Conservatives are firing back against President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” program. Last week, Obama announced the initiative that will create a task force to promote and expand programs that provide young men of color with educational opportunities and jobs. Now the right is screaming racism, because white males are excluded from the program.
The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin said, “If you are wondering how a new initiative, My Brother’s Keeper, which would assist at-risk African and Hispanic males, is constitutional, you are not alone.”
The argument is that Obama is showing preference for one race or group of races over another, concluding that, “no good can come from a program that divides up the population by these categories.”
Roger Clegg, head of the Center for Equal Opportunity, thinks it’s unconstitutional. He writes:
It is almost always unconstitutional for the government (and any private program that receives federal money) to discriminate on the basis of race and ethnicity. There is no “compelling” interest to do so here. It may be that a disproportionate number of blacks and Latinos are at-risk, but many are not, and many whites, Asians, and others are. This is just another kind of “profiling.”
Nor will it do to say that there are other programs available for those being excluded here, as one White House official is quoted as saying. This is just another separate-but-equal argument.
And just in time for the of Black History Month, Fox News’ Todd Starnes asked why wasn’t there a White History Month and tweeted, “Obama announces government initiative to help young men of color. Caucasian is not one of the colors getting helped.”
Maybe Rubin should rethink her position, after she re-reads what she wrote last year:
You know, the sad part about it, or the disgusting part about it — however you think of these things — is that he doesn’t address then the current problems, he doesn’t address broken families, he doesn’t address kids who grow up without fathers, he doesn’t address the broken schools, he doesn’t address the drug problem, so all of these things are never addressed because its slavery or Jim Crow or whatever, and it is a complete lack of responsibility.