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.
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.