Obama’s Morehouse address: The good, the bad, and the pot

posted at 9:21 pm on May 20, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham

It doesn’t happen very often, but sometimes I agree with the president. It happens even less often, but sometimes I agree with the president and his wife in one weekend. But President and Michelle Obama both delivered commencement speeches at historically black colleges worthy of praise.

First, President Obama spoke with the all-male graduating class of Morehouse College in Atlanta. There were, of course, parts of the speech I didn’t like—for instance, the rather transparently stump-speechy pitch for Obamacare, which came off even more cheesy when contrasted with his more eloquent observations. But what struck me is that parts of this speech read like the counter-argument to his terrible commencement speech at Ohio State University. The Ohio State speech exists in a universe where citizenship is almost entirely a function of one’s interactions with the government and its leaders, where avoiding cynicism means avoiding skepticism of government, where accomplishment is something we do together, by which he means with government. He offers lip service to the idea of the individual— mostly to caution against letting it overcome one’s ability to serve— but notably never offers any stories of individual triumph or the power of plain old charity, sacrifice, and community (the one that’s not just a stand-in for government).

The Morehouse speech was different. It had the usual Obama pablum, but it allowed the individual to take responsibility, to soar, to achieve, and in so doing bring the community with him.

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 Morehouse Men, you now wield something even more powerful than the diploma you’re about to collect — and that’s the power of your example.

More on personal responsibility:

“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 appreciate his namecheck of Booker T. Washington among the pantheon of African-American heroes. When I was coming up in largely black public schools in North Carolina, it was en vogue to denounce Washington as a sell-out too willing to go along to get along with the white population of the south. To be sure, Washington’s famous philosophical debate with W.E.B DuBois, who contrasted his more active approach with Washington’s, is an important one but I never thought recognizing the disagreement made it necessary to denigrate or dismiss Washington’s legacy. I’m glad the president doesn’t either.

Obama also tells the stories of impressive individuals— an element missing entirely from his Ohio State speech:

One of today’s graduates, Frederick Anderson — where’s Frederick? Frederick, right here. (Applause.) I know it’s raining, but I’m going to tell about Frederick. Frederick started his college career in Ohio, only to find out that his high school sweetheart back in Georgia was pregnant. So he came back and 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.

And 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, this father of three decided to come back to Morehouse for a third time. (Applause.) As Frederick says, “God has a plan for my life, and He’s not done with me yet.”

And today, Frederick is a family man, and a working man, and a Morehouse Man. (Applause.) And that’s what I’m asking all of you to do: Keep setting an example for what it means to be a man. (Applause.) Be the best husband to your wife, or you’re your boyfriend, or your partner. Be the best father you can be to your children. Because nothing is more important.

And, Leland Shelton:

When Leland Shelton was four years old — where’s Leland? (Applause.) Stand up, Leland. When Leland Shelton was four years old, social services took him away from his mama, 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. And today he is graduating Phi Beta Kappa on his way to Harvard Law School. (Applause.) But he’s not stopping there. 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. And it won’t matter whether they’re black kids or brown kids or white kids or Native American kids, because he’ll understand what they’re going through. And he’ll be fighting for them. He’ll be in their corner. That’s leadership. That’s a Morehouse Man right there. (Applause.)

And, he spent some time on family and fatherhood in particular:

“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.”

He is, of course, uniquely well-suited to give this message to the black community, and I always appreciate it when he does. I think one of the greatest forces for good the Obama presidency can boast is the example of Obama himself as a man who married the mother of his children, and sticks around to love and raise them. In his own example and in these excerpts, Obama is advocating a solution that is not entirely tied to a government program. In other speeches, he alludes to the existence of such things, but rarely advocates for them.

And, now I move on to agreeing with Michelle Obama, who offered this at the Bowie State University graduation in Maryland, urging the audience to “please stand up and reject the slander that says a black child with a book is trying to act white.”

