Did President Obama Come too hard with his ‘No Excuses’ Speech to the NAACP?




People are buzzing about President Obama’s speech to the NAACP the other night. It’s getting a lot of praise for being energetic. It received a rousing standing ovation.  Many are saying he spoke sobering words that really needed to be heard during these hardtimes. He called for personal responsibility. he encouraged parents to step it up and be more involved.

He basically let us know that times are changing, the world is more competitive and quite frankly with him being in the White House a whole lot of non-Black folks aren’t trying to hear any excuses as to why we aren’t making it.

He pointed out that there are lots of opportunities for people to take advantage to move forward and its sad that so many are not.

Minista Paul Scott feels that President Obama glosses over important issues about race and racism

Minista Paul Scott feels that President Obama glosses over important issues about race and racism

On the other hand there are those like Truth Minista Paul Scott who emphatically feel that a good speech and false perceptions held by others do not erase systemic conditions. Police brutality, poverty and institutional racism have not disappeared with the election of President Obama. In fact they may have gotten worse as there seems to be a backlash to America electing its first Black president.

Paul brings to the forefront some other interesting facets to consider including Obama’s tendency to downplay white supremacy when he talks about race. He feels that when Obama speaks to Black people he’s doing so to appease whites hence he adapts a harsh ‘personal responsibility’ tone. Paul points out personal responsibility is a good thing, but it suggests that many of the barriers in front of us are there because we aren’t trying hard enough. Racism is there because we have not educated ourselves enough. 

Paul suggest that Preisent Obama take a look at Carter G Woodson’s book ‘The Miseducation of the Negro”.

Anyway take a listen to the two speeches and let us know what u think. Was Obama on point with his make no excuses speech or is Minista Paul Scott correct in pointing out that some excuses are just too damn big to ignore.

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner


  1. Can’t watch the videos at work but I’ll check it out later.

    I have a quick thought concerning this:
    —do not erase systemic conditions. Police brutality, poverty and institutional racism have not disappeared —

    Ok, let’s say many folks, like myself agree that institutional racism and police brutality is a serious concern. Poverty is a social issue affecting many Americans. Ok, that’s clear.

    Knowing that, what would you do, what would you tell your children to do and also more importantly the young waywards kids that live in your neighborhood. Would you discuss institutional racism, poverty, and police brutality OR would you push them to excel in school, read to them early and often, correct their grammar, teach them about saving money for the future, and instruct them how to behave and if possible supervise them after school?

    When I have a child, sure when he or she gets older I willdiscuss the social ills that we face, but from day one I will make sure they act and walk right. Also note, there are many examples throughout American history where African-Americans prospered in spite of the number of social ills they had to deal with, and dare I say those problems were direct, indirect, systemic, institutional, etc.

    My point, we have accomplished so much with a whole lot less opportunities and resources. There are many African and Carribean immigrants coming the States and making it happen. They don’t have excuses, they’re just making it happen.
    But don’t worry, I’m sure institutional racism, poverty and police brutality will be here with us in 2016.

    . . . those aformentioned issues that Obama glossed over are important but there’s really No Excuses. My response applies to 70’s, 80’s, 90’s till now. Word to Arthur Ashe, Condeleeza Rice, Puff Daddy, Ben Carson, Drs. Sampson Davis, Rameck Hunt and George Jenkins.

    For the record, I don’t eff with Obama too hard, he does his thing, it is what it is.

  2. Brian Ngugi says:

    “………personal responsibility is a good thing, but it suggests that many of the barriers in front of us are there because we aren’t trying hard enough.”
    You cant be more on point on this one brotha. Indeed is Obama becoming a turncoat revolutionary? Over a week ago he came to Ghana and lectured Africans on the same. We need constructive dialogue not speeches that demonise us and heap responsibility of our problems on us. These are the same things his predecessors knew only so well to say. Is History repeating itself? Damn!

  3. Robert Jr. James McClendon says:

    You the damn President with supposedly “Power”. I heard Bill Cosby say the same shit in “Come On, People!” Man, stop with the Julian Bond “brown paper bag” speeches. Maybe if our kids had a white parent and was raised by their white grandparents the field would be a little more leveled for them, as from where you stand. Glad we got a Black President, but God ain’t put him there as no Moses or Messiah or anything, trust me. Black people raise your kids! And you would think that now we have a Black President things will change. It’ll more than likely only get worst, trust me.

