Nightly News   |  February 27, 2014

Obama Aims to Bolster Minority Men with ‘My Brother’s Keeper’

At a personal and emotional event at the White House, President Obama launched a program aimed at giving young men of color an even greater shot at success.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> event at the white house for the president today as he spoke before a star-studded east room audience and launched a program aimed at giving young men of color a shot at success. it is called "my brother's keeper" and it combines political parties and governors and organizations like the ford foundation . the president said bluntly what we already know, some groups in society have the odds stacked against them, none more so than young men of color. he repeated what he told young men in chicago, and how they were surprised to hear aspects of his own life story .

>> i explained to them when i was their age i was a lot like them. i didn't have a dad in the house and i was angry about it even though i didn't necessarily realize it at the time. i made bad choices. i got high without always thinking about the harm that it could do. i didn't always take school as seriously as i should have. i made excuses. sometimes i sold myself short. and i remember when i was saying -- you may remember this, after i was finished the guy sitting next to me said are you talking about you? i said yes. and the point was i could see myself in these young men.

>> well, a big part of the message from the man who grew up to be president was there can be no excuses. young men have to make the effort and meet the challenge and they cannot blame the circumstances of their birth, which he warned will take courage. one participant at today's event said he has never seen the president lay himself bare like this before publicly or speak so candidly about his anger at not having a father himself. but he said he is using the power of his office to make this happen.