Jan
07
2009

USA Today: Obama's Lesson to Black Mothers

One might not expect much from a USA Today editorial headlined "How to Turn Obama's Success Into Gains for Black Boys," but it's hard to get past the first two graphs without feelingill:

You can see the message on brick wall murals in inner cities: Yes we can. You can hear it in the music of Black Eyed Peas' frontman will.i.am: Yes we can.

You can imagine hearing it pass the lips of thousands of black mothers, perhaps after awakening their sons early to complete homework before they head off to school, just as President-elect Barack Obama's mother did: Yes you can.

Huh. I guess if one triesREALLY, REALLY hard, youcanalmost imagine a black mother encouraging her son, just like Obama's white mother did. Unsurprisingly, the paper manages to turn the piece into an endorsement of George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind law:

Most important, Obama has resisted calls from the teachers' unions to dismantle President Bush's No Child Left Behind school-reform law. Whatever the law's shortcomings, No Child's relentless emphasis on data forces school districts to come clean about the poor job they have done with black boys.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.