  4. there are many examples throughout American history where African-Americans prospered in spite of the number of social ills they had to deal with,
    My question? Why should we have to worry about prospering IN SPITE OF the road blocks that were part of this country’s design??? Yes there are those of us who do work three times harder than what’s necessary for other races, but why should we have to?? Are there supposed to be unnecessary racially motivated hurdles?? Is there some righteousness in racism?? Should we have a bunch of b.s, to get over because some cats felt our color was inferior and therefore we should be subjugated to being slaves and being relegated to the same status as cattle?? Why does our effort have to include jumping over hurdles to be let into main stream society by people to whom we did nothing to in the first place? To those whom the labor of our ancestors benefited more than it has their own descendants? And if/when we point out the unnecessary hurdles and hardships of our people we’re labled as lazy or lacking ambition or pulling the race card. Did we invent the race card? Or did we start to point out the inequalities that were built into the system that should not have been there in the first place.Yes personal responsibity is important. Dedication and perseverance are also crucial to personal development and success. To say that we should struggle and strive past the road blocks for success but not be allowed to vocalize why or what is respobnsible for the “extra” work is in my opinion giving the system a pass and acting as if racism wouldn’t exist if black people had more ambition or initiative. Me being a parent, I explain to my child that he/she should always strive to do their absolute best but I don’t like when Obama, Cosby and others act as if the instituional racism should be ignored. I hate the idea of my child having to work harder than someone else just because of their skin color. That is not right and it needs to be called out. The people who set up and benefitted from the policies of the past and present need to be put on blast. Their devilishment has caused too much suffering here and around the world to look the other way.

  5. In a world where knowing (or allegedly knowing) too much can be a death sentence for anyone who isn’t a Rothchild, perhaps Pres. Obama is speaking in code. Maybe “no excuses” and taking back the community really mean, “they’re blaming all of the world’s problems on me & I’m about as guilty as a slave is for slavery. Help me do the impossible & fix this broken system & level the odds. This may be the only opportunity in our lifetime.”
    I dunno, but for some reason I hear two different speaches at the same time. One for the obvious, but another for the audience.
    Can he really say the truth and not get knocked off? When Colin Powell considered running for President, his wife warned him, “If you run, I’m gone!” She felt the risk of was too great.
    We are just now into the second half of the first year and Obama’s done more than would be expected of any one of any color in that office (& he still has 7 fold more time in office). If we listen to the obvious speach we will not benefit, but if we listen deeper, we can hear the message.
    Or you can wait for Obama’s book about the deeper social, economic & polictical meanings of HIS lyrics.
    He was set up to fail, yet he’s determined to lead us in the right direction. Somebody was blaming Noah for the flood & Moses for the Exodus, but thet got left behind. Will that be you?
    Governor Don

  6. BX,
    simply put . . . we shouldn’t have to. I feel you’re absolutely right. I am saying keep the discussion going but hopefully all those symptons do not become a crutch, an excuse not to excel and perform. Putting those people on blast will do very little to solve epidemic problems like the achievement gap in education – I say that to say, it is not going to inspire or motivate our children in middle school. I shouldn’t have to worry about police officers, it really effs with you mentally but I most definitely try my best to not provoke a cop who may want to shoot me because I’m walking home. You’re right . . . it ain’t right. What’s next, what action should we take?

    Note, Booker T. Washington, Malcolm X, and even James Brown* all uttered the exact same sentiments as Julian Bond, Cosby and Obama. Let’s add Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale for good measure. And they successfully took responsibility in educating, feeding and policing their community. Until . . .

  7. Vee,

    I agree that putting them on blast is not going to inspire the middle school children (we have to do that as parents and educators). However, putting them on blast to me is more for our children to know that we have always had those in our community who tried to get ahead only to find themselves up against and at odds with mainstream society for trying to better their lives. Our children need to know that we are not lazy. That we do not lack vision or ambition.That we did not arrive at our current position do to lack of effort or desire. That we have had so many hard struggles due to specific reasons/people. However I believe that the discussion is valid because it gives those who would like to hide their hands and cast stones at us a dose of reality. I’m not cool with those who set up the system trying to tell us that we’re the problem. So no matter how many of us struggle and make the best of it, there will be those who may not make it, in many cases not due to their own lack of effort. But due to forces beyond their control. With that being said, there is no excuse not to strive for the best…but to make it seem as if it’s okay that we have to struggle harder does not sit right with me. (IMHO) We have to do better all around, no doubt about it.

  8. Just saw the video.
    What more does Minista Paul Scott expect of Obama? Personally I don’t expect anything from Obama on local community-based level that I wouldn’t ask of myself. The Obama fresh out of college is the dude I would talk to.

