Have only heard a snippet of it, but I am sure its great. Here is my beef with how this is already being reported. Barack Obama is basically touting a message that you will hear coming from any serious black person in any black community. Louis Farrakhan was saying this shit thirteen years ago, but I didn't hear anything about Louis Farrakhan offering "a strong rebuke" to absent black fathers. That's because this isn't really about black fathers, or black families. It's about Barack giving voice to white frustration. That's not a reason for Barack not to say what he's saying. He did it in front of a black crowd, and it was the right thing to say. But reporters need to stop acting like this dude is the only civilized black man in the world. I just came from the beautiful Real Men Cook event here in Harlem. This thing has been going for almost twenty years now, celebrating fathers who are doing right, and serving as rebuke (if I may) to the ones that are ghost. We don't need Barack Obama to tell us to be fathers, though I'm glad he's doing it. We need reporters to actively engage the people they claim to cover.

UPDATE: I thought some more about this speech, and I figured out what bothers me. I don't think anyone disagrees with the content of it. In fact, I've maintained that Obama is spitting rhetoric that's old hat in the black community. But when this stuff is reported, it's written as if it's the first time anyone's said this. The basic rule seems to be among white media--if we haven't heard it, it didn't happen. It's the Elvis shit all over again. Elvis knew black music well. Rumors of his racism were the "whitey tape" of his day. In fact he had great affection and much praise for black performers. But that still didn't stop white music writers and white fans from acting like this dude had the original Blue Suede Shoes.

Likewise, I don't know think Barack is presenting himself as the first dude to say what he's saying, so I don't really blame him. But these reporters who are trying to write about "race in America" are a joke. It's also a myth to imply that Obama is saying something that white politicians are somehow barred by the Gods of PC from saying. Break me a fucking give. No less than MITT ROMNEY made the same point in debate when asked about black America. Anyway, below is Barack Obama--but first Ed O.G. who gave Obama game (props to commenter dwhite on that).

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.