A thousand times, yes. I saw first-hand this kind of negative peer pressure. Where I went to school, it was a tragic and chronic problem. As a white kid, it was expected and therefore accepted that I would be a book-reading, studying, class-attending nerd. It carried with it no more than the average social stigma a good student might incur. For my classmates, nerd stigma was too often combined with the powerful accusation of having betrayed one’s community and identity by joining the likes of me in, say, a science project win or on the rolls of an advanced English class. Thankfully, it was not enough to discourage many of my classmates, whom I continue to watch succeed on Facebook and when I visit home. But my heart aches for those it did and for those who face this pressure today in their own schools.

Michelle Obama is far more likely to get a receptive response for saying this than I would get for observing it, so I’m glad she’s the messenger, even though I don’t always agree with her.

And, now that I’m done with all that agreeing, it’s also important to mention that the Obamas, and many of the policies they support, serve to grow the very cultural forces they seem to condemn. It’s hard to get closer to abetting the grievance industry than aligning with the likes of Jeremiah Wright for 20 years, for instance. Nonetheless, the message itself is important, even if it’s undercut in other ways, and they’re powerful messengers for it.

I also take issue with this excerpt from the president’s Morehouse speech:

I might have been in prison. I might have been unemployed. I might not have been able to support a family. And that motivates me. (Applause.)

Obama’s been far too cavalier about unemployment in both of his commencement addresses, noting the “improving job market” that is “steadily healing,” which won’t be a lot of comfort to many of those who graduate into their parents’ basements. Here, he also seems to hint at the darker potential consequences of his former drug use, rather than just joke about smoking pot, as he usually does. The Obama Department of Justice has aggressively prosecuted marijuana cases, even where states have legalized it for medical use. Now that many states have decriminalized marijuana possession or recreational use, the administration must again wrestle with what tack it will take in enforcing federal drug law. May I suggest the president consider that minor marijuana possession arrests disproportionately affect young black men, and endanger their futures, when he’s deciding what DOJ should do about these new legalization laws. Too bad DOJ is a completely independent entity about which he knows nothing, huh?


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Since he always makes it about his race…….let’s remind everyone of the obvious.

He’s only 1/2 black, and 1/2 Vulcan.

PappyD61 on May 20, 2013 at 9:24 PM

But President and Michelle Obama both delivered commencement speeches at historically black colleges worthy of praise.

You must not have heard the parts I did which were racist to the bone.

VorDaj on May 20, 2013 at 9:26 PM

But does Obama mean any of those lofty pronouncements, does he really believe in them?

I can’t find myself willing to accept it as fact.

Liam on May 20, 2013 at 9:26 PM

He’s only 1/2 black, and 1/2 Vulcan Chicago Sewer Rat .

PappyD61 on May 20, 2013 at 9:24 PM

VorDaj on May 20, 2013 at 9:28 PM

it’s also important to mention that the Obamas, and many of the policies they support, serve to grow the very cultural forces they seem to condemn.

Indeed.

visions on May 20, 2013 at 9:29 PM

Libdie was in the front row jerkin’ off.

bazil9 on May 20, 2013 at 9:29 PM

‘There is (a) class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the hardships of the N3gro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the N3gro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs. … There is a certain class of race-problem solvers who don’t want the patient to get well, because as long as the disease holds out they have not only an easy means of making a living, but also an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public.’

- Booker T. Washington, 1911

BTW nailed people like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.

Resist We Much on May 20, 2013 at 9:30 PM

Martin Luther King: “I have a dream”.

Barack Hussein Obama: “I have an endless dependency”.

VorDaj on May 20, 2013 at 9:31 PM

Lol.

“Morehouse College”

Is that what happens when you can’t get a GED?

tetriskid on May 20, 2013 at 9:34 PM

Men judge generally more by the eye than by the hand for everyone can see but few can feel. – Niccolo Machivelle

VorDaj on May 20, 2013 at 9:35 PM

I cannot bear to watch these two jerks, much less read long quotes from their speeches. But while scrolling down my eye was caught by Mrs. Jerk’s comment

“please stand up and reject the slander that says a black child with a book is trying to act white.”

