative statistics that abound regarding young minority boys.

Sadly, young men of color were so low on the scale of importance and politically fraught with negativity that he waited until his second term to create the rescue effort. And he couched it in less aggressive language.

For example, the president issued a "Presidential Memorandum," instead of an "Executive Order," although they are essentially the same type of executive tool.

Nevertheless, the president is free of re-election politics and he can concentrate on systemic problems that persist in American society.

According to the president's website, assessing the impact of federal policies, regulations and programs in an effort to enhance positive outcomes and eliminate or reduce negative ones is the first priority. Additionally, the initiative is designed to partner with businesses and foundations in an effort to create mentoring networks and cultivate skills that will ensure success.

The initiative is important, but how does this translate to healthy outcomes for my sons? Many of the proposals were created with not only children of color in mind, but a certain social and economic reality that is a significant part of the problem. My sons have the economic and parental support system that allows for a stronger academic foundation, but how can the effort shield my sons from the stigma and negative stereotypes associated with young men of color?

An examination of structural impediments facing young boys of color is an important goal to initiate in addition to the president bringing attention to the challenges that lie ahead.

However, America must strive to provide economic and educational opportunities free of stigma and biases. My sons deserve to live in a society where no particular group of citizens will need initiatives.

When they're old enough to understand, I will let them know they don't get to establish the rules and that they have to work to overcome the negative stereotypes. I will tell them they come from a legacy of people who have survived slavery, lynching, Jim Crow and economic assaults.

It's a testament to black people that they have overcome all of that, and I will challenge my sons to use the knowledge of the past to triumph over the stereotypes of the present.

Keith Berry is a married father of two who lives in the Westchase area.

Comments

Tell Me About It: Thrown off by sudden, no-gift Christmas

Thrown off by sudden, no-gift ChristmasI am meeting part of my family for an early Christmas celebration. Five days out, my cousin e-mails everyone to say she will only be giving a present to her mom and our grandparents. She is skipping our aunt, my...
Published: 12/14/17
Plan your weekend Dec. 15-17: Katy Perry, boat parades, Star Wars parties, comics Gilbert Gottfried, Michael Carbonaro

Plan your weekend Dec. 15-17: Katy Perry, boat parades, Star Wars parties, comics Gilbert Gottfried, Michael Carbonaro

Superstar Katy Perry: In the ever-escalating arms race to be the most eye-popping pop star on the planet, sometimes you have to call in for backup. Even if you’re Katy Perry. When plotting her lavishly spectacular Witness Tour, which arrives i...
Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/14/17
Top things to do this week: Star Wars parties, comics Gilbert Gottfried, Michael Carbonaro

Top things to do this week: Star Wars parties, comics Gilbert Gottfried, Michael Carbonaro

NEW HOPE: Star Wars partiesWith the opening of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the force of fan excitement is strong, so of course there are Star Wars parties this weekend. The giant movie complex Riverview 14 GDX is having celebration with characters from...
Published: 12/13/17
5 things to do under $5: Gasparilla Bowl beach day, Hanukkah on Ice, boat parades

5 things to do under $5: Gasparilla Bowl beach day, Hanukkah on Ice, boat parades

1 Battle at the Beach: The Gasparilla Bowl is coming to Tropicana Field on Dec. 21, but before that the bands, cheerleaders and dance teams from Florida International University and Temple University will have a day of beach-related games and competi...
Published: 12/13/17
6 gift ideas for grandparents and grandchildren to spend more time together

6 gift ideas for grandparents and grandchildren to spend more time together

A grandparent can be a tough person to buy a Christmas gift for. Likewise, many grandparents are stumped on what to get the kids besides some cash. Why not make your Christmas gift something you both want more of: more time together making memories. ...
Published: 12/13/17

Tell Me About It: Leave gender out of division of housework

Leave gender out of division of houseworkWhy is it that when a woman cares about the division of labor at home — like her home being a decent level of clean — she is considered to be overreacting?OK, I’ll get down from my soap box now. (I’ll also bre...
Published: 12/13/17

Tell Me About It: Overwhelmed parent weighs out options

Overwhelmed parent weighs out optionsQ: Since my kids were born, my job basically covered the cost of day care. The kids came home overtired and overstimulated.As they became preschool age, I restructured my work to freelance so I could drop off and ...
Published: 12/12/17

Tell Me About It: Identity of biological father is revealed

Identity of biological father is revealedQ: When I was 18, my mother revealed that the father I grew up with was not my biological father. She claimed she didn’t even know my bio father, and never contacted him again after their brief weekend fling a...
Published: 12/11/17

Tell Me About It: Parents’ extreme sheltering feels creepy

Parents’ extreme sheltering feels creepyQ: My daughter, 11, has three friends from school. One girl’s parents are generous hosts. "Emma" is an only child and has a pool, fun toys, great snacks.The problem is that Emma’s parents don’t let Emma be a gu...
Published: 12/10/17
Top things to do for the week of Dec. 11-17

Top things to do for the week of Dec. 11-17

Katy Perry: The Teenage Dream songstress roars into Tampa’s Amalie Arena on Friday ($45.75-$195.75). amaliearena.com. Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights begins Tuesday, bringing fun celebrations including Hanukkah in the City at the Sundial St. ...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/12/17