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Was President Obama Being Disrespectful to Morehouse Men? Some are Saying “Yes”

obama-morehouse

This week, President Barack Obama honored the men at Morehouse College by serving as their commencement speaker.  The theme of the president’s address centered around taking responsibility and not using racism as an excuse for your lack of success.  The message is a good one on the surface, but a consistent tone of discomfort has resonated with some social commentators, particularly those who contrast this speech with those that the president gives to the white community.

Some are saying that the president gave these young black men the kind of speech he’d never have the courage to give to a white audience.   The president’s message on personal responsibility might seem appropriate to some, but it has been argued that President Obama’s administration uses black personal responsibility as an escape from their own responsibility to back meaningful policy against racism.  For example, the Obama Administration has yet to unveil a plan to deal with chronic black unemployment which has worsened since Obama came into office in 2008, while white unemployment has improved.

Tim Wise, a white anti-racism essayist, says that the president is often quick to lean on this racial double standard when speaking with members of the black community:

Sometimes, white privilege is as simple as knowing that, generally speaking, if you’re white, you’ll be perceived as competent and hard-working until proven otherwise, while people of color — even those who have proven themselves competent and hard-working — will still be subjected to presumptions that they just might not be, and that somehow, they (but not you) need to be reminded of the importance of hard-work and personal responsibility, lest they (but never you) revert to some less impressive group mean.

The president also spoke to black men about his own black father not stepping up and taking responsibility for his life.  But Yvette Carnell states that while Barack Obama’s father wasn’t the most extraordinary role model, neither was his mother Ann Dunham.  Carnell says that during many of the president’s early years, his mother often “dumped” him with his grandparents so she could live the life of a single woman with no kids.

What criticism does Obama have for the mother that first dragged him to Indonesia, where he was relentlessly bullied, and then dumped him to live with his grandparents? Not much. Even though Obama professes to have adored his grandparents,  he revealed during his Jeremiah Wright speech that they both harbored racist resentments. This was no life for a young Black man to live, being abandoned by his mother, left to be raised by racist whites.

 

 

Dr. Boyce Watkins also chimed in, arguing that President Obama’s message might resonate were it coming from someone who is in the trenches fighting against racism.  But Dr. Watkins says that the president lacks the much-needed moral authority to criticize black men while refusing to support them in their fight against systematic obstacles that continue to keep black people oppressed.

Here’s another memo for the president:  You’re not just half black, you’re also half white.  So, as you speak to African Americans and tell them to stop using racism as their excuse for achievement, I encourage you to give similar speeches to your white “brothers and sisters,” telling them the same things.  The fact is that the Obama White House has a much more sympathetic ear when whites complain about 7 percent unemployment than it does when black Americans complain about 14% unemployment.


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  16. It’s funny how everytime someone charges us to take personal responsibility over blame and excuses for not succeeding, that there are people who scream disrespect. I am a very deep believer of taking personal stock of ones own actions as they releate to achieving anything rather than blaming others for what they do because though others have intentions of stagnating anothers growth, it is the responsibility of the individual to decide whether or not to strive or give in, so all of the people who continue to pacify our young men are not doing them or the rest of us any justice, they are only enhancing the problem, we need TOUGH LOVE and whole lot more. So the President gave those young men exactly what they needed to hear because no matter what, in the real world, no one wants to hear excuses…..WAKE UP OR SLEEP YOUR EXISTENCE AWAY!

  17. The negro, black american, indentured servants are not going to like President Obama… the slave mentality FOLKS.. This president doesn’t OWE african americans no more than any other american.. if you REALLY want to get your VOICE heard.. learn to VOTE during mid term local elections.. for your congress man and senator, Police Chief..etc., becuz these are the people elected who set the laws in your local community not in favor of african americans.. the cliche… last picked and first kicked..VOTE in all elections that where the change comes.. not just the presidential election.. why d you think the TP GOP are changing voting laws state by state? Wake up and GET up and be about it..

    …the educated AFRICAN AMERICAN.. loves President Obama..if this president doesn’t know what been treated by racist is like? Then no african americans know.. what the president told the Morehouse Grads is REALITY..in the REAL world..and what they will face simply being african american males in corporate america…

  18. THIS PRESIDENT DID NOT GROW UP IN THE U.S.A BECAUSE OF HIS WHITE MOTHER, NOT BECAUSE OF HIS BLACK FATHER. A MAN WHO THE PRESIDENT MAKE SURE HE PUT DOWN EVERY TIME HE SO CALL ADDRESS BLACK PEOPLE. THE PRESIDENT LOOK DOWN ON SWEET GREAT BLACK PEOPLE, WHO PUT HIS SKINNY ASS IN THE WHITE HOUSE. WITH HIS ALL WHITE CABINET. THE BLACK PEOPLE WHO BUILD THIS COUNTRY FROM THE GROUND UP. HE NEVER ADDRESS ALL THE GREAT THAT BLACK PEOPLE DID IN A PLACE THAT MADE BLACK PEOPLE A SLAVE. HE HAS SOME NERVE TO TALK TO THESE SMART YOUNG MEN LIKE THIS. BELITTLING BLACK PEOPLE SO THIS WAY HE DO NOT HAVE TO DEAL WITH RACE. GIVING HATE A WAY OUT AND LEAVING BLACK PEOPLE WHO GAVE HIM THE MOST POWERFUL BLACK VOTE IN HISTORY, HANGING.

  19. This beats the role of Samuel L. Jackson in Django. Why? Sam was not POTUS. a white president would have seriously been better because of the need to avoid appearing racist. Barak uses his I’m black pass and yet does less for blacks and talks worse to them than any Klansman could get away with. If only Harriet Tubman could see this.

  20. So Sad So Sad, You Haters!!! Will you please come into Reality and Try Smart! Try Crucial Thinking, Try Respect, Try Self-Inventory; Try Awareness of your small Brain!!! Because you obtain an undergraduate Degree does not mean you are Ready, nor does it mean you are Savvy, or SMART. These Thoughtful Your Men were Honored to Sit In the Rain and look, and learn; and Hear A SMART Speech by a Brilliant Black Man Who Is Our President!!!!, Alleluia; who can Teach, Observe and Act Cool Under Situations that took a Mother’s Training and Up-bringing that Shaped and Motivated a Boy towards an outstanding Man;, Who Helped the Poor and Elderly, after he became a Lawyer, without Pay. if is Mother is Purple, So What; who got YOU Up every morning at 4:30 AM to become A Special Person; A Man; Who Is Now Commander-In-Chief, The President of the United States, with great Accomplishments, that you could only Dream of and never Reach. /Who Got You Up???? and filled you with Lessons and Humility…????His Grandparents is family, who loved him and accepted him and groomed him to be the Very Best. His White Mom,”Taught, Concern, Love and be intuitive as you move through school, the marketplace,” The President was teaching discipline, focus, concern to those men graduates at Morehouse-dont’ use the Excuse of Blackness. His mother said that to him, because you are both Black & White, you must be SMARTER, Must Be Better As you Aim High, lose Bitterness, Stride Towards Excellence and WIN; Guess What; He Did!!! He Won; A Visionary, with Guts to Ignore The Black ignorant alleged Academics; Tavis, West, Boyce, Carson, many more,all the Black dead-beaters against President Obama, Never Opened their 2-Faced, and Crooked Mouths to dare to Criticize a White President!. Now _ they are all in the Play, called A Black Tragedy-the Actors involved are mentioned above. The Other Side of the World Believe you Are Terrible- They Love Him, They Write, SHAME ON You. You are a Total Disgrace…

    • Amen Shirley Quinn. When we wake up and stop the blame game and do something for ourselves, we will see better results. Do like Boyce and make something of our lives. At times I do not agree with him but, he stand up for what he believes.

      Fathers and mothers who do not spend time with their children, need to take quality time with them and teach them to survive in this racist society, by loving themselves, and being proud of their heritage. Instead of being negative about our awesome President’s speech, let us focus on moving forward and helping out young men to build their own business, take charge of their lives and trust in God.

  21. The president’s speech to Morehouse men…Hmmmmm..The multi million contribution from Dr Dre to USC….???? What’s a black man to do? Perhaps keeping it real is knowing when to keep quiet…..

  22. I graduated Sunday from Morehouse College. The speech that Obama gave was tailored to black males and was intended to prepare us for what we are about to face once we enter the “real world”. It also charged us to be men who do not believe in excuses. I would not have wanted Obama to present a speech that he would at any other institution because Morehouse in not just any other institution. As black men we do not need to be “pacified” or “blanketed” from the harsh realities that we will face once we enter work spaces and endeavors where in some cases there will be no one that looks like us. It’s time we step to the plate.

    • Wow Troy, awesome words. Very proud of you. I will pray for you that your life will be blessed and that God will guide you to do great things, so look out for it. May God richly bless your life. Congratulation!

  23. Dr. Boyce, Tavis Smiley, Cornel West, the man who was Jennifer Granholm’s Chief of Staff, and the rest of the haters I say only in your mindset would this speech be interpreted as condescending. You really need to get a clue…better still come out of your ivory tower and see the real world PBO sees.

    The man has four beautiful black women in his life whose lives he has changed forever. He has achieved something you nor the other “carnival barkers” can ever dream to accomplish. Get over yourselves…

  24. I am glad we can have dialogue and differences. Elijah Muhammed and Min Farrakan says the same thing all the time and nobody complains. The President is speaking an old formula that I have heard all my life. While at Morgan State I had a professor Chemuke who stated ” I go over to the library at Hopkins and I listen to the Jews. One student said my daddy pays me for studying eight hours a day so I will not work” Some of us, including me was tired from working at night then attending his 8 AM class. We are in a battle and a good corner man will tell you what you need to win. Keep fighting for greatness my brothers and sisters.

  25. If you read the speech the excerpt above was done to get emotional responses. It is a shame when a site that is suppose to be about educating the masses start reporting like Faux news.

  26. corrections corporation of america

    I don’t know if he disrespected them in the speech. I can say that he continues to pay lip service to changing the war on drugs into a public health issue, while supporting the militarized law enforcement effort against the war on drugs with more money than ever.

    Everybody knows that the black and hispanic communities are hit hardest (almost to the point of being singled out) in this war on drugs. And once they’re in the prison system, guess what? They are forced to work for pennies on the dollar while somebody oversees their work. Does this remind anybody of any antebellum practices?

    And he, as commander in chief, is jocular in his responses as he denies the will of the majority of Americans who see the drug war as failed and want it replaced with something much more sane. As far as I’m concerned, he is in favor of — or at the very least, complicit in — the continued enslavement of American citizens (disproportionately black), incarcerated at a higher rate than anywhere else in the world.

  27. SleAPB Dukester

    Some of you niggas are simply pathetic! Obama is simply telling us as a people to get off of our ass and because the dude is giving us tough love/lectures some of you sensitive characters can’t take it. I bet if the man was talking about free housing,food stamps, trivial materialistic stuff like rims, clothes, and housing,etc yall would be happy then huh. The dude might not be only for black people like some of yall would wish but he is not excluding us from the rest of the nationalities while he’s president of the United States. Saying stuff like we need to be better fathers, feed ourselves and kids better(the popeyes chicken for breakfast comment), and work two times harder then other nationalities to get to the top should be words of encouragement to you sensitive clowns. Like somebody else mentioned, I don’t hear nobody complaining or calling all you cats belittling darker skinned women’s skin tone, worshipping these light and white women; or condemning people who do anything afro centric, but you want to crab and talk down on a man whose simply tying to get us to use our brains. Obviously he’s struck a nerve and now you sensitive crabs wanna go huffin and puffin, crying and shit. Man the fuck up and listen to some jewels for once in your life! Yall better hope I don’t reach the level of prominence I plan on reaching because if Obama’s pissing some of you cotton swabs off………….