Who makes that slander? This reeks of Mr. Jerk’s constant use of strawmen.

GaltBlvnAtty on May 20, 2013 at 9:39 PM

“please stand up and reject the slander that says a black child with a book is trying to act white.”
Who makes that slander? This reeks of Mr. Jerk’s constant use of strawmen.

GaltBlvnAtty on May 20, 2013 at 9:39 PM |

As I explained, this is actually a problem in the black community. Michelle Obama was not indicting anyone else in this sentence. Also, you could actually read before getting all bent out of shape about being wronged via strawman, huh?

Mary Katharine Ham on May 20, 2013 at 9:43 PM

The guy who should have given the address.

bazil9 on May 20, 2013 at 9:43 PM

Who makes that slander?

GaltBlvnAtty on May 20, 2013 at 9:39 PM

Someone does..as I heard many a black kid say it to another black kid, when I was in school.

bazil9 on May 20, 2013 at 9:44 PM

Libdie was in the front row jerkin’ off.

bazil9 on May 20, 2013 at 9:29 PM

Is that where he ‘teaches’? Morehouse?

jimver on May 20, 2013 at 9:45 PM

jimver on May 20, 2013 at 9:45 PM

Bugs bunny voice*
could be

Ham Hammers lurking.

bazil9 on May 20, 2013 at 9:47 PM

bazil9 on May 20, 2013 at 9:43 PM

Love Sowell…thanks B9

CoffeeLover on May 20, 2013 at 9:48 PM

The man doesn’t even care about the race he has chosen to represent.

Leaving out the social injustice parts, and there were plenty; this was a speech that a First Black President of the United States should have given to inner city high school, middle school, and kindergarden graduates. If Morehouse is the “Harvard” of black colleges, these men have already “made it”.

CTSherman on May 20, 2013 at 9:48 PM

Sure thing Coffee.
A fave of mine too.

bazil9 on May 20, 2013 at 9:50 PM

How does Obama “support” his family. Has he ever had an actual job?

happytobehere on May 20, 2013 at 9:51 PM

May I suggest the president consider that minor marijuana possession arrests disproportionately affect young black men, and endanger their futures, when he’s deciding what DOJ should do about these new legalization laws. Too bad DOJ is a completely independent entity about which he knows nothing, huh?

May I suggest that minor marijuana possession is made possible only by criminals and killings? That landlords who find that the floors have rotted out of the houses they rented to nicely dressed young couples who converted those houses into grow farms? The Mexicans lined up and murdered on the roadside? The farmers killed so their land could be taken?

I have no sympathy for those who use. They are the welfare recipients of tomorrow.

unclesmrgol on May 20, 2013 at 9:55 PM

Mary Katharine Ham on May 20, 2013 at 9:43 PM

Just once, I wish she’d talk to me like that.

/hearts

CurtZHP on May 20, 2013 at 9:55 PM

Do any of you for one second believe I read any of that drivel?

Ms Ham what are you thinking??!!

I forgive you :-D

Scrumpy on May 20, 2013 at 9:59 PM

Oh for crying out load, standard liberal feel good claptrap and Ham thinks it’s praiseworthy. It must the first time ever a college commencement speech mentioned personal and community responsibility. You know, if you don’t count every other one ever given.

lowandslow on May 20, 2013 at 9:59 PM

Mary Katharine Ham

While I understand your ability to see the good in everyone, and how there can be times when those on your political opposite can do things you can agree with or get behind, I would say that these speeches ring a bit hollow. I say that because neither have actually lived the lives of those they have mentioned in their speeches. My two favorites are BTW and GWC and both made it by the sweat of their own brow, not by being groomed and handed things.

