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Obama chastises absent fathers

Author John Thompson
Submitted 17-06-2008

Barack Obama has called on fathers to do more to support their children growing up, invoking his own absent dad.

Speaking to worshippers at a Chicago church over the Father’s Day weekend, the Democrat’s presidential candidate called on dads to realise that their responsibilities end beyond conception.

While he lamented the government’s failings in providing for families and the shortage of money for schools, Mr Obama stated: "We also need families to raise our children."

Some fathers, he said, have "abandoned their responsibilities … they’re acting like boys instead of men and the foundations of our families have suffered because of it".

"You and I know this is true, but nowhere is it more true than in the African-American community," he added.

The senator noted that more than half of all children in this community live in single-parent households.

According to the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse, 24 million American children grow up in homes without fathers, costing the federal government around $100 billion a year, the Associated Press reports.