  28. Honestly, some of you are pathetic. Some of you Black people cannot find enough to do in your pitiful lives, so you backbite, dig, pick, criticize unnecessarily and, in general, do the racists’ job for them. Stop criticizing President Obama for everything. He will never be able to please some of you; that’s a given. He is wrong to have caused Super Storm Sandy, the Oklahoma tornado and the three consecutive days of rain in my area, but he is not a bad man. Get your heads out of your posteriors.

  29. Darlene Richardson

    I think President Obama said what needed to be said. I have always been a fan of personal responsibility. He is just telling them to work harder to achieve their goals. What is wrong with that?

  30. Me think Dr Boyce is flat out jealous of President Obama. He bashes him every step of the way. I ve even had whites to ask me why do blacks bash their own people? They see it too. Yes, the truth does hurt. But Obama s speech didn t hurt those who were in the right frame of mind. Yes, they were words that most blacks grew up hearing. We have to stop looking for someone else to just hand us a living and hand us respect. Respect is “earned “…Focus on character, integrity, truthfullness , hardwork and dependablity…If the President wasn t proud of the Morehouse students he wouldn t have spoken at their commencement. Wasn t like he didn t have anything else to do. The man IS the President of the United States: he must know something. And until you can boast of having such a lofty position you need to
    Listen and learn and stop hatin on the man.

    • ARE YOU SERIOUS THAT RESPECT IS EARNED,BULL,THIS MAN HAS BEEN THE MOST DISRESPECTED PRESIDENT IN U.S. HISTORY.PROVES THAT IT DOES NOT
      MATTER IF YOU TAUGHT LAWYERS AT HARVARD WITH A LAW DEGREE AND THE
      PRESIDENT OF THE U.S. A/ A REPUBLICAN RECENTLY SAID IT BEST TO OREILLY
      ON CNN,HE SAID OBAMA CAN COME UP WITH THE CURE FOR CANCER AND THE
      REPUBLICANS STILL WOULD NOT GIVE HIM CREDIT,SO WHO ARE WE WHEN THIS
      MAN HAS BEEN DISRESPECTED AS IF HE WAS SOME CRIMINAL DOPE DEALING
      THUG.THE IMPLIED POINT OBAMA IS MAKEING IS EDUCATION WITH NO
      RESPECT IS BETTER THAN NO EDUCATION WITH RACISM,BUT I STILL BELIEVE
      IN REPARATIONS BECAUSE THE INDIANS,JAPANESE AND JEWS IN AMERICA
      HAVE BEEN REPARATED AND IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH EDUCATION,BUT
      SOON AS SOMEONE SAY SOMETHING ABOUT BLACK REPARATIONS,PEOPLE HAVE
      A NEGATIVE OPINION ABOUT IT.GIVE WAS OWED.

  31. @Paul H. – very well said! Obama, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson are more concerned with hispanics , asians, and others rather than doing like their leaders, hitting the networks to expose their prejudices. They need to tell these hispanics,Asians, etc. to stop having children just to live in the USA and bring over their relatives. They lied and scammed, many of them, to get over here and now they make demands and get what they want, CITIZENSHIP and jobs for lying. BLACK PEOPLE please stop allowing hispanics to cut your grass, stop eating their food, they dont like to wash their filthy hands, stop supporting them!! When we open our own businesses please DO NOT act GHETTO, stop dancing and jumping around like some wild animal. That is why many don’t want to be around us, LOUD, AND IGNORANT. WE SEE YOU! BEST WISHES DR. BOYCE AND STAFF!!

    • JC you are right. I live in California & what you said about the latinos is correct. Also about the dancing & jumping around, why is it when the FLOTUS goes on late night talk shows she is always dancing? Too much shucking & jiving.

  32. He absolutely did not disrespect black men. Give me a break if he can’t get any get thing done for all americans what makes you think he can single out and accomplish something for the black community. QUIT WRITING NONSENSE! This is the first black president it’s not like we have had a history of black presidents.One step at a time. Its been over two hundred years. So you expect him change everything overnight. So you have a phd?

    • SEAN FROM BROOKLYN

      HA SISTER GIRL(OPRAH VOICE), OR SISSY GIRL, HE IS NOT BLACK HE IS A HALF BREED(MUTT).

      HE DOESN’T LIKE BLACK PEOPLE SO MOVE ON.

      STOP DEFENDING YOUR OPPRESSION BECAUSE YOU HAVE SOME FANTASY LIKE YOU ARE THAT TRICK FROM scandal.

      ok sister girl.

  33. President Obama continues to cause problems to whites who don’t like black men in charge, and blacks who recognize that they can’t use racism as an excuse to not be the best they can be.

    If black folk don’t recognize that we have to be twice as good to get half as much in this day and age, maybe we have watched too much BET.

    One has to understand that we were enslaved to work in the plantation system that was discarded. There has never been enough work for former slaves and whole persons since.

    That is the fact, and we have to deal with it.

  34. Omari the Break-up of the Black Family Starts in the 1970’s Remember the Movie “Claudine” & on throught the 1980’s with Crack Cocaine which was like throwing Gas on a Fire! When we had enough Problems in America Blackmen want to take Responsability but can not Earn a Livable Wage to support a Family! And this is no Accident but by Design to totally bury us! Out of sight out of Mind so they over incarcerating us! We have to think to Win because the Devils are Smart & Upset the Set-up!

  35. I ‘m tired of our people downing our president who is very intelligent & married to an educated Black woman……. I don’t see you people belittling all these Black sports stars who marry white women as being less Black.
    Also, the demise of Detroit, Michigan was not helped by Black politicians milking the system.
    Milwaukee may soon follow if the residency requirement is lifted. Thanks to Gov. Scott Walker.

  36. Ok I stand corrected… I just read his speech, I didnt see anything offensive…. Thanks for posting it, Warren Green

  37. This Dude is not Black! He might be a Mexican especially if he turns around & gives them Immigration Reform which will Happen because Deals were already Made! Like Jessie Jackson told you years Ago that O’Bama was talking Down to Black People! Why would he talk about BS that has nothing to do with those Brothers? Fool you not in a Abortion Clinic or in the Hood on the Corner in front of a Liquor store??? Jessie was right! He’s one of them & I don’t trust him it’s another trick Black Nation like integretion Abortion Drugs & now O’Drama!

  38. Can I just say one thing… why not just praise these young men for this accomplishment? I think black people as a whole have a tendecy to preach and lecture all the time. It seems no matter how well someone does, we always come back with “oh that’s good but do more or what’s next?” For once, he just should have said, “good job, congratulations, I’m proud of you”.

  39. People grow up and put on your grown up hats and try to start thinking like a grown up. Stop bashing the only president of this country that don’t believe you’re a good for nothing n word behind your back. It’s so sad so many black people hate themselves so much that they have nothing but hatred for their own people. Will this ever end? Will blacks overall ever realize sticking together will move us further in this country then hating and killing each other?! It’s so sad… We can’t count on whites to be for us, but obviously we can’t count on one another to stick together either. As I said a million times it’s just so sad!!!!! I pray blacks one day have the lights come on upstairs because reading many of these posts tells me for the most part many aren’t playing with a full deck if they truly believe the crap they write.

  40. SEAN FROM BROOKLYN

    I AM FOR ONE SICK OF DEBATING ABOUT THIS MUTT.

    HE IS ONLY LOVED BY BLACK WOMEN, AND H-O-M-O SEXUALS.

    SO CARRY ON WITH THIS CLOSETED PRESIDENT

    CARRY ON.

    REPEAT AND RINSE……………..REPEAT AND RINSE….

    • Thank you. Sean. Negro Americans are sad, supporting and defending this bi-racial man, who cares nothing about them. Obama didn’t even grow up with Black people, and this has obviously informed his loyalties, and true affinities.

  41. Starting with the first presidential campaign in 2007, President Obama has always talked down to black people. On the front page of the Chicago Sun-Times ran the headline: “Obama to Blacks: Take Responsibility”

    Another headline was: Obama Tells Black Men to be Fathers”

    and on and on, to a comment made in a black church for black people (and I paraphrase) “…stop feeding your kids Popeyes chicken for breakfast, come on, you know what I’m talking about…”

    He told the Black Caucus to “stop complaining”

    and said when questioned about the high unemployment for blacks in the U.S, he said, “Well, I think if I improve the economy all “minorities” will benefit.”

    Yet, when he talks to poor Hispanics, he doesn’t tell them to “…stop feeding your kids tacos for breakfast”

    or poor whites, “…stop feeding your kids Spam for breakfast.”

    he tells whites, Jews, and Hispanics what he will do for them, while he tells blacks what we should do for ourselves

    that most or all black people do not have a problem with this disgraceful double standard may be one reason that President Obama shows no respect for the black community and basically ignores us

    why would he? we haven’t shown that we respect ourselves.

    • Psychotherapist

      I agree, Paul. Obama admonishes blacks as often as he can, but does not do the same to other groups. And many of his statements are generalizations and stereotypes one would expect from Sarah Palin or Rush Limbaugh. That is the problem. There are so many black people who do not know the issues and choose to follows blindly for the shake of symbolism over substance, to say I have a black president. What a shame.

      • @ Psychotherapist

        It is distressing to read so many comments that President Obama is above criticism when it is obvious that the white and Jews in power created his candidacy

        and for us to believe that a black male financed by the richest and most powerful whites and Jews is telling them what to do

        They created him, vetted him, educated him, trained him, and FINANCED HIM, and let’s not forget he was raised by white people

        as compared to people like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X who CAME from the streets and were RAISED by black men and women who were punished and persecuted because they really represented black people

        that’s when you have REAL leaders, they are chosen by YOU, not by the people who are oppressing you and unfortunately, we forgot that we did NOT pick him, nominate him, vet him, or finance him

        so who do we think he’s really working for?

        POLITICS 101

        is a class that we all need to take

        power does not concede, you have to TAKE IT by force.

        we were so eager to have another “black leader” that we forgot the basics of how people get real power

        white people — no people — just hand over power because a guy makes a good speech

        what they do is create a deception where the people being mistreated think they are going to get the help they need while you are still lying and stealing and killing them

        if we haven’t learned anything in the last five years that President Obama’s got NOTHING for black people then maybe, we deserve what we are getting

        NOTHING
        he is a puppet like ALL the presidents have been going back as far, possibly, as Nixon.

        the corporate elites and banks run the country. They occupy Obama’s cabinet positions (because they are his bosses).

        open your minds and you will see what is really happening.

    • My friend. You shut it down. There is nothing to debate anymore.

  42. Did anyone on this site really think for one minute that Dr Watkins would have something positive to say about President Obama after his commencement speech? I’m not the biggest fan of the President but I don’t spend my time hammering him on every speech or his actions and/or non-actions….Dr Watkns take a freakin chill pill and chill the f$&k out!!!!

  43. norman hensley

    The speech was outstanding

  44. I HEARD THE SPEECH, IT WAS ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL. WELL WRITTEN AND DELIVERED PLUS IT HAD SERIOUS AND HUMOROUS MOMENTS. GOOD JOB MR. PRESIDENT!