MarshFox on May 20, 2013 at 10:04 PM

How does Obama “support” his family. Has he ever had an actual job?

happytobehere on May 20, 2013 at 9:51 PM

His job is to fleece your pockets and just in general make your life as miserable as he can.

VorDaj on May 20, 2013 at 10:05 PM

I have no sympathy for those who use. They are the welfare recipients and lung cancer victims of tomorrow.

unclesmrgol on May 20, 2013 at 9:55 PM

Science; Tetrahydracannibinol (THC) is the active ingredient in marijuana- what makes you high. It takes the place of nicotine in tobacco, which gives you a buzz.

Both bind to tars. THC is so efficient at it that a typical joint contain roughly four times as much tar as a similar amount of the roughest shag tobacco.

The law of averages states that no matter how sophisticated, mellow and worldly pot smokers think they are compared to evil rednecks who smoke tobacco, they are also at least twice as likely to suffer the same results as tobacco smokers; lung cancer, emphysema, etc.

Once more, we see that stupidity is a self-correcting problem in the gene pool.

PS; I don’t smoke. Anything. And never have.

clear ether

eon

eon on May 20, 2013 at 10:06 PM

I would say that these speeches ring hollow. I say that because neither have actually lived the lives of those they have mentioned in their speeches.
MarshFox on May 20, 2013 at 10:04 PM

bazil9 on May 20, 2013 at 10:07 PM

While I understand your ability to see the good in everyone, and how there can be times when those on your political opposite can do things you can agree with or get behind, I would say that these speeches ring a bit hollow.

MarshFox on May 20, 2013 at 10:04 PM

A man [or women] who wishes to make a vocation of seeing good at all times will come to ruin among so many who are not good. – Niccolo Machiavelli

VorDaj on May 20, 2013 at 10:09 PM

Libdie was in the front row jerkin’ off.

bazil9 on May 20, 2013 at 9:29 PM

Is that where he ‘teaches’? Morehouse?

jimver on May 20, 2013 at 9:45 PM

He wore that leopard lingerie that he heard the REB favors, but no luck for Libby.

slickwillie2001 on May 20, 2013 at 10:11 PM

Do any of you for one second believe I read any of that drivel?

Ms Ham what are you thinking??!!

I forgive you :-D

Scrumpy on May 20, 2013 at 9:59 PM

Yes, and whatever happened to that saying, “Fool me a thousand times, shame on you. Fool me another thousand times, same on me”?

VorDaj on May 20, 2013 at 10:12 PM

Put me in the highly skeptical column with Scrumpy and the others. Obama is a scammer.

Fallon on May 20, 2013 at 10:14 PM

If Barack Hussein Obama read for an hour from the New Testament of the Bible, MKH might well nominate him for sainthood. Not me.

By their fruits you shall know them!!!

VorDaj on May 20, 2013 at 10:15 PM

Do any of you for one second believe I read any of that drivel?

Ms Ham what are you thinking??!!

I forgive you :-D

Scrumpy on May 20, 2013 at 9:59 PM

The thing is, I don’t have to believe it. What matters is whether the audience believes it and responds to it. In this case, I think merely delivering the message is a step in the right direction down a long, slow, winding road to better outcomes. And, the audience is not going to listen for half a second to me saying it, so I’m glad someone they will listen to is.

Oh for crying out load, standard liberal feel good claptrap and Ham thinks it’s praiseworthy. It must the first time ever a college commencement speech mentioned personal and community responsibility. You know, if you don’t count every other one ever given.

lowandslow on May 20, 2013 at 9:59 PM

If I had quoted the same passages and told you Ben Carson said them, you’d believe it. It’s not all “standard liberal claptrap.” That’s the point. The OSU speech was ONLY statist claptrap. This one had another, far more conservative element. I think it’s interesting he saves it for this audience, and great that they hear it.

