Friday, July 17, 2009

Since He Was Supposely Talking To Us, What Do Ya'll Black Folks Think About President Obama's Speech To The NAACP?


Shady_Grady July 17, 2009 at 6:19 AM  

I don't think it was a bad speech as far as it went but I am tired of hearing politicians hammer the entire black community for an alleged personal responsibility deficit. This idea of "no excuses" as if black people en masse are sitting around making excuses doesn't fly with me.

The people who need to hear those sorts of speeches are generally not the well connected big shots in business, politics, academia or media earning well over six figures who can easily afford to donate to and support the NAACP and other such organizations. (That's not a shot at the NAACP and I realize there are are a lot of less well heeled people that support such groups)

The people that may need to hear speeches about "no excuses" might be folks in halfway houses, at risk teens, folks in homeless shelters, guys who are getting their GED, or folks in prison/jail.

That's the appropriate audience for speeches about personal responsibility, not people who likely already have multiple degrees, are doing reasonably well and have fought their way into a largely white corporate or academic world that still underpays or discriminates against them in other ways.

I am waiting for the speech he gives to AIPAC in which he hammers some people for not doing enough to stop financial misdeeds or the speech to the Knights of Columbus in which he exhorts folks to do more about organized crime.

I do agree that education is the key so I like that he mentioned that.

A. Spence July 17, 2009 at 8:38 AM  

I think he made some good points. But nothing we haven't already determined as African Americans.

cinco July 17, 2009 at 7:24 PM  

Nothing wrong with what he has said. Some people need to hear it over and over again. I'm not one of them. I agree with the previous posters. We know what the problems are, that is the Black people that care. The ones that need to hear his message haven't followed him since they made money off of him on Election Day. That's where they stopped listening. If our own people were listening, the election of our nation's first black President would not be the only thing that has changed since 11/08.

Claudia July 17, 2009 at 8:32 PM  

I can understand why the subject of Obama's speech might make some uneasy, but I thought it was great message that needs to be heard over and over again. And he's definitely the one to deliver it. Even if he is preaching to the choir - LOL. I enjoyed this perspective over at Ta-Nehisi Coates' blog:

Anonymous,  July 17, 2009 at 9:58 PM  

new fresh look

Anonymous,  July 18, 2009 at 8:47 AM  

AOL members posted some very racist comments about our President. Since Obama got elected, white folks are showing their true colors. Any time anything is posted with someone black the KKK convention begins

Jennifer July 18, 2009 at 3:45 PM  

I'm so sick of Obama and all of his apologists confusing pointing out the racial discrepancies in this country with making "excuses". Go do your job, Mr. President. I've LONG taken care of me and mine, and I don't need you or your lovely wife to "inspire" me to write my own destiny or whatever preaching-to-the-choir-while-you-make-sure-white-folks-are-listening crap you were spewing. I defended you once. I defended you twice. In the words of Frank Marino in Casino: "No more! No more!". Wake me up when you're ready to preach to Mexican-Americans in L.A. about killing off black people for fun, or the non-white gay rights movement for their ridiculous bashing and co-opting the history of people of color. Oh, wait - you would never unfairly tar an entire race of people for the actions of a few...would you, Mr. President?

Godam5 July 18, 2009 at 9:41 PM  

What do you all think of this perspective from Tom Eley of World Socialist Web Site?

"The main thrust of president Barack Obama’s speech before the centenary meeting of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Thursday was to blame working class African-Americans for the social crisis engulfing them."

"...There is nothing in Obama’s personal or political history that has anything to do with the struggles of African-American workers. He was very early on picked up by powerful political and financial interests that ultimately shepherded him to the White House. Because of his particular ethnic background, he was seen as someone who could better sell right-wing policies.

"Far from advancing the interests of the majority of the black population, identity politics has become the vehicle for a sharp attack on African-American workers and the working class as a whole. "

from: Obama's Speech to the NAACP

Hee.. this site thinks Obama is right-wing, which he may be, but only in a technical sense, not relatively, in comparison to the Republicans, who are super-authoritarian and super pro-free market. This site supports no one except its own Socialist party.

I don't particularly agree with EVERYTHING this site says, but it's nice to see a leftist criticism of Obama that isn't out of racist, blind-to-reality Palin-love, but out of an actual coherent, ideological stance.

lincolnperry July 19, 2009 at 3:33 PM  

Here is the problem, we can lift black folks at the bottom end, if Middle Class, Upper Middle Class Black folks are willing to challenge the STATUS QUO, and stop accepting crumbs at the table!

Then embraced the philosophy of the honorary white the Asians, Education, Entrepreneurial efforts, wealth building! So he is not preaching to the choir!

BLKSeaGoat July 20, 2009 at 2:33 PM  

People should take the time to read the entire speech. However, I think making a speech about no excuses at an NAACP convention is like making a speech about the holocaust in Iran with Ahmedenjad as the audience member. His words were wasted on those chitlin' eatin' negroes in attendance.

The NAACP as it exists now is dysfunctional and ineffective. It's sole mission is to preserve the rights of criminals at the EXPENSE of victims... particularly BLACK victims. So while people voice their dissent about what they view as a "chastisement" speech, I see things very differently. The whole speech whipped a bunch of black folks up into a hand-clapping, amening, Yass 'suh frenzy, but I can guarantee you that NO ONE listened to anything Obama said. Keep in mind that this is the NAACP.

The same NAACP who ignored anything about Dunbar Village until the RAPISTS were given trial dates. It is that NAACP who gave a platform to Ross Perot, whose "you people remark" tanked his presidential bid, while being met with niggas apologizing for the way "we" reacted to it because Ross meant no harm. This NAACP is the same organizations that gave Mike Steele space to speak AFTER he responded to a question at a white college about the GOP's diversity recruitment by stating that he had plenty of "Fried Chicken and potato salad" to get blacks to come.

The NAACP's obscurity and irrelevance is only unmatched by the ACLU's.

cinque July 21, 2009 at 3:58 AM  

@ Jennifer,
You hit the nail on the head with your assesment.

Anonymous,  July 22, 2009 at 10:52 AM  

In reading the speech I come away with a few key points.

1) NAACP significant then and now
2) We've made some strides but more work to be done.
3) Black folks have as much talent and potential as anyone.
4) He could have come up short himself if it were not for the discipline his mother instilled within him along with a few breaks he got in life.

When I see the speech in its entirity I don't see that he pontificates against us. He didn't go Cosby on us. I think it was balanced, instructive, and encouraging.

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