  45. Here again Black folks are exhibiting their “Crab In the Barrel Mentality.” Obama’s speech was excellent in every regard. I don’t think you will find any Morehouse graduate who would differ with it. In fact, we need more speeches like this. I am making plans to have the speech shown to our entire congregation. Where were all of the complainers when Presidents Clinton and Bush were in the White House?

  46. When are Black people going to open their eyes to President Obama.

  47. WOW! When will the public notice that the famous black actors and singers hold that same torch. If you have money good. If you are poor then fix it. Run for poilitical office. I promise you will never go hungry again. “Don’t forget to lie to your voters that you will fight for them.” The only way to get paid in america is to become a politician.

  48. I said it once and I’ll say it again you can’t mix white with black and come up with black we never had a black president and with Obama acting like he’s black and the way they hate him we never will now I’m from Detroit been here all my life 50 years you should see what this racist ass state is doing to black people we been shutout of everything no jobs no money nothin I live right off of Woodward and every morning I get up and I walk on Woodward and I see nothing but the thousands of white people headed for downtown Detroit To work And I can’t even get one job unless it’s at a Burger King Or some shit like that There is plenty of jobs just no jobs for black people And it seems like this mixed president doesn’t care he too busy trying to make white folks love him they killing us and Obama’s a joke what kind of country is this that takes out all its aggression on its poor people. Detroiter are killing each other because they don’t have shit and they trying to take from other people that don’t have shit that makes it pretty easy for the police to have a constant flow of black men going in and out of the prison system on the days in Detroit the Secretary of State now call your insurance company to see to ask them if you have insurance just to get tabs they never use to do this just another way to keep the black man in Detroit going to jail we got to drive to feed our families tabs or not they have taken everything state fairs summertime Shows at the waterfront there is nothing here for the kids but plenty guns plenty dope and lots of people live in wit no hoep smart but living with no hope trying to get over the trap that they got us in it doesn’t look good for us.

    • Samuel Hill Jr

      Detbman , if you knew BLACK HISTORY you would know ALL of us BLACKS that had ancestors in this country is mixed with WHITE blood running through our veins! Only difference is the Presidents Father was BLACK AN SOME OF OUR FOREFATHERS WAS WHITE! We ALL ARE NOT PURE,

  49. This article is dumb and I don’t know why I keep reading anything on this website. This article in itself shows the “crabs in a bucket” concept so perfectly. Boyce Watkins has been sippin on that Cornel West and Tavis Smiley sssyrup!!!

    • I think the disappointment is the theme is always the same when it comes to our folks. But more importantly, it was inappropriate. These young men did not settle, did not place blame, did not give up, they made it. They should’ve have been celebrating that fact not being brow beat. He could have rephrased his words to thank them for not settling or blaming others.

      The reality is this is his canned speech not for our ears but for everyone else’s ears.

    • Vern Wrotten, Truth Seeker!

      @Dumb Article … I ” second ” that emotion! My grandfather (World War I veteran, business man deacon in the Christian church, etc.) put it this way, the fact that life isn’t always fair, is no reason you can’t achieve anything you set out to do by means of ” Spiritual-Faith, Hard-Work, and Extra-Effort! ” … in other words, the sooner you ” Get-Over ” the fact that life isn’t fair … the quicker you can ” Get-On ” with your life and its blessed possibilities! Over & Out Ladies and Gentlemen!

  50. President Obama simply gave the”WORD UP”!!

  51. The truth shall set you free…..the ONLY folks that have a problem with his speech are the haters who have a problem with EVERYTHING he says! Let us know when one of the 500 young men have a problem with this speech!

  52. I am so……inspired by the speech given to the Men of Morehouse. I read a lot of the comments before getting to the actual speech and I was shocked to read what I read, based on your comments. What you are commenting about was such a small part of that speech. This man is talking about educated men going beyond what is expected of an educated black man, to the realization of what an educated black man can do and be, not only for our community, nor other minority communities, but for the world as a whole. Explaining to them that they carry not only their own hope: but change for someone else.
    For these men, graduating from college was only the beginning. They owe that to themselves, to be educated and encouraged to seek out knowledge. We all owe that to ourselves, its just that these men have something in them that not all men have. A determination to be the best men that they can be. And if we don’t start with being the best that we can be, what can we possibly offer our community. That does not mean that we may agree with all that they do, but it does mean that they will do something. Someone in that group will be inspired by his past, not haunted by it, and inevitably in bondage to it. According to info given in the speech more that one graduate already has. I thought the speech was in excellent form, given to young men at a pivotal point in their lives. They will never forget that day. And the fact that a historical figure was there to send them on their chosen paths with such heartfelt encouraging words at this point in our history, should make it all the more inspiring and special. I hope they did not find the speech offensive. As a black community all of these avenues of discussion are bringing out problems, concerns, and even injuries that have been buried for far tooo long. They are now on the table. Well done Men of Morehouse. I hope you become all you aspire to be……Good luck to you.

    • The real question is will these young men be able to obtain employment? Why not talk about creating their own businesses? If the US can help foreigners (don’t speak English) set up businesses (they do this all the time), then the US should be giving the same opportunities to US citizens in creating businesses (mirco-finance). Obama does what he has been doing since 2008, he gives the same speech to Black Americans all the time, nothing has change. The only thing Black he cares about is his wife & daughters, as I suppose it should be. Even Michelle stated she felt like a single parent at times. Now what type of a role model of a father is that? I’ve never heard any of the President’s wives say something like this openly. Obama is repeating his mother’s habit of pursuing his own personal goals, the only difference is that he has a wife willing to stay with him & take care of the home front.

      Now, you Blacks who drink the Obama Kool Aid, don’t get mad when he breaks your heart, pisses on you, & pisses you off because he will very soon. When Blacks get left behind, while this President openly creates & favors policies that help every other ethnic group or groups of Americans, don’t get mad, just accept it, & yes everybody needs some type of help, just ask the Wall Street Bailout. Realize your tax dollars & labor are hard at work benefitting every other American & new foreigner that comes to this country, but YOU. But never-the-less Black Americans, just accept this administration’s hostility toward you, & don’t be surprised if this administration destroys you. You want to know why? Because you won’t fight back, you will allow this administration to tell you anything, will accept what they do to you, & you will agree with how this administration defines you as a group of people (irresponsible, lazy, shiftless, etc.). Black Americans Read Carter G. Woodson’s The Mis-Education of The Negro because this is where many of you are at now (& probably have been there for quite some time).

      • Great comments and analysis. I 2000 percent agree. Obama is so deceptive. If he were 100 percent white, we would be up in arms due to his blatant disregard and lack of respect for our people.

        Maat Hotep!

      • Psychotherapist

        You are spot on, DLB. Nothing else to say–you said it all.

      • PetefromDetroit

        Yep DLB.
        We wont collectively recover from these last 5 years unless we take it to the streets, organized and focused and take our money out of the church and put it into our communities. It is gonna take a consensus of at least 80% of american black slave descendants (Black Men) to get back just some of we have lost. The most powerful man in the world tells the world that his most powerful constituency(us)are bound to our conditions and predicament because of lack of personal responsibility over and over..
        We accept this declaration from our chosen leader as true for the first time ever in our hearts and with our vote…. Now our next elected leader can and will make the same lie work. Blacks today, Will we ever agree 8 out of 10 times to anything other than Jesus? I doubt it. So every man for himself for now right? We have too much state and media influenced self-hate today to rekindle a real sense of american black pride. I regret being so morbid in my personal assessment or our collective state. But its just common sense.

    • Inspiration is being in a state of mind where everything is possible, everything is clear, and we feel at one with the universe, but
      the cultural psychology of African Americans involves the evolution of African patterns of thought, feeling and behavior and their utilization as adaptive mechanisms in a context of racism and oppression. Address the persistent effects of dehumanizing and oppressive relationships between Whites and Blacks is how President Obama can attack racism as defined beliefs about the naturalness of white domination and black subordination.

  53. PRESIDENT OBAMA SIMPLY GAVE THE “WORD UP”!!

  54. So was Mrs. Obama, talking about “ballers and rappers” at a school where the majority of the student body wishes to be nothing other than corporate plantation slaves far more than they do “ballers and rappers.”

    They’re dreaming of living a life of luxury with their tongues up some krakka butt, not on courts or recording studios.

    That was like Mitt Romney telling the NAACP “all they want is FREE STUFF” when people who are members of the NAACP are “rich enough” to be able to afford those over-bloated membership prices for an agency that does nothing in particular except toss its name down a few fundraising alleys.

    Mrs. O should have been giving THAT speech down the street from her old home in Hyde Park, Chicago, or in towns like Columbus GA or places like Philadelphia and New Orleans … where it would have at least been closer to the TRUTH.

    Not at an HBCU …

  55. Michael David Drake I

    I am placing the answering of my graduate homework to after answering this issue. “Willie Lynch” is still alive. Which individual that has assailed President Obama for his comments at Morehouse University has ever campaigned or has been elected to any office that resides in a State or Federal Government. How many has spent numerous working in an impoverished community. How many has studied or taught Constitutional Law. How many have volunteered to counsel, visit or hire those that have been incarcerated, homeless, motherless or fatherless. He who has been perfect without questions in their own past shout the loudest. I find the question asked senseless and void of a productive outcome. Would any that rail go speak in a prison or juvenile detention facility or visit a girls detention center wherein their lies young girls who refuse to go home and continue to be molester by their relatives. Unless you have walked a mile in a “MAN’s” shoes you understand not the price of the trip. The help that I hear others of my generation expecting of a President of color never expected it of either President Bush, President Clinton, President Carter, President Regan ect,ect. Color/Ethnicity never made a man what he is, however it has kept a man from becoming what he should or could be. Why should we ask of a President who cannot get any worth while legislation such as Health Care thru Congress because he is a African American Man. What have those of us who doubt his sincerity as a Black Man/Male done so that we may be numbered among those that have actually made a difference in humility and the shadows of a Black Man’s Responsibility. Noise just distorts the actuality of the real fight for the Wholesome Growth of our Black People. Just a thought!!

    • PetefromDetroit

      MDD, You are preaching instead of problem-solving. to help you frame and to mock your weak and self-righteous tone; “How many has swam in 25 different lagoons in Hawaii? How many of you have millions in wealth? How many of you received an inheritance from your parents?
      Here is a question that your “intelligent” behind failed to answer or address; Is the american black crisis a “personal responsibility problem as lectured to us from Obama, the pulpit and even poor folk.. Your answer, “Willie Lynch”
      You dismiss all this posts comments contrary to the speech as “Willie Lynch. You mention in your first paragraph, your higher education. I know that you think that you are smart…. Good for… YOU.

  56. And I thought it was just me. I listened to an exerpt of his speech and honestly shut it off because the tone was all wrong! I honestly, didn’t like the few words that I had listened to. Obama has gotten way to arrogant when addressing our community and guess whose fault it is? When you don’t hold people accountable for their actions then you mislead them into a belief that there are no problems. Our community has a cesspool of problems and he will ignore them to his exit and that’s what we deserve because of our ignorance.