Mary Katharine Ham on May 20, 2013 at 10:16 PM

VorDaj on May 20, 2013 at 10:09 PM

He learned well as the Borgias had him jailed and tortured. Most miss that his Prince was written as a satire against those who did it to him. That said, I am glad there are people in the world like MKH, because it reminds me the world isn’t as bad as I always have to see it.

MarshFox on May 20, 2013 at 10:17 PM

Remember, Barack Obama also said he was outraged at what had been going on at the IRS for the last three years.

VorDaj on May 20, 2013 at 10:18 PM

A man [or women] who wishes to make a vocation of seeing good at all times will come to ruin among so many who are not good. – Niccolo Machiavelli

VorDaj on May 20, 2013 at 10:09 PM

Yes, read my HotAir canon for my nonstop praising of the Obamas. Douche.

Mary Katharine Ham on May 20, 2013 at 10:18 PM

That said, I am glad there are people in the world like MKH, because it reminds me the world isn’t as bad as I always have to see it.

MarshFox on May 20, 2013 at 10:17 PM

How many more government agencies will Obama have to turn into crime organizations to dampen your outlook?

VorDaj on May 20, 2013 at 10:20 PM

Douche.

Mary Katharine Ham on May 20, 2013 at 10:18 PM

Well, I’m not surprised to get a reaction, but I was expecting one a little more subtle.

VorDaj on May 20, 2013 at 10:21 PM

“Douche: a word to describe an individual who has shown themself to be very brainless in one way or another, thus comparing them to the cleansing product for v—aginas.”

Yes, that’s what I thought that meant, and here I though this was family programing.

VorDaj on May 20, 2013 at 10:25 PM

Mary Katharine Ham

You are far better than me, for you have mastered the lesson turning the other cheek, and as I said up thread I am glad for that, for unfortunately my vigilance requires a different view of the world.

MarshFox on May 20, 2013 at 10:25 PM

Mary Katharine Ham on May 20, 2013 at 10:16 PM

It takes great faith to be an optimist. It also comes with the eventual disappointment.

nobar on May 20, 2013 at 10:28 PM

Great job MKH!!!It’s really a pity The President and Michelle wasted so much time with Jerimiah Wright, if they hadn’t, the could have been a much more positive influence on the community. It’s quite obvious they still have a lot of the Reverends prejudices within them.

bflat879 on May 20, 2013 at 10:29 PM

VorDaj on May 20, 2013 at 10:20 PM

He can turn as many as he wants, though I would say that most have already been there long before, I would go back to at least Wilson, to see the government rot take hold. I won’t fault her for a positive outlook, especially since I cannot have one.

MarshFox on May 20, 2013 at 10:29 PM

Libdie was in the front row jerkin’ off.

bazil9 on May 20, 2013 at 9:29 PM

You all really miss me when I stay away. Yeah, and as usual, you’re massively wrong. I hated the speech and most of my friends and acquaintances in the black intelligentsia were not into it either. A number of folks have written excellent critiques, this is my favorite.

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/13/05/how-the-obama-administration-talks-to-black-america/276015/

This one is also quite good, with a touch of humor and emotion.

http://kieselaymon.com/?p=2454

libfreeordie on May 20, 2013 at 10:32 PM

Nothing they say has credibility anymore. Even when they say words that sound correct it seems accidental.

MT on May 20, 2013 at 10:34 PM

The thing is, I don’t have to believe it. What matters is whether the audience believes it and responds to it. In this case, I think merely delivering the message is a step in the right direction down a long, slow, winding road to better outcomes. And, the audience is not going to listen for half a second to me saying it, so I’m glad someone they will listen to is.

So, are you saying that he is a case of ‘do as I preach and forget about my policies’ (and doesn’t this implicit duality puts his audience at risk of cognitive dissonance?) or that he actually found his conservative/individualistic inner voice? I will believe it’s the latter when it translates in sensible policy making, until then I am not giving him the benefit of the doubt just because of yet another speech…

jimver on May 20, 2013 at 10:40 PM

I heard a few clips and he was using that fake southern accent. I don’t take anyone serious when they do that crap. “I don’t feel no ways tarred”

Brat on May 20, 2013 at 10:41 PM

You seem harbor the white guilt. I don’t. Read Michelle obamas thesis.

