There’s No Longer Time for Excuses for Black Men – Obama

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President Obama Morehouse Collge Speech

President Obama speaking to Morehouse graduates

AFRICANGLOBE – President Obama on Sunday told the graduating class at Morehouse College, the country’s pre-eminent historically Black college, there is “no time for excuses” for this generation of African-American men and that it was time for their generation to step up professionally and in their personal lives.

Obama, the country’s first African-American president, chose a particularly poignant moment to deliver the commencement address at the Atlanta college that boasts civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., filmmaker Spike Lee and Atlanta’s first African-American mayor, Maynard Jackson, among its alumni.

Obama’s visit comes nearly 50 years after Dr. Martin Luther King led the March on Washington, and 150 years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

The president connected his own path to the White House to the work of King and other African-American leaders of that generation. But Obama also conceded that at times as a young man he wrongly blamed his own failings “as just another example of the world trying to keep a Black man down.”

“We’ve got no time for excuses — not because the bitter legacies of slavery and segregation have vanished entirely; they haven’t,” Obama told the graduating class and their families who sat through intermittent rain and thunder. “It’s just that in today’s hyperconnected, hypercompetitive world, with a billion young people from China and India and Brazil entering the global workforce alongside you, nobody is going to give you anything you haven’t earned.”

Obama spoke in very personal terms to the 500 young men as he urged them to not only become leaders in their community, but also good fathers and good husbands. Obama, who was raised by a single mother and grandparents, lamented the absence of his father in his life and urged the graduates to make family their top priority.

Obama told the Morehouse men they are also obliged to set an example for other Black men.

“Keep setting an example for what it means to be a man,” Obama said. “Be the best husband to your wife, or boyfriend to your partner, or father to your children that you can be. Because nothing is more important.”

In the weeks ahead of the commencement, a spat between the college administration and alumni over the role a Philadelphia pastor would play during graduation weekend threatened to cast a shadow on the president’s historic visit.

Morehouse President John Silvanus Wilson and a group of alumni sparred after Wilson invited alumnus Kevin Johnson to deliver the baccalaureate sermon only to later to diminish his role.

Wilson, a former adviser in the Obama administration, told Johnson he was changing the ceremony to a multispeaker format after Johnson wrote an op-ed in a Philadelphia newspaper criticizing the president for appointing too few African Americans to senior Cabinet positions.

A dozen prominent alumni spoke out against the decision, and Johnson initially refused to take part in the baccalaureate under a multispeaker format.

But last week, Wilson and Johnson came to a resolution and Johnson delivered the baccalaureate sermon, while two recent alumni were given lesser speaking roles.

In his speech, Obama also connected the discrimination that African Americans have faced with some of the struggles of minority groups — including gays and lesbians fighting for the right to marriage, Hispanic Americans battling anti-immigrant bias and Muslims who face suspicion because of their faith.

Having a personal understanding of discrimination, Obama said, this generation of African Americans is uniquely equipped to be leaders for the country and world on these issues.

“If you tap into that experience, it should endow you with empathy — the understanding of what it’s like to walk in somebody else’s shoes,” Obama said. “It should give you an ability to connect. It should give you a sense of what it means to overcome barriers.”

 

By: Aamer Madhani

President Obama Delivers Morehouse College Commencement Address

  • http://www.facebook.com/tsoetsang1 Tseko Soetsang

    This how a true character of Obama is being exposed….!!!!

    http://conwebwatch.tripod.com/stories/2009/elliswashington.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/charles.copeland.940 Nobodys Strawman Copeland

    he need to step up little puppet

  • http://www.facebook.com/lemcyates Lemuel Cyrus Yates

    One month is all it would take. One month of not shopping, eating, watching, etc… anything not made/produced/coming from the Black community would be such a drastic blow to the worshippers of money that run this nation and economy that it would force their hands. Even in areas where this is easy because they have a plethora of Black-owned businesses, the likelihood of success is slim because we just love to buy into what we’re told are status symbols even if having some jordans, a cadillac cts, gucci bags, etc means the light bill doesn’t get paid, and the car ends up as a repo, and then we’re left with less than before. Are we that dependent on everyone except ourselves that we need them openly lynching us, denying us education, refusing us jobs, giving us no protection under the law, and so on like before when we were compelled to succeed and have thriving Black conmunities? Where’s that will to succeed gone?

  • http://www.facebook.com/hank.miller.9803 Hank Miller

    Fuck Obama uncle Tom ass

  • http://www.facebook.com/jodiejerome Jody Sykes

    He can say what he wants ,but until blacks control the economic playing field of having our own supply of resources, jobs,and finance lending companies like banks. He’s on peeing on a forest fire! The problem is much bigger than just that alone or did he forget that economic racism is alive and prevalent today.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tsoetsang Imam Haroen Soetsang

    Emperor Nerobama…!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/akilahBeeChillin Akilah BeeChillin

    I always thought he meant no more excuses as in hey look they said there would never be a black man in the presidential seat and now there is so you have no excuses whatsoever to go after your dreams or make a better life for yourself and I agree.

  • http://www.facebook.com/halbogie Hal Ross Carmichael

    Hey folks our folks were given nothing and faced massive discrimination coming out of slavery, yet they managed to create their own business – hotels, banks, insurance companies, mom and pop store, etc. So no there are NO excuses and we should stop looking to the government or folks outside of our black community for help. Step up!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/henley.taylor.7 Henley Taylor

    I do not think black men want to give excuses, they want equal opportunities. The President is championing the causes of many minority groups, like the gays, what is he doing specifically for black people, so that, they can move forward?

  • http://www.facebook.com/bob.cesar.5 Bob Cesar

    Obama is more of a swallower than a prick. he full of it like his stimulus plan, 1% glass full.

  • http://www.facebook.com/GlobalyAwareMic Michael McCray

    Rhonda plz if you even knew what the term Negropeans meant you wouldnt refer to African Americans that way the Negropeans are the Africans in African that speak French after being colonized for almost 250 years besides White American And Black America is different people assimilate to black America remember that foreigner

  • http://www.facebook.com/R.Gizzle Ronnie L Greenfield

    Y’all still letting this man play games with you. They should’ve threw anything they could find at that mofo. This dude is not BLACK. And he doesn’t give a fuck about you niggas.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rhonda.kelso.9 Rhonda Kelso

    Negropeons always want more to assimilate!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/isaac.balinda Isaac George Wilson Balinda

    YES SIR…

  • http://www.facebook.com/GlobalyAwareMic Michael McCray

    Bring back the industry to the black community instead of outsourcing black jobs that’s what. Obama can talk all the bs he wants but we all know he is not one of us and dose not believe he is African American. Only Americans know the truth behind the smoke and mirrors that Obama claims to be a Muslim not African American

  • http://www.facebook.com/walkerwi Win Walker

    Do something like what…

  • http://www.facebook.com/Mr.FirstandLast Ronald Harris

    Not impressed. We are on our own. DO SOMETHING FOR YOUR PEOPLE… THE ONES THAT LOOK LIKE YOU!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/joseph.carrier.90 Joseph Carrier

    But the man keepin’ me down!

  • http://www.facebook.com/elimu.eze Elimu Eze

    YES! Obama see through Uropean glasses sometimes..for it also seems today that there arent any jobs/food/housing/resources for black men and women today either

  • http://www.facebook.com/kay.abraham1 Kay Abraham

    this is true…

  • http://www.facebook.com/charitymahouna.hicks Charity Mahouna Hicks

    When Obamas administration stops making excuses for the Banking industry than he can talk to Morehouse grads about “excuses”. Eyon Biddle Sr.@_MrBiddle_15m