  57. The President gave his speech the only way he knew how— we have to realize he was not only speaking inwardly he was also speaking outwardly to all that might be listening—he is well aware of both sides of the enemies he face—-there is really nothing he can say or do to please everyone. — I am not sure if being fatherless is really the problem in the black community or just another excuse for some of us not to conform to society–We say “God don’t make no mistakes” then we contradict that by saying” why don’t these black guys be fathers to their children” We are so confused,and rightly so—Mentors would be a idea to toss around—because so many things come into play in being called a “GREAT FATHER” every human being wants his freedom of thought and some will not bulge from their position(like it or not) some refuse to be MEN—-and some are always half in and half out—-These Moorehouse Grads would do the black community a tremendous GOOD by returning to the communities —circulate themselves through the neighborhoods and leave their presence embedded in the streets by any means necessary—Great minds are CAPABLE of Great things “JUST DO IT”…by the way I loved the Presidents speech….PEACE!

    • It’s not about “pleasing”-it’s about understanding that we all are not ignorant but are educated and smart enough to know when we are being disrespected. Sadly, your “Black President” whom which you love so much because he is black knows that you’re gonna suck up whatever he shakes out!He always addresses black accountability but where is his? Moorehouse Grads have the right idea and are on the right track. His speech should be geared toward those who aren’t striving to make a difference. His tone and demeanor showed a funky, laidback side to him because he was addressing “us.” Keep worshipping Obama your earthly God and continue to watch us digress into inferiority.

    • Psychotherapist

      Blacjk Jones, the excuse that Obama cannot do anything is tired. He is not running for office ever again. All I heard from black people was wait until his next term–then he can address our issues then. One hundred days into his second term and he has not mentioned black people in his agenda. He has pushed hard for immigration and issues concerning other minority groups, however. When do we stop making excuses for him and demand he acknowledge our existence and suffering?

      We are suffering the most on all fronts and only policies and support from the president can bring relief. As Dr. King said (and I am paraphrasing), open the door and I will walk through it. The vast majority of black people, including black men, will take responsibility if given the opportunity to prosper, the same as other groups–mostly whites. Cannot change the facts. We are doing worst than ever and it is under this president. Fact.

      • I said he gave a speech as well as he knew how –because he came from a different experience then the rest of us —he’s learning how to be totally black—we elected a bi-racial President whose father was African and whose mother was white he went to school in different countries and was raised by his white Grandparents —he maybe doing what we had to do as slave (YOU KNOW!)I believe in the African saying “IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD” it never said It takes a man and a woman—-or a father or mother When we become that “VILLAGE”(unified) and only then will we see the youth of this AMERICA —-RISE to the occasion!…PEACE!

  58. Any Black person…man or woman don’t get caught up in the “Blaming the Victim” game. The first thing that was done to weaken us as a people was to break up the family. That has never been fixed, due to poverty, Jim Crow, drugs pumped in to the Black community, The War on Drugs etc… 1965 is not that long ago… and the Civil Rights movement did not fix or remedy …the condition of Black People.
    Remember what we suffered… Remember what America done to us…… now it is our fault? We need to fix it? “Blaming the Victim” What has American done as reparations for the crimes against us as a people?
    There are college educated Black folk with dept on their backs (student loans) that cannot get a job. If I was there I would have asked him…how about those that are taking responsibility, but still can’t get a job, or ahead, due to racism.
    Do you know that in NYC years ago it was found out that the person who was running Wall Street didn’t even have a college degree? or recently the person that the NYC Mayor picked to run the Board of Education (Kathy Black) didn’t have one either. There are a lot of whites that don’t have education and experience, but you are told that you need this and you need that… and when you get it… you still don’t get there.
    The game is rigged and the first Black President Obama is letting America down… I am sure that he will not go down in history as one of our heroes, because he failed to help America reach greatness by not speaking to racial discrimination. He wouldn’t have to look far, because in the government agencies… all the managers and top staff are white. and this is pretty much how it looks everywhere else… degree or experience will not get you where the white Americans can get, because in most cases he/she will not be as educated or experienced…” White Privilege.” This is the problem.
    When he became President the Whites were afraid I could see it in their faces… they acted weird, kind of like during the OJ case, because they thought that he was going to take away their “White privilege”, but he did nothing they started to break the laws by mass firing of Blacks…nothing still was not done… now when they ask you your nationality in a job application they use it to not give you the job, because Obama has turned a blind eye to the laws… He is making it worse for Blacks in America… even Whoppie Goldberg (“The View”) said … “they taking us back before the sixties.”
    After 9-11 a lot of the dead were from one neighborhood in New Jersey. How is that possible? “White privilege” at work.
    There are laws that were enacted during the Civil Rights movement… but they are not being enforced. Is it not the governments’ job to enforce their own laws. Maybe Obama need to take responsibility.
    Don’t pay taxes and you will see some real law enforcement (Westly Snipes…Lauren Hill)
    Some of you speak against reality, because you may have a job now… try hard not to lose your job, because they are not hiring Blacks anymore.

  59. Pres. Obama owe these men, and most of responsible blk men in America an apology for the speech he gave the graduates of Morehouse College. His commencement speech was the right speech to give prisoners, but a worst speech to a bunch of college graduates!

  60. Cynthia D Wilson

    Let the President do his part and let Jesus handle the rest. This is not a fight for us it’s God.

    • What a stupid reply. Hopefully, you are not serious. Where in the Bible does it tell us to live on earth and do nothing? You Hopeless Christians are annoying!

    • Cynthia, Cynthia, Cynthia! It is non-whites like you that make it hard for the rest of us black men and wombmen, and easy for the oppressor.(I can’t call you black because black is simply not pigmentation but a state of mind, and in your current mind state with that comment you made, you ain’t black!)

  61. It’s gotten to the point where I despise Hobama more than I ever did Bush. “The More Effective Evil” is the legacy of this President. He can say whatever he wants to Black People like children and the white people just sit back and laugh because they know the first ones to defend him are the clueless kneegrows who blindly support this fool just because he makes them feel better about their pathetic lot in life. ‘We’s gots a Black President, everyting gon be otay’. When you mention the millions that are dying because of him with the WAR(S) drone strikes, 90 million people out of work, his refusal to hold Wall street accountable, close the tax loopholds but can raid your SS accounts, lie after lie, topping it off with the War on Drugs and at the same time allowing Afghanistan to harvest tons of Black Tar Heroin, 14% Black unemployment, putting Freedom Fighters who fought for our Civil Rights on “Terrorist” FBI list unlike any members of the active Klan groups that send him Death Threats daily. What more evidence do we need to prove to Black People where he stands? And when anyone does present all these facts, most of you are so simple minded you would rather insult the person stating the truth over even attempting to dispute any of it. I heard Claude Anderson say in a speech over 8 years ago that if Black People didn’t get our stuff together within the next 10 years it was over for us and we would be a permenant under-class in the very Country that we built and fought in every War for. Not only was he right but he forgot to mention who was to blame the most. All of you people who know everyting I just wrote was the truth and still make excuses for this tool of White Supremacy. I’ll concede even if these young Men needed to hear his speech like they are the ones that cause the problems in our communities. Explain why he never gives this same speech to his Wall Street Tax-Welfare loving cronies about personal responsibilty and helping the community they live in which is America. How do you help America by not paying taxes?

  62. When Obama was a Senator he gave a grant of millions to Rezko, the slum lord in Chicago. The money was supposed to be used to fix up an area of homes/apts where black people lived. The money seemed to have disappeared and nothing was done to this area. Rezko also arranged the sale of a house to Obama.
    When you going to realize that it isn’t just white politicians, it isn’t just Dems or Rep. It is most of them working together to destroy America. Do you actually think that violence in Chicago, unhealthy living conditions in Chicago, could not have been helped decades ago if not for crooked politicians. Check out Detroit. See what the politicians have done to/for it. Check out the graft and corruption from the pols there.

  63. The speech was fine in the beginning, but then it took a turn and became disrespectful and insulting, especially for one who does not take to kindly to these type of put downs. Obama’s questionable comments are all the more egregious when one considers that he is the President of the United States, who is also a black man speaking to young black men who did the right things and are not making any excuses. He down plays the justifiable indignation that we should all feel when it comes to racial injustice. He can’t possibly believe that these types of public statements are appropriate. He’s got to know that they do more harm than good. He’s an intelligent man. However, being raised by racist grandparents probably caused him mental damage when it comes to matters of race. He is really setting back meaningful understanding and progress among the races by his regular recitation of racial stereotypes. He should not have spoken those irresponsible words during Morehouse’s graduation ceremony. That was a shameful display particularly coming from the President of the United States. If he can display such ignorance in this scenario it gives me pause with respect to his handling of other matters that are not in the public’s view. The fact that so many find these comments appropriate tells me a lot about the state of Black America. We have been so beat down by racism and have deeply internalized messages of black inferiority that many do not feel offended even in the face of racist remarks that box us into the category of seriously flawed human beings. If this is how we truly view ourselves we will never rise to new levels in this nation. We’ll continue to wear a badge of inferiority and will be treated accordingly by society. We are each wonderful and marvelous and should never loss sight of our full value as human beings.

  64. Right speech, wrong audience. Does President Obama really need to preach personal responsibility and accountability to college educated Black men? I mean we are talking about Moorehouse men, not guys hanging on the corner next to the liquor store wearing white T-shirts. This is typical Obama political pandering and I’m so sick of him scoring points with the progressive left by telling black men to behave in a responsible manner. Jesse called him out on this during his first campaign and it’s nothing new just like his program to stimulate the economy in the inner city. How about a “New Deal” for the inner city? Young black men need jobs and not more lip service!

  65. I heard the President’s speech. He didn’t say anything that most of us haven’t said among ourself. I see that some you long for the days of GB. If I have a real complain about the President,it’s he didn’t nominate a liberal black female for the Supreme Court. That has more of a lasting affect for black people.

  66. WOW: those of little Faith, who wear Blinders and have Selective Hearing….DID YOU or DID YOU NOT HEAR/READ THE SPEECH? WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?…I

  67. Yall don’t see it. Obama as President is telling you that even he as the President has to bow to some white pressure. And trying not to compromise himself too much but to protect himself and his family, he bends. But if you, my “Black Peoples” want to the big, bad, independent peoples that can defeat White Supremacy that you CLAIM you want to be….. You are going to HAVE TO be better. Definitely better that what we are doing now.
    To quote Bill Clinton, it’s simple Mathematics. Your actions and your attitude don’t add up to what you want to be…

  68. Obama will get his comeuppers when he gets out of office. He is untouchable right now. He will need black folks again when he is out of office. Those white folks might off his behind when he is out of their house. They can not let him possibly become black again.

  69. I admit to being very “put-off” by the presidents commentary to MOREHOUSE MEN simply because they HAVE MET a part of their obligation in COMPLETING COLLEGE. These are not the “Brotha’s around the way” who are chillin’ on the corner, these are young men who have DONE WHAT THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO DO…If the president, that I voted for, wants to talk to men about handling their responsibility I’m thinking he should head on down to CHICAGO (I’m sure he remember’s that place) & have that conversation with some of these high school aged men, some of which aspire to one day be Morehouse men.

  70. warren Johnson

    Yes, the Prez lost his way on any number of counts; and no matter how you look at it, he cannot be redeemed. More and more he is demonstrating that he is not in touch with his Blackness, though he is more Black than White; and has a very Black family…. If he fails to come out and address and try to deal with some of the many inequities within the society that have been lingering for decades, then when the White Prez ascends the stairs of the White House, he will feel no need to do anything about the systematic undermining and degradation of the Black community. Pity that they haven’t yet realized that so goes the Black communities, so goes America. It will never be truly great practicing that kind of racist segregation against a people who has contributed so much to its development at their own peril, and without just rewards…..