There are no bigger racsist out there.

The whole premise of this submission is flawed. Like you have some urge or need to agree with him because. He’s (1/2) black.

Content of character.

He’s an effing marxist. I don’t feel a need to assuage.

You are young and naive, and being played by a race hustler.

It’s the the most misguided post you have done.

wolly4321 on May 20, 2013 at 10:55 PM

Yes, read my HotAir canon for my nonstop praising of the Obamas. Douche.

Mary Katharine Ham on May 20, 2013 at 10:18 PM

Urf. They deserve none at all. This is how conservatives fail – falling over themselves when the blind squirrel finds it’s nut and throws a crumb. No thanks.

This response was beneath you and shows exactly how/why the trolls have taken over and turned the comments section into a sewer.

kim roy on May 20, 2013 at 10:58 PM

Douche.. I guess I’m one too, because I find your seemingly desperate urge to agree with dogeater, kinda pathetic.

I don’t know why you do that. Insult posters.

You are the only one that does. I don’t know why Ed stands for it.

wolly4321 on May 20, 2013 at 11:12 PM

Barky’s speech had a far more conservative element.

Mmmkay. If you say so.

wolly4321 on May 20, 2013 at 11:31 PM

The OSU speech was ONLY statist claptrap. This one had another, far more conservative element. I think it’s interesting he saves it for this audience, and great that they hear it.

Mary Katharine Ham on May 20, 2013 at 10:16 PM

You bet, after four years of swallowing the rhetoric of people like Michael Eric Dyson and Mellisa Harris Perry, it is all going to be washed away by the same generic boilerplate commencement speech heard on 95% of the campuses across the nation just because it was given by Obama or his wife.

lowandslow on May 20, 2013 at 11:38 PM

Bravo Ms. Ham! You may have some nonpartisan bone in you still…

nonpartisan on May 20, 2013 at 11:40 PM

heh…just realized my previous comment could be construed in a ‘dirty’ way

nonpartisan on May 20, 2013 at 11:40 PM

About sums ut up.

wolly4321 on May 20, 2013 at 11:47 PM

But one of the things you’ve learned over the last four years is that there’s no longer any room for excuses.

The students may have learned that over the last four years, but Obama hasn’t!!

Obama is STILL making excuses!

ITguy on May 20, 2013 at 11:50 PM

nonpartisan on May 20, 2013 at 11:40 PM

Dream on, slimeball!

If I were MKH, I would ban you for that comment.

She is a happily married woman, and you are disgusting and rude to suggest that your “nonpartisan bone” would be in her.

I hope she does ban you for that.

ITguy on May 20, 2013 at 11:55 PM

The OSU speech was ONLY statist claptrap. This one [at a historically black college] had another, far more conservative element. I think it’s interesting he saves it for this audience, and great that they hear it.

Mary Katharine Ham on May 20, 2013 at 10:16 PM

It would be nice if he didn’t change his message based on the skin color of the audience.

ITguy on May 20, 2013 at 11:59 PM

By their fruits you will know them.

Cleombrotus on May 21, 2013 at 12:09 AM

Obama simply played the race card……again. This laggard, lazy, Choomer does not really have another play. Or another thought.
SAFETY TIP: Do not choose Obama as your Bridge or Cribbage partner.

pat on May 21, 2013 at 12:31 AM

Total bullshit.

wolly4321 on May 21, 2013 at 12:34 AM

It would be nice if he didn’t change his message based on the skin color of the audience.

ITguy on May 20, 2013 at 11:59 PM

And Ham thinks it was because of the audience. It couldn’t be that Obama changed up the speech because of the sh*t storm he stirred up after his cynical speech.

lowandslow on May 21, 2013 at 12:43 AM

The Oamas are racists of the first rate.