    It is so easy to discuss the miseducation of the negro, poor school systems and the lack of resources to help our children but do you know what is real, well real to me?
    A long history of small communities of parents (mainly mothers) that decided the school system was not enough, so they took it upon themselves to educate their children. Supporting organization out there like the Harlem Children Zone. Parents getting together with their children after-school to read to their children in libraries. Throughout our history there are strong examples of our communities recognizing the deficiencies in our educational system and taking action. Not too long ago Denzel Washington made a great movie highlighting an inspirational example of what he have done and could do.

    Don’t get it twisted, I am fully aware of Carter G. Woodson’s work and a number of works that analyzes, critiques the social pathology that we call living in America as African-Americans. After that discussion, after the Clinton administration recognize and apologized for the Tuskegee experiment, after the federal government apologize for slavery and Jim Crow . . . what’s next? What are we/you going to do?

    —– For folks that has a problem with Obama saying “No More Excuses” ——-
    . . . note interestingly enough another brother also shouted “ain’t no more excuses” was Sam Greenlee, writer of the controversial novel and film guerilla “The Spook Who Sat By the Door” which happens to be available on Google Video. He’s still alive, kicking and angry.

    Tyler Perry doesn’t like the Hollywood system, he’s not offering up any excuses. They came to him.

  9. Robert Jr. James McClendon says:

    That ain’t the first good speech the man gave and won’t be the last. “No more excuses” -What you gone do, Brother, you now have all the stripes? Keep doing what he been doing – giving speeches. Will his career end up with the same African American excuse – “they wouldn’t let him…” I only wonder.

  10. Sweeney says:

    He’s not afraid to call Walter Conkrite an icon on television, but he sent Michael Jackson’s family a letter. If you all are so worried that America will kill him for being a Black Man, what has really changed? It’s just another “Black face on white power”. Another old cliche’, but truth.

  11. I largely agree with Vee. A call to action for Black people cannot be a longwinded discussion of systematic oppression, especially as it pertains to our children.

    Personal responsibility is central to properly equipping ourselves against these very systems and pursuing our dreams. If we aren’t equipped to fight the battle with a proper education, a proper message to our youth, organization as a people, and an ability to live functionally we will not be able to effectively advocate against and overcome our obstacles.

    As for our children, we need to remember that their central responsibility is to BE CHILDREN. They shouldn’t be sitting around pondering every barrier in place against them but they should pursue education with perseverance and hope. The discussions they should have about institutional racism should be articulated in how their parents teach them, or point them in the direction of those who can teach them their history. They should learn about advocacy through watching the adults in the community stand up for their interests. In many families, we lean on our children to be co-providers and instruments of change before they’ve learned how to do any of these things effectively.

    People like Obama and Cosby continue to bring up personal responsibility because we continue to fail at it. We are good at talking the talk of institutionalized racism but not at the walk of doing the best with what we have.

    Finally, how disingenuous would it be of Obama to represent himself as a firebrand against institutional racism as the President of the U.S.A? If you are apart of a system, more so, if you are the leader of that system, you cannot throw it under the bus as being responsible for the world’s problems. That would be the true sell out move. The more we get ourselves together as a people the better he ‘ll be able to specifically address our needs as a well organized constituent base.

  12. Robert Jr. James McClendon says:

    Boy, you people write so eloquently. Now, how many kids are you presently raising? “You people” – they may call me a “bigot” but if I was to “hate”, I hate everybody equally. Let me know how many kids you all have and we can talk. What does the term “Black face on white power:” even mean? We’ll talk when you guys can tell me how many kids you have. I have two about the same age as Baracks. Yo turn…

  13. Dear Old Dad says:

    I was speaking to my son the other day about what he wanted to be when he grew up and I found myself saying to him – “Son, if you turn out to be like Barack Obama, Son,’ I’m’ a kill you!”

  14. tripledarkness!!!!! says:

    It really goes deeper than any speech people. This deception is the final stroke in a master plan originally orchestrated by what is today known as Arabs, Caucasions and AFRICANS!!!!!!! Yes Africans! Every other race is in on the Biggest Secret…. That secret is that the so called African American Blacks are NOT Africans! The Africans have always been some of our most bitter enemies and conspired with the Arabs to sell us into bondage over jealousy due to our success in west Africa. The same was done in Egypt! In the movie “Shaka Zulu” it is revealed that the Black Jews were chased to the coasts by the “Great Pharoah Shaka”, only to be captured and enslaved. The Black Man in America today are the Asiatic kings of Asia known as the Isrealites. The tricksters have taught us to identify our race by skin color even though no other race does. In Europe you have Germans, Scottish, French etc. Clear lines of difference between people who appear similar. So if you were to hear about a conflict between one of the two you would understand the differences between these similar but different groups. I repeat ” WE ARE NOT AFRICANS”! DO the Knowledge and study who we are. Our prophets foretold of our History being hidden from us. Once you find out who the real “Chosen People ” are it will become shockingly apparent what these tricksters and demons are up too.