  71. Dr. George Benson

    NO OTHER RACIAL GROUP and I do mean NO OTHER RACIAL Group has worked harder to build this Nation under the constant threat of the elimination of their humanity, while being a critical means by which considerable WHITE Wealth was created. Passages of President Obama’s speech are merely Bill Cosby’s same old song of self-hate: “Black People if you learned to walk with your degree in hand while the Massa’s feet are 20 miles up your backside and keep a smile at the same time you’ll be accepted”. This is a President that White People have shown their love for him by sending out pictures around the world of he and his family with their heads on the bodies of Apes and Monkeys. This is a President, who at just the thought of White anger conceded to unjustly fire Shirley Sherrod and Van Jones. This anti-welfare President enhanced the financial resources for access to taxpayer funds by the same Wall Street hustlers that caused America’s economic calamity and has resulted in 14% Black Unemployment and an unprecedented rise in the rate of Poverty. This President speech should have been BALANCED… sure personal responsibility, accountability for one’s actions, respect of your fellow man and working hard are all virtues we all should and must subscribe too and demonstrate, including this President and his corrupt White Knights of the White House Round Table. Mr. President and his close circle of White Men can start with cutting the Industrial Military Complex’s Welfare Programs of No-Bid Contracts received exclusively by White Men. Next, have the DOJ’s Eric Holder start house cleaning of Government Agencies discriminating against highly qualified, college educated Blacks (see EEOC’s 4/13 Audit). Next, stop the killing of innocent men, women and children using drones strikes. Every time this President points his finger during one of his enlightening speeches, he should take note of the 3-fingers pointing back at himself… and some of you out of touch, self-hating, LOVE the ALMIGHTY White, Negroes… should also do the same.

  72. Oooooh, did the President strike a nerve?? Moorehouse is full of black men. There is no need to do a “redneck” speech. Black men and women DO have to work harder than whites. Your parent should’ve instilled that in you before you entered 1st grade. (geeez) Black men SHOULD step up and be a part of their children’s lives both physically and financially. There are so many black kids running around here who have never met their father and even MORE half black/half white kids who have never met their fathers. This is just a terrible situation that definitely needs to be addressed and what better person to address it than the President of these United States. He is the perfect example of a husband and a father. He DOES NOT “stop by” every 6 years with $5.00 for his children. Most importantly, he is MARRIED to the mother of his children. I am tired of typing and most of you are tired of reading (Ahem), so I will end this now. You get my gist. (hopefully)

    • Psychotherapist

      The population of which you speak is not the population Obama was talking to. He chose the wrong time and place to have this talk. Most troubling, he overgeneralized. Most black men do not fit his depiction, nor do they fit your depiction.

      • These are just kids. They fully have the potential to be and do nothing. Obama’s speech wasn’t to/for them exclusively, especially considering neither of us were in that class yet here we are discussing it. These are words that need to be said and more importantly, need to be heard.

        The purveyors of the negative aspects of our culture are not street thugs, they are college grads. The label execs that sign these rappers, the directors and producers of these horrible reality shows were once sitting in those very seats. No one is above the message of improving our culture.

        • Well done. I agree with you. He was absolutely speaking to the right group. The future movers and shakers…….however they want to term it. Those Men are part of the new law-makers, contract-givers, financial market tycoons…..whether you believe it or not. The Morehouse Men believe it, and that’s why they can get President Obama to speak at their graduation.

        • Psychotherapist

          You are right; his speech was not just for the young men of Morehouse. It was for all of the racists listening to the president admonish the black community–again.

          When people like Oprah, Bill Cosby, and the Obama’s espouse the sentiments of people such as Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh, there is a problem. They validate these racial stereotypes that we have been trying to move away from for decades. If a prominent black person said it, also, how can it be racist when Rush and Sarah say it? That is the problem: Obama uses racial stereotypes and over-generalizations when referring to black people but he does not do it with gays, Latinos/a, southern whites and so forth. Why? Is it because he knows other groups would not stand for it and would protest, loudly.

          Obama’s speech would have been appropriate if he were talking to a black leadership convention about ways to improve the community and if he had proposed a program or policies to assist black men in becoming responsibly, i.e., job creation, reducing mass incarceration, decriminalize marijuana and so forth.

          If we are convinced black people are making excuses when they complain of racism, inequality and inequity, then the president does not have to do anything to assist–individualism should take care of everything for black people. Maybe that is why he is cutting your Social Security and Medicare. Work harder in your late 60s and 70s and do not complain.I am sure you will thank him for that, also, or make an excuse for why he has to do it.

  73. Preachers are saying it, Mayors arent saying it,
    Fathers are absent from the home – surely arent saying it, Rappers have no clue, the athletes aren’t saying it. Mothers are ignoring it.
    But turn on the news everyday, and we see the results of what happens to a culture that is being led by women, and no MALE ENERGY – who will say — “get from behind your mothers apron and be a man”

    So why is it when Obama says “IT”, folks start having problems. I dont agree with all his politics – but I do agree with him and Bill Cosby
    “We have ignored the real problem too long”

    Why are we waiting on a “Jobs program” deciding to drop out of school, not reading, not learning is YOUR FAULT. No one elses. – NO EXCUSES —
    MOMA – its your fault that RAY RAy can’t read!

    SOMEBODY NEEDS TO say it OUT LOUD -

    • Psychotherapist

      Traci, if all of the problems in the black community can be fixed through individualism, there is no need for the President to create jobs in the inner city. Right? You do know that the new trend is to build factors or relocate businesses in the suburbs where few blacks have the ability to travel? Individualism will also take care of low wages that make it impossible for families to be self-supporting and self-sustaining? And I am sure individualism will render the need for state and federal governments to provide high quality, effective schools in urban and rural communities. In fact, I am sure black kids who will not have the benefit of head start will be able to compete with white kids who have been in private or exceptional public schools since 3-years-old because black kids have individualism. Right?

      My point is that individualism, although important, will do nothing to affect change and improvement for the vast majority of black people. That is where policy is needed. Instead, Obama has adopted conservative, libertarian talking points to say it is solely up to you to succeed and not make excuses.

      The great actor Paul Newman said (paraphrasing), even with hard work, success requires a great bit of luck. Where you are born and what you look like does matter.

      I had a black colleague who has a master’s degree from MIT, one of the best schools in the world. He was Deputy Chief of his department. When his director took another position, Charles was next in line for the position, a shoe in. To keep it short, he did not get the position. It was given to one of his subordinates, a young white girl whom he had supervised for six years. To add insult, she did not have a master’s which was a requirement for the job. She was working on an online master’s at the time. Nothing wrong with online education, but he had a degree from MIT, had run one the largest health clinics in Boston and had been the deputy chief for 10 years–he was her supervisor. He was told the white girl was a better fit and the other women all got along with her and that is why he did not get the job. They also pretended to not know he had a master’s degree and even downplayed MIT as as just another school. Yes, racism is real and has a negative impact on the lives of black people, daily. It is NOT an excuse. Work hard and do not quit but that may not be enough to overcome systematic and systemic racism.

      Individualism will get you only so far, and then the president needs to propose, enact and enforce policies to protect the vulnerable among us–the wealth and powerful do not need protecting.

  74. Thessy Akabogu

    Excuses or Results? People find reasons to criticize. President Obama told us to stop making Excuses and move over to producing Results. We African Americans can do much better than we are doing now. We have what it takes to produce Results. Hard conditions are everywhere. If we think we can, we can, if we think we cannot, we cannot. Let us go produce Results, because we can. Sisters and Brothers, It is a mindset thing!

  75. Rev. George Brooks

    I now know, and perhaps many of you do also, that Barack Obama is not the black (half-black, really) that we blacks should have voted for to be the president of the United States. For black-wise he is simply not strong enough, or black enough. In fact, have any of you heard him personally and publicly say that HE IS BLACK? Others say it for him, but he has yet to say it, and most likely does not want to be considered black ONLY. And as for being the president, he is really just a puppet on the string of a bunch of Jews that got him into the White House, and are controlling him in everything that he says and does. He is NOT IN CHARGE OF ANYTHING, nor even himself. And Rev. Kevin Johnson is correct about the too few blacks being in the Obama cabinet, or as advisors. Whites, and especially JEWS, are his bosses, and are keeping him from having more blacks around him, and influencing him and policy. And, of course, he is not the first black (or more appropriately mulatto) to be president, because the first one with SOME black blood was Warren G. Harding. So stop honoring Obama in this way. And Morehouse should not have invited him to speak in the first place, because he’s not too concerned about ANY of the black colleges. But more concerned with Harvard, Yale, Princeton and other colleges of that type. — Rev. George Brooks

  76. I understand the frustration, the problem is simply while Obama speaks on “what more Black men need to do” he continuously fails to address the reasons it’s not evident. 1. The Media 2. Mass Incarceration of Blacks men due to the war on drugs. Many black men given the opportunity to strive can and will.

  77. This was an excellent speech to an outstanding group of collegiate alums. First and foremost, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but perhaps people who have issues with this speech are aloof to real struggles and problems wide spread amongst African American men in this country.

    And just because you are a black male does not mean you fully understand others struggle. My real concern is did you really hear the whole speech, or just part of it?

    Second of all, to address those who do not think this was appropriate message for college graduates must read and understand THE role/scope of the THE TALENTED TENTH (W.E.B. Dubois)! College educated professionals should go back into their communities or find a cause to fight for including injustices. Even more, college educated young men will perhaps become leaders of organizations and communities and have to focus on the real matters.

    The real concern is not what POTUS said, but it is what are you doing for your community and your family/others to make this country better?

  78. Nathaniel McGee

    Unfortunately there are some of us out there that still need to really grow up and trying to find fault because those are usually the same ones that look for others to blame. Unfortunately, they are still out in the fields and feel they should be in the “big house” by now………..

  79. READERS AND DR. WATKINS AND TAVIS AND WEST, PLEASE STOP HATIN ON PRESIDENT OBAMA AND EVEN REV. SHARPTON. There is a reason why you are not a guest on Sharpton’s radio and MSNBC show. It is because of your motor mouth and negative feelings about the job President Obama is doing.

    Again, STOP THE HATE AGAINST PRESIDENT OBAMA EVERYONE!!

  80. sean from brooklyn

    I AM FOR ONE SICK OF DEBATING ABOUT THIS MUTT.

    HE IS ONLY LOVED BY BLACK WOMEN, AND H-O-M-O SEXUALS.

    SO CARRY ON WITH THIS CLOSETED PRESIDENT

    CARRY ON.

  81. Dr. Boyce, you and Yvette will find any reason to criticize the Presiden!! He said what so many young men need to hear. The examples he used pointed out the need FOR MORE BLACK MEN who have been successful to point out what has become too pervasive in the Black community.

    IF YOU WANT A “PERFECT PRESIDENT”, ELECT MITCH MCconnell OR RAND PAUL OR PAUL RYAN OR MARKO RUBIO president!! Maybe we should look at your backgrounds? I’m sure they are “perfectly white as snow”!!

    PLEASE TAKE YOUR RAG OFF THE INTERNET UNTIL YOU CAN FIND SOMETHING POSITIVE TO SAY ABOUT THE PRESIDENT FOR A CHANGE!!

  82. Lesson proof that what you say is not same as how you say it.

  83. Thank You Brother Warren Green for giving those of us who had not heard the speech a first hand account of what POTUS Obama actually said. Personally I found nothing in the speech derogatory nor degrading to Black men. On the contrary is was quite uplifting and laudatory while being concise and brief. Some black folk just have a problem with Barack the person, to which I say just admit it and move on. Some blacks in the media are paid lackeys to join the Republicans and Tea Party to fight every piece of legislation he proposes for the betterment of ALL america. I commend and thank the President and continue to solidly support him. God bless you President Obama, Morehouse College, and all the “Morehouse Men” of all time for simply making a positive difference in this country.

  84. Wow. This written speech is a class lesson in the difference in what you say and HOW you say it. His tone and body language speak more than his words. Perhaps it is his stress showing. But his angry tone is somewhat indignant in nature. Has he been caught at something? Indignation and anger are defense for guilt.

  85. With black young men killing each other, I see nothing wrong with the President’s speech. Someone needs to be honest with our young men. No matter what he said, somebody would have a problem.

    • Not those black men that go to Morehouse, A&T and other colleges. Not those black men that served in the military for a country that don’t like them. No, it is those raggedy negroes that black women seem to love more. Don’t lump us with the rest.

      • Psychotherapist

        I agree; it is overgeneralizing I have a problem with, and the timing and place was inappropriate. Those men have worked hard for this day and deserved better than an admonishment. To be fair, some parts of the speech were fine but he stayed with the theme that black men need to be responsible and learn to work hard, that their failure is due to not working hard or being responsible. These guys have proven themselves as hard working, responsible men.

  86. Maybe he should let his speech be towards the young black men he was talking to at Morehouse and not towards every single young black brother like myself. I know every damn black women and some black men is in agreement with this man’s comments, but his speech come at a time when we as a people are suffering from steady unemployment that refuse to go down. It seem that everytime America’s President has anything to say towards Black America, everyone has something to say about our ills and issues and sound condescending and judgemental right along with him.We black men don’t need anyone trying to tell us how we’re suppose to be with all the hell we face as young men. We don’t need a so called leader talking down to any of us like we’re stupid or a problem to society. When more of our young brothers are getting killed, going to prison on bogus drug charges, you got EVERYONE including this President jumping down our throat for what we’ve done or hasn’t done. We black men don’t need a school lesson on survival in a judging society. Obama’s comment sound disrespectful in my opinion,but who really cares what a black man has to say.We just do as we’re told and obey this President and the people who’s for him just like our ancestors did during slavery and segregation,not a chance in hell.To hell with Obama and all the white and black liberals. When they start giving a damn over our issue that we didn’t create and help us fix it, then I would give a damn what they have to say. Otherwise stick to the problem of the people that he loves and leave us black men the fuck alone!!!!

  87. BRAVO President Obama. Your words were Spot On and Priceless.

    And Thank You Warren Green for posting the President’s speech.

  88. I just watched President Obama’s speech on CSPAN and once again it was a great speech. Uplifting and was given to a hall full of African American young people to encourage them to be the best they can be and let them know that a person who looked like them has become the most powerful man in the world.

    He told them to don’t give excuses. Told them to be fathers to their kids and don’t join gangs.

    Others fail to say here that African Americans are not trying to start businesses like whites and Asians. Not trying to opening up online sites to make money like asians and whites. I look out my window here in Seattle and see a small mall full of East African businesses.

    As a whole we open another church, another barber shop, another detail shop, another bar-be-cue joint.

    When I turn on Bloomberg West on Bloomberg TV I don’t see African Americans as guests discussing their new tech business. Hoe come readers? This is what the President was trying to address in his speech at Morehouse. Don’t settle on the normal.

    Be somebody. Open up a different kind of business than they normal. Be a father and role model of all kids to look up too.

    Stop using excuses. The President IS trying to address African American unemployment Dr. Watkins.

    I have saw story after story by Dr. Watkins and Tavis Smiley and his pal Dr. West blasting our President in a terrible way. And blasting Rev Sharpton too. I THINK DR. WATKINS, TAVIS AND WEST ARE JEALOUS OF REV. SHARPTON!!

    Because Rev. Sharpton has a open door to the White House and THEY DO NOT. PERIOD. Rev Sharpton has met with President Obama and with other black leaders about black unemployment Dr. Watkins BUT you and West and Smiley was NOT INVITED SO YOU USE YOUR WEBSITE TO PUT DOWN OUR PRESIDENT. THIS IS WRONG BRO!!

    READERS AND DR. WATKINS AND TAVIS AND WEST, PLEASE STOP HATIN ON PRESIDENT OBAMA AND EVEN REV. SHARPTON. There is a reason why you are not a guest on Sharpton’s radio and MSNBC show. It is because of your motor mouth and negative feelings about the job President Obama is doing.

    Again, STOP THE HATE AGAINST PRESIDENT OBAMA EVERYONE!!

  89. LOL…too funny! I’ve yet to understand why we have a president. Obviously this half Kenyan/White guy is not pro black. If would be nice if we could halt racism, and turn the economy around. But the bible says differently! I’m team JESUS all day, because, man can not save u.

  90. Given his experience before and after he was elected president . I believe much of what he stated has validity to it. He has not pushed much in the way of so called black policies nor has he appealed to the echoes of our leadership . But , many of the fake brothers like Al Sharpton and other rammed Obama down your throat and you say back and did nothing . So now your complaining about a speech he gave the actually tells you not to allow racism to be the excuse for you not making it and for you to work hard so no one can have any excuse to limit you from making it. He also made it plan that their perception is that we are lazy . He’s given you a world view , because he is front and center . I don’t think he was disrespectful for saying watch out this is the game their playing on us , so stay on top of your game ..! Given the fact we are 12% of the population , with no skills , brothers and sister willing to sale drug rather than work or finish school, drinking, eating fast food all day , staying in jail, killing off black boys for white folks drugs, still slacken for then . And you cat are complaining about he was disrespectful WoW!!!! Listen to the bull doo !! Where are the civil right leaders now since they have gotten cushy political jobs and became the house nigga . No one is standing up for the future of Moorish Children , but President Obama is wrong grow the hell up . I ask you church going on Sundays ass this when was the last time you call out all the Black Ministers and politician , community leaders and made them accountable.

  91. Mr. Obama was at his best giving speech and nothing else when it come to policy wise that affect black america. good job Mr. President speaking to black men about what to do to help the black community.

  92. If you dont have money President Obama is not going to even give you the time of day. How many times has he flown to Hollywood to speak to those people compared to coming to detroit, chicago, Ny and speaking to the black people. He is like all the rest just grab what I can for my self, white or black.

  93. Great speech, excellent delivery and well received by his audience. And Mr. Obama is still President of the United States of America.

    What follows is something worthwhile to talk about and act upon:

    Except for cannon balls landing in the dirt at Gettysburg and other battle sites America’s current confederates are well into reviving the legacy of their ancesteral devotees of slavery expansion. They love neither God nor country. Did the president disrespect his Morehouse audience is the wrong question?

    The right question.

    How the hell did the generations of high school diploma to PhD degreed Negroes allow themselves to become so hipnotised since 1968, and trade in all of their self respect for the love of money and the depreciating materialism and evaporating good feelings that money can buy? The roaming hoards of depraved lunatics who are the epitome of American pop culture are not the work product of President Barack Obama or Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.

    I refuse to allow right wing politics and children of the devil theology to take over the controls of my brain, heart and soul.

    Were I not commited to the philosophy of LOVE-if for no other reason I would refuse to HATE on Dr. Wright and his very famous disciple, Pres. Barack H. Obama just because the doctrine of White supremacy, so called Conservatives and Fox News, et al hate these two men so perfectly, each and every day.

    When Black Americans get serious about securing the freedom of future generations they will oppose everything their enemy support and support everything their enemy opposes. The presupposition is that one know who one’s enemy is.

    President Barack Obama is not our enemy. Ignorance is. The kind of ignorance in working class Whites that compare 2nd ammendment 18th century muskets with 21st century AR15s, M16s and cruise missiles, and the kind of ignorance in working class Blacks that expect 13th ammendment freedom to include the provisions of their daily necessities of life to come from their former owner in the big house are conjoined twins of mass destruction. Detest Ignorance, Foolishness, Doubt and Fear.

    Peace, Bob.

  94. The fact that there seems to be so much division about the tone of the Presidents speech suggest to me that we are on the right track. That our positions may differ concerning holding the President’s feet to the fire on issues and that we live in a country where we are free to have this conversation. That we are brave enough and sincere enough in our support of this President, it is only fair that we voice our concerns concerning how we perceive the President and vice versa.

  95. losers follow losers, this dude aint gonna change his stripes(zebrahead) he is a puppet, and his upbringing has molded his viewpoint, so if your are raised by racist devils, your mentality will reflect said upbringing, RACISM IS STILL VERY REAL, ALIVE AND WELL, so all you obamanutriders wake up stop blaming the victims for being victims and stop preaching to choirs, why isnt he saying anything about mass black male incarceration based on racial oppression which leads to fatherless children, so called dependent mothers, tell him to speak up against the system that has displayed more racial disdain and disrespect for him than any other president in history without using racism to describe the foul treatment he continues to recieve , tell him to call them racist ass dogs off f ASSATA , FREEM MUMIA, WAKE UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUP

  96. The President always give a wonderful speech. The speech was for the audience the black male in America. The black male in America experience is not like the the white male experience in America. I will have my son use some of the things he said in the speech as a daily affirmation for my 2 year old grandson. The things he said in the speeech are the same things my folks drill into their children daily.

    He was not telling the audience to steal, cheat, drop bombs on children and families.

    Don’t worry about the speech just take a stand and understand some of the policies that are being signed. These laws will have an effect on the next generation.

    Speak out and let them know you are a real person.

  97. My problem is the tone you use when ALWAYS pointing out he is half Black. Me thinks you have some bias in you sir, and, there lies the underbelly of the beast – separtism.

  98. Great Speech! Haters, Hate

  99. Great Speech! Haters, Hate

  100. I am so sick of Obama…that right Obama…he does not deserve to be call President. I voted for him and my three son and a daughter stayed up all night excited about voting for him. (2008). Obama totally disrespect Black men and Black people as a whole every time he gets a chance. That was a hall fill of educated Black Men who do not deserve to be spoken to like they were some deadbeat, crack addict, drive-by shooting, low lifes. Obama and the Black people who rush to defend him need to stop being a “GROUPTHINK(ER)”. Obama needs to address the issues effecting Black men in this country.The failed War On Drugs, Mass Incarceration,record unemployment,police brutality,False Imprisonment,Racism in America and in the justice system especially toward black men and blacks periods,Blacks income at $2.450 compare to $123.000.00 by whites,high school graduation rate of black males, Stop and frisk,Black men live 10 years less then any other American, just to name a few. Will the Morehouse grads take on the same attitude once entering the workforce as Obama? Where is their voice around the plight of Black men in this country? It is sad!! And these graduates have been silent, now entering the work they are going to start speaking up?

  101. It is good to go home even when you reject home and go somewhere else to get your education. The question we should all ask ourselves would he been able to pull it off by going to Morehouse , food for thought

  102. I thought his speech was about his philosophy of bettering the world. “Tag; you’re it” part of bettering starts at home.