  15. I was honored to see President Barack Obama in my home County (Monmouth County, NJ) on July 16, 2009. I believe this was the same day (or week) that Obama spoke to the NAACP.

    I’ve sent correspondences to both entities. I’ve learned that both the NAACP and President Obama have one thing in common. They both often gloss over the effects of white supremacy upon people of color.

    I can only speak from first hand (personal) experience. I’ve worked all my life since early childhood. I’ve been victimized by racial discrimination often. I’ve presented all my cases before the Authorities. Not once was I ever found “guilty” of doing anything worthy of the abuse I received. I’m certain that there are millions of “colored” people who can say the same thing.

    I contacted the NAACP, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Civil Rights Board, and many other so called “civil rights protection agencies”, and I was quickly brushed to the side. In one instance the EEOC actually fed information to the Employer who discriminated against me. The EEOC fed this information to help strengthen the Employer’s case.

    New Jersey is well aware of racist occupation. Under Whitman, I was literally “anxious” to go outside. The jakes (and most of these were not even local officials) were stopping cars at random. Imagine driving 40-50 on the highway (legally) and suddenly coming to a road block where you are forced to stop and check out (for no reason-isn’t that unconstitutional?). I accidentally cut my auto lights off for several seconds one night and was immeditely stopped (by state boys), bullied and harassed. The sad thing is I don’t even sell drugs or gang bang. Being Black was all they needed to humiliate me.

    I’m noticing that the NAACP only seems to take high profile “discrimination” cases. I was shocked when the NAACP spoke out for Vick. I was very indignant. Animal’s have rights to. Out of the many victims of discrimination in America (and the world), the NAACP takes a high profile case. In the past, a NAACP attorney actually defended a “white supremist” member. There’s something drastically wrong here.

    President Obama totally over looked what has led to the dysfunctional black family. Racism, Violence, Rape, Division, the humiliation of the black male, the refusal to give fair employment and opportunity to the person (primarily the male) of color, the violence, the lynchings, the slander, the harassment, and the never ending attacks upon the person of color have all led to the problems within people of color.

    You can’t repeatedly victimize a people and then expect those people to function ideally. It’s just not realistic. And to be totally honest, it’s actually Racist to attack people who have been oppressed by white supremacy for possibly a thousand or thousands of years.

    Before his election, Barack Obama spoke proudly of Malcolm X. (El Hajj Malik El Shabazz). Yet there is a Grave Difference. While Malcolm did chastise people of color, he Always placed the blame for such dysfunctions where the blame belonged (on white supremacy).

    It’s my hope that President Barack Obama will imitate Joshua and be Courageous and Strong. America Must Face These Truths If She Is Ever Going To Address The Wounds Caused By Her White Supremacy.

    Pastor Gary Colin is Author of “Bible Symbolism What It Means To Your Salvation” (ISBN 1-4241-0152). This article can be freely distributed without consulting the Author.

  16. Robert Jr. James McClendon says:

    Pastor Colin, Obama, the NAACP, and most “African Americans” these days are too afraid to deal with what your saying. You better hope they don’t try to do a Jeremiah Wright on you. Lol! Went to Church today, just good to know all Pastors ain’t blinded. There’s ‘truth” which is preached about Jesus, them theres the “naked truth” that these preachers won’t touch.

  17. Robert Jr. James McClendon says:

    HENRY LOIUS-GATES – “NO EXCUSE”, WE’LL GET YOU BLACK BEHINES EVEN IF YOU WENT TO HARVARD. It’sfunny because the media is driving all of this and our people don’t even see it. It’s called divide and conquer, while they continue to make all the doe. Racism ain’t never go no where, just look at how its now being reported. KNOW YOUR ENEMIES. So busy fighting the cops because Barack ain’t put his foot down, we don’t care to see who’s driving this crap. Devil’s got his people higher than the police force, trust me. They just doing the Roman dirty work.

  18. Robert Jr. James McClendon says:

    ‘Bout time Obama stood up and showed some balls. My heroes on Wednesday July 22, 2009 were Henry “Skip” Gates for not being afraid to speak out against police harrasssment, Barack Obama for speaking like a Black man about the police, and Soledad O’Brien for showing the educated Blacks reaching back and making a difference. We’re not all about Hip-hop and balling,. Thank God!