  103. President Obama was absolutely disrespectful and should be ashamed for coming to this group of intelligent young black brothers with this tired speech. It’s the worst speech I ever heard from our, excuse me, everyone’s President. The delivery was even off. If he cared about the Graduates he would have told them of some programs he had in place that they could associate themselves with so that they could help their black community if they so decided. A black leader who cared would’ve dropped some real knowledge, something motivational, not some boilerplate lines to make it look like he was talking it straight. It’s term two, and he hasn’t changed a bit. I’m disappointed because I thought my President a black leader, when he’s just a leader that’s black.

    • Brotha Barry, that fool Barrack ain’t black, he just a non-white. Black is not a pigmentation, black is a state of consciousness, its a mental attitude, its the realization (among other things) that I need to rally together with my people to cast off the shackles of oppression. And Obama ain’t that! So he’s not the first black president, and to acknowledge such is an insult to black people, rather he is the first non-white president.

      • Neither is he apart of our experience in America with a father who is African, again we are not African, and a mother who is a white woman.

    • PetefromDetroit

      Yep.

  104. Embedded photo: The pornographic picture, right below President Obama, of the White woman captioned, “Start your family with a Russian Lady” Meet Her! – is extremely disrespectful.

    Who’s responsible? What’s the point of advertising porn as part of an article criticle of President Obama’s Moorehouse Commencement address?

    Is the intent to puncuate your criticism with mid-puberty immaturity?

  105. YVETTE, YOU NEED TO STOP. find the negative in the way we treat each other. We as a people do not support each other. We always look for what’s wrong and not for what is right. We don’t even help each other to come up!! When one of us try to help someone any one; We find something wrong with them ( i.e. CHARLES RAMSEY). So just stop and look for the good in what the President had to say. Also he told the TRUTH! which I find you are afraid of.

  106. I’am so happy to see some one other than myself notice how Yvette and Dr.Hippocrite look for any thing , just to put our Black President down thank you Terrance!!!!!!

  107. I applaude President Obama, motivational speech to the Men at Morehouse or anywhere else he decides to speak, If you felt offended that means that you have a hidden offense, he was simply motivating you to continue to do excel in your endeavors and one day if you decide to become a Dad to be the best Dad ever even if you didn’t have one, you don’t have to keep the generational or stigma of black men or women as being nothing less than their best. It is always a time to give motivational speech about parenthood, you are grown men now, enventually if it is your preference or choice you will become a Dad, so whoever was offended get over it. This is the only race that have been victimized by others and no complaint, but when one of our own comments on changing our perception of ourselves; their is a problem. Why is that Black America???? Change Your Thoughts and You Change Your World. Enough of this dependency, blame game, hurt feelings, let the real Black Men Or Women Please Stand Up and do something positive for yourselves and one another, in by doing this our entire race will change for the better.

  108. Crack hoe project bitcharoos

    The one best thing better than finding a job in this war against the frat families is a good smoke pipe. The american people were taught to make it on your own by educating yourselves and whispering among you favorite peers how you would like to slit mother fucker throat in its dreams.Still dreaming big without gathering that toilet paper around your hands for those just in cased situations.It takes a dog raiser to leave a human out in the street without a meal a home no money no means of caring for themselves. Just an animal whose family turned on them for religious gains. Its no one fault but a slut for leaving a human to drag off of cigarettes founded in the street your only meals may be coming from your nose and someone with a degree follows and study that human creature. God may need a blow job by now.Stay strong its a long ride from here to eternity.

  109. Here is the speech:

    Remarks of President Barack Obama – As Prepared for Delivery
    Commencement Address at Morehouse College
    Atlanta, Georgia
    May 19, 2013

    Hello, Morehouse! Thank you Dr. Wilson, the Board of Trustees; Congressman Cedric Richmond and Sanford Bishop – both proud alumni of this school; Congressman Hank Johnson and the great John Lewis; Mayor Reed, and all the members of the Morehouse family. Most of all, congratulations to this distinguished group of Morehouse Men, the Class of 2013! Some of you are graduating summa cum laude, some of you are graduating magna cum laude, and I know some of you are just graduating, “thank you Lordy.”

    I see some good looking hats on the moms and grandmas here today. Which is appropriate, since we’re here on Sunday, and folks are in their Sunday best. Congratulations to all of you – the parents and grandparents, brothers and sisters, family and friends who supported these young men in so many ways. This is your day, too. Just think about it – your sons and brothers have spent the last four years far from home and close to Spelman. And they still made it here today. So you must be doing something right. Graduates, give them a round of applause.

    I know some of you had to wait in long lines to get into today’s ceremony. I would apologize, but it didn’t actually have anything to do with security. These graduates just wanted you to know what it’s like to register for classes. And this time of year brings a different kind of stress, with every senior stopping by Gloster Hall over the past week making sure your name was on the list of students who’ve met all the graduation requirements. If it wasn’t, you had to figure out why. Was it the library book you let your roommate borrow freshman year? Was it Dr. Johnson’s policy class? Did you get enough Crown Forum credits?

    I can help with that last one. Today, I am exercising my power as President to declare this speech sufficient Crown Forum credits for any otherwise-eligible student to graduate. Consider it my graduation gift to you.

    Graduates, I am humbled to stand here with all of you as an honorary Morehouse Man. And as I do, I’m mindful of an old saying: “You can always tell a Morehouse Man, but you can’t tell him much.” That makes my task today a little more difficult, I suppose. But I think it also reflects the sense of pride that has always been a part of the Morehouse tradition.

    Benjamin Mays, who served as the president of Morehouse for almost 30 years, understood that tradition perhaps better than anyone. He said, “It will not be sufficient for Morehouse College, for any college, for that matter, to produce clever graduates… but rather honest men, men who can be trusted in public and private life – men who are sensitive to the wrongs, the sufferings, and the injustices of society and who are willing to accept responsibility for correcting [those] ills.”

    It was that mission – not just to educate men, but to cultivate good men – that brought community leaders together just two years after the end of the Civil War. They assembled a list of 37 men, free blacks and freed slaves, who would make up the first prospective class of what later became Morehouse College. Most of those first students had a desire to become teachers and preachers – to better themselves so they could help others do the same.

    A century and a half later, times have changed. But the “Morehouse Mystique” endures. Some of you probably came here from communities where everyone looked like you. Others may have come here in search of that kind of community. And I suspect that some of you probably felt a little bit of culture shock the first time you came together as a class in King’s Chapel. All of a sudden, you weren’t the only high school sports captain or student council president. All of a sudden, among a group of high achievers, you were expected to be something more.

    That’s the unique sense of purpose that has always infused this place – the conviction that this is a training ground not only for individual success, but for leadership that can change the world.

    Dr. King was just 15 years old when he enrolled here at Morehouse. He was an unknown, undersized, unassuming young freshman who lived at home with his parents. I think it’s fair to say he wasn’t the coolest kid on campus; for the suits he wore, his classmates called him “Tweed.” But his education at Morehouse helped to forge the intellect, the soul force, the disciple and compassion that would transform America. It was here that he was introduced to the writings of Gandhi, and Thoreau, and the theory of civil disobedience. It was here that professors encouraged him to look past the world as it was and fight for the world as it should be.

    And it was here, at Morehouse, as Dr. King later wrote, where “I realized that nobody…was afraid.”

    Think about that. For black men in the forties and fifties, the threat of violence, the constant humiliations, large and small, the gnawing doubts born of a Jim Crow culture that told you every day you were somehow inferior, the temptation to shrink from the world, to accept your place, to avoid risks, to be afraid, was necessarily strong. And yet, here, under the tutelage of men like Dr. Mays, young Martin learned to be unafraid. He, in turn, taught others to be unafraid. And over the last 50 years, thanks to the moral force of Dr. King and a Moses generation that overcame their fear, and cynicism, and despair, barriers have come tumbling down, new doors of opportunity have swung open; laws, hearts, and minds have been changed to the point where someone who looks like you can serve as President of the United States.

    So the history we share should give you hope. And the future we share should give you hope. You’re graduating into a job market that’s improving. You live in a time when advances in technology and communications puts the world at your fingertips. Your generation is uniquely poised for success unlike any before it.

    That doesn’t mean we don’t have more work to do together. Because if we’re being honest with ourselves, too few of our brothers and sisters have the opportunities you’ve had here at Morehouse. In troubled neighborhoods all across the country – many of them heavily African-American – too few of our citizens have role models to guide them. Communities just a couple miles from my house in Chicago. Communities just a couple miles from here. They’re places where jobs are still too scarce and wages are still too low; where schools are underfunded and violence is pervasive; where too many of our men spend their youth not behind a desk in a classroom, but hanging out on the streets or brooding behind bars.

    My job, as President, is to advocate for policies that generate more opportunity for everybody – policies that strengthen the middle class and give more people the chance to climb their way into the middle class. Policies that create more good jobs and alleviate poverty, that educate more children, that give more families the security of health care, and protect more of our children from the horrors of gun violence. These are matters of public policy, and it is important for all of us, black, white and brown, to advocate for an America where everybody has a fair shot in life.

    But along with collective responsibilities, we have individual responsibilities. There are some things, as black men, we can only do for ourselves. There are some things, as Morehouse Men, that you are obliged to do for those still left behind. As graduates – as Morehouse Men – you now wield something even more powerful than the diploma you are about to collect. And that’s the power of your example.

    So what I ask of you today is the same thing I ask of every graduating class I address: use that power for something larger than yourself.

    Live up to President Mays’ challenge. Be “sensitive to the wrongs, the sufferings, and the injustices of society.” And be “willing to accept responsibility for correcting [those] ills.”

    I know some of you came to Morehouse from communities where life was about keeping your head down and looking out for yourself. Maybe you feel like you escaped, and you can take your degree, get a fancy job and never look back. And don’t get me wrong – with the heavy weight of student loans, with doors open to you that your parents and grandparents could scarcely imagine, no one expects you to take a vow of poverty. But I will say it betrays a poverty of ambition if all you think about is what goods you can buy instead of what good you can do. So yes, go get that law degree. But ask yourself if the only option is to defend the rich and powerful, or if you can also find time to defend the powerless. Yes, go get your MBA, or start that business. But ask yourself what broader purpose your business might serve, in putting people to work, or transforming a neighborhood. The most successful CEOs I know didn’t start out intent on making money – rather, they had a vision of how their product or service would change things, and the money followed.

    Some of you may be headed to medical school to become doctors. But make sure you heal folks in underserved communities who really need it, too. For generations, certain groups in our country – especially African-Americans – have been in desperate need of access to quality, affordable health care. And as a society, we are finally beginning to change that. Those of you who are under the age of 26 already have the option to stay on your parents’ health care plan. But all of you are heading out into an economy where many young people expect to not only have multiple jobs, but multiple careers. So starting October 1st, you’ll be able to shop for a quality, affordable plan that’s yours and that travels with you – a plan that will insure not only your health, but your dreams if you have an accident or get sick. That’s good for you, it’s good for this country, and you should spread the word to your fellow young people.

    And that brings me to my second request of you: Just as Morehouse has taught you to expect more of yourself, inspire those who look up to you to expect more of themselves.

    We know that too many young men in our community continue to make bad choices. Growing up, I made a few myself. And I have to confess, sometimes I wrote off my own failings as just another example of the world trying to keep a black man down. But one of the things you’ve learned over the last four years is that there’s no longer any room for excuses. I understand that there’s a common fraternity creed here at Morehouse: “excuses are tools of the incompetent, used to build bridges to nowhere and monuments of nothingness.” We’ve got no time for excuses – not because the bitter legacies of slavery and segregation have vanished entirely; they haven’t. Not because racism and discrimination no longer exist; that’s still out there. 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. And whatever hardships you may experience because of your race, they pale in comparison to the hardships previous generations endured – and overcame.

    You now hail from a lineage and legacy of immeasurably strong men – men who bore tremendous burdens and still laid the stones for the path on which we now walk. You wear the mantle of Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington, Ralph Bunche and Langston Hughes, George Washington Carver and Ralph Abernathy, Thurgood Marshall and yes, Dr. King. These men were many things to many people. They knew full well the role that racism played in their lives. But when it came to their own accomplishments and sense of purpose, they had no time for excuses.

    I’m sure every one of you has a grandma, an uncle, or a parent who’s told you at some point in life that, as an African-American, you have to work twice as hard as anyone else if you want to get by. I think President Mays put it even better: “Whatever you do, strive to do it so well that no man living and no man dead, and no man yet to be born can do it any better.” I promise you, what was needed in Dr. Mays’ time, that spirit of excellence, and hard work, and dedication, is needed now more than ever. If you think you can get over in this economy, just because you have a Morehouse degree, you are in for a rude awakening. But if you stay hungry, keep hustling, keep on your grind and get other folks to do the same – nobody can stop you.

    And when I talk about pursuing excellence, and setting an example, I’m not just talking about in your career. One of today’s graduates, Frederick Anderson, started his college career in Ohio, only to find out that his high school sweetheart back in Georgia was pregnant. So he enrolled in Morehouse to be closer to her. Pretty soon, helping raise a newborn and working night shifts became too much, so he started taking business classes at a technical college instead – doing everything from delivering newspapers to buffing hospital floors to support his family. Then he enrolled at Morehouse a second time – but even with a job, he couldn’t keep up with the cost of tuition. So after getting his degree from that technical school, the father of three decided to come back to Morehouse for a third time. As Frederick says, “God has a plan for my life, and he’s not done with me yet.”

    Today, Frederick is a family man, a working man, and a Morehouse Man. And that’s what I’m asking all of you to do: keep setting an example for what it means to be a man. 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.

    I was raised by a heroic single mother and wonderful grandparents who made incredible sacrifices for me. And I know there are moms and grandparents here today who did the same thing for all of you. But I still wish I had a father who was not only present, but involved. And so my whole life, I’ve tried to be for Michelle and my girls what my father wasn’t for my mother and me. I’ve tried to be a better husband, a better father, and a better man.

    It’s hard work that demands your constant attention, and frequent sacrifice. And Michelle will be the first to tell you that I’m not perfect. Even now, I’m still learning how to be the best husband and father I can be. Because success in everything else is unfulfilling if we fail at family. I know that when I’m on my deathbed someday, I won’t be thinking about any particular legislation I passed, or policy I promoted; I won’t be thinking about the speech I gave, or the Nobel Prize I received. I’ll be thinking about a walk I took with my daughters. A lazy afternoon with my wife. Whether I did right by all of them.

    Be a good role model and set a good example for that young brother coming up. If you know someone who isn’t on point, go back and bring that brother along. The brothers who have been left behind – who haven’t had the same opportunities we have – they need to hear from us. We’ve got to be in the barbershops with them, at church with them, spending time and energy and presence helping pull them up, exposing them to new opportunities, and supporting their dreams. We have to teach them what it means to be a man – to serve your city like Maynard Jackson; to shape the culture like Spike Lee. Chester Davenport was one of the first people to integrate the University of Georgia law school. When he got there, no one would sit next to him in class. But Chester didn’t mind. Later on, he said, “It was the thing for me to do. Someone needed to be the first.” Today, Chester is here celebrating his 50th reunion. If you’ve had role models, fathers, brothers like that – thank them today. If you haven’t, commit yourself to being that man for someone else.

    Finally, as you do these things, do them not just for yourself or for the African-American community. I want you to set your sights higher. At the turn of the last century, W.E.B. DuBois spoke about the “talented tenth” – a class of highly-educated, socially-conscious leaders in the black community.

    But it is not just the African-American community that needs you. The country needs you. The world needs you. See, as Morehouse Men, many of you know what it’s like to be an outsider; to be marginalized; to feel the sting of discrimination. That’s an experience that so many other Americans share. Hispanic Americans know that feeling when someone asks where they come from or tells them to go back. Gay and lesbian Americans feel it when a stranger passes judgment on their parenting skills or the love they share. Muslim Americans feel it when they’re stared at with suspicion because of their faith. Any woman who knows the injustice of earning less pay for doing the same work – she sure feels it.

    So your experiences give you special insight that today’s leaders need. 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. It should give you an ability to connect. It should give you a sense of what it means to overcome barriers.

    Whatever success I achieved, whatever positions of leadership I’ve held, have depended less on Ivy League degrees or SAT scores or GPAs, and have instead been due to that sense of empathy and connection – the special obligation I felt, as a black man like you, to help those who needed it most; people who didn’t have the opportunities that I had, because but for the grace of God, I might be in their shoes. So it’s up to you to widen your circle of your concern – to create greater justice both in your own community, but also across our country. To make sure everyone has a voice; everyone gets a seat at the table; to make sure that everyone – no matter what they look like or where they come from, or who they love – gets a chance to walk through those doors of opportunity if they want it bad enough.

    When Leland Shelton was four years old, social services took him away from his mother and put him in the care of his grandparents. By age 14, he was in the foster care system. Three years after that, Leland enrolled in Morehouse. Today he is graduating Phi Beta Kappa on his way to Harvard Law School. And as a member of the National Foster Care Youth and Alumni Policy Council, he plans to use his law degree to make sure kids like him don’t fall through the cracks. It won’t matter what they look like or where they come from, because they’ll have someone like Leland – someone who knows what they’ve been through – in their corner.

    That’s what we’ve come to expect from you, Morehouse. A legacy of leaders – not just in our black community, but in our broader American community. To recognize the burdens you carry with you, but resist the temptation to use them as excuses. To transform the way we think about manhood, and set higher standards for yourselves and others. To be successful, but also to understand that each of us has responsibilities not only to ourselves, but to one another, and to future generations.

    Men who refuse to be afraid. Members of the class of 2013, you are the heirs to a great legacy. You have within you the same courage; the same strength; the same resolve as the men who came before you.

    That’s what being a Morehouse Man is all about. That’s what being an American is about. Success may not come quickly or easily. But if you strive to do what’s right; if you work harder and dream bigger; if you set an example in your own lives and do your part to help meet the challenges of our time, then I am confident that, together, we will continue the never-ending task of perfecting our union.

    Congratulations, class of 2013. God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.

  110. What was so disrespectful about what President Obama Stated, Hell it the truth,it is a known fact that Black man/woman have to prove that they are just a qualified as the white person with the same Degree..KNOWN FACT NOT DISRESPECTFUL AT ALL… STOP ALWAYS LOOKING FOR THE NEGATIVE IN EVERYTHING THAT THE PRESIDENT STATES..I CAN’T STAND NEGATIVE PEOPLE..OAN AND WHO ARE U TO JUDGE ANYONE THAT’S GOD’S JOB Yvette. DAMN GROW UP ALREADY…

  111. It is the usual speech the president give to most Black audiences, in a slightly different dialect than given to other audiences, and yes we should be good fathers, and most of us are, yesterday was not the day for a lecture.

  112. Absolutely hilarious. In speech 101 you will learn that when speaking to different audiences the speaker must use phrases, terminology etc. that the group will understand and relate to. An effective speaker will not use the same speech for children and adults. College graduates and high schools students, or in this matter African American students and non African American students.

    • Psychotherapist

      What you are saying is true, but these are educated men–not guys hanging on the block. They should have been afforded the same courtesy he affords other groups of educated people. In fact, he did exactly what ignorant white people who rarely interact with black people would do: revert to stereotypical language, black speak. He also generalized that most black men need encouragement to work hard and failure is the result of their not committing themselves to hard work. This is a typical talking point of racists or those out of touch.

      • Well said, and thank you for writing this accurate assessment of this President. Obama’s words to African Americans have always followed the patterns of the stereotypes placed upon us by racist whites, and his validation of their claims of who we are, only widens the division between the colors which make up the American population. Can’t you just here the racist further defend is lies about us by saying, “even the President said that you Blacks are whiners and looking for reasons to blame the white man for your failures.” I cannot believe that this President is so ignorant of what he is doing to the very people he claimed (before his presidency mind you) to identify with most in America.

  113. So what’s wrong with personal responsibility? It reminds me of how some were so upset with Bill Cosby’s comments about our community. The truth hurts some of those who are too dependent on others and don’t want to work hard for themselves. My opinion and I stick by it.

  114. Ms. Yvette, you do realize Morehouse is an ALL BLACK MALE College! He was speaking to black men about the importance of having a father in the lives of their children.. I’m sure, if he spoke to a group of white women, he will bring up his white mother… Black people need to stop pushing blame on others, when confronted with truth! We complain about him not addressing black people, and when he does, we make the complaint that he did it incorrectly! Grow the F up, black people!

    • Terrence, I Totally agree with your comments. Our people need to understand that we must stop using the excuse that some of my people, “They Not Like Me” As a retried administrator, coach and teacher I have seen young men make mistakes, but are willing to listen to someone that is trying to help them improve their lives as the young man who was in the Foster Care System and got up from feeling sorry for himself and now he has graduated form Moerehouse College and on his way to Law School. Once we return to our Lord and Savor Jesus Christ who will guide and directs us, Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all thy heart, lean not unto thy own understanding, In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy path. Let’s keep praying for our President.

    • This President has spoken to many groups of white women & he did’t tell them to not be like his selfish mother who pursued her own personal goals & then drop her children off to be raised by grandparents with at least one of them being somewhat prejudiced. If this President has some deep seated issues with his upbringing, he needs to take that up with his white relatives & his Kenyan relatives. No Black American has nothing to do with his upbringing or mistreating him, etc. This president did not address the Black community, he spoke at a college commencement. When you are a miseducated negro, you will speak the things you spoke.

  115. Amazing. ” But some are saying that the president gave these young black men the kind of speech he’d never have the courage to give to a white audience.”

    Why is this not surprising? People are really predictable. Anything to bring a person down. The above statement amazes me, as this is just an assumption and an entire article has been written based on an assumption. Did somebody attend an event similar to this where the President did not have the courage to say the same things?

    I agree with him, we do need to work harder and take personal responsibilities. Those of us in the real world see it everyday. I can tell you for a fact that the white people are telling each other the same thing, but in their case they are saying that the black person has an advantage over them as they are historically disadvantaged and therefore are being given more opportunities than the white man.

    You all need to get of your “offence” high stool and appreciate the lessons being taught. In fact, try understanding them first.

    So what if you think he didn’t have great role models, it’s not your circumstances that determine what you become and what you can aspire to be. It’s the choices you make. He did pretty well without those great role models.

    • Psychotherapist

      Obama has admonished black people before, telling them to take off their bedroom shoes and pull up their pants and go to work. He said this while speaking to a room full of old white men who know little about black people. It was as though he was trying to garner favor with his white colleagues by showing his disdain for black people. Although there are people in the black community who fit that depiction, he generalized the entire black population. That validates what racists think of black people. If Obama said it, it must be true. I have not heard him admonished whites or use a southern redneck vernacular when talking to people of that population.

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