Plus, his “you have to work twice as hard as a black” b/s – he has never worked a day in his life, and never produced anything, but hot air.

Schadenfreude on May 21, 2013 at 12:59 AM

And Ham thinks it was because of the audience. It couldn’t be that Obama changed up the speech because of the sh*t storm he stirred up after his cynical speech.

lowandslow on May 21, 2013 at 12:43 AM

This isn’t the first time that Barack and Michelle have had very different (and somewhat conflicting) messages for a predominantly black audience vs. a predominantly white audience.

ITguy on May 21, 2013 at 1:00 AM

For those who want a proper analysis of Obama’s “great speech” -

As more and more evidence is uncovered by congress, it doesn’t look good for President Obama. But he does have a couple of cards left up his sleeve – the race card and the victim card. And on Sunday during his commencement speech at the graduation of predominantly black Morehouse College, President Obama decided to go all-in and play both cards at once.

Masked in his personal responsibility speech to the Morehouse College graduates, President Obama clearly identifies himself as being down with the struggle and no less a victim of racist America than any other black man. He told the crowd, “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 a lot of Americans share.” Obama also spoke of his personal mistakes saying, “Sometimes I wrote off my own failings as just another example of the world trying to keep a black man down. I had a tendency to make excuses for me not doing the right thing.” But it’s important to understand that the underlying message President Obama is trying to convey to his supporters has nothing to do with responsibility, but everything to do with excuses. More specifically, that he is a victim of racism, and that attacks on his administration in any form are just another attempt to “keep a black man down.”

It’s obvious from Obama’s move that there are more revelations to come from the scandals in the coming weeks and months. So Obama’s playing both the race and victim card is clearly a desperate move on his part. That’s because he knows he needs to win over the low-information voters and win back the liberal media as soon as possible so they can begin to do his bidding in the arena of public opinion. The talking point will be that America’s first black president is under attack. And you can bet that their voices will be heard loud and clear as the liberal media will cover each and every one of their demonstrations, rallies and marches wall-to-wall in conjunction with any possible damaging revelations that come out the Obama administration.

Watch closely the next few weeks as the liberal media begins to latch on to Obama’s victim and racist narrative as more and more damning facts emerge on Benghazi, the IRS and the Justice Department.

VorDaj on May 21, 2013 at 1:29 AM

In his speech to the Morehouse college graduates, Obama was clearly doubling down on the racism meme and rallying the troops. He is meaner than a snake and not only that, he is a cornered snake. That display, amidst the fancy words, is a glimpse of the fangs that are set to tear our country limb to limb if he feels more cornered. That anyone could see his speech as anything else, as positive, is simply astounding.

VorDaj on May 21, 2013 at 1:45 AM

MKH: I, too, appreciate hearing praise for Booker T. Washington and Dr. George Washington Carver. I think they were possibly the most important leaders of their generation. (My history may be a bit off, but I think of Frederick Douglass as being the previous generation.)

In general, if either Obama parent would tell me that water is wet, I would go out and verify, but I think it is important that they a) say the right things from time to time–if not more often–and b) get praised by those of us who fight almost all of their policies. Such praise demonstrates that we actually pay attention to the issues, not the spokesman, and the speakers need to get reinforcement of their “goodspeak”.

Having said that, I think that the President was saying that which he didn’t believe (even though it was really truthful), but Mrs. O probably meant the statement about reading is not acting white, even if the rest of her total speech was not helpful.

Kevin K. on May 21, 2013 at 1:47 AM

“Morehouse College”

Is that what happens when you can’t get a GED?

tetriskid on May 20, 2013 at 9:34 PM

I understand that Morehouse College is an excellent college,and is selective in their choice of students.

Kevin K. on May 21, 2013 at 1:52 AM

MKH, do not make the mistake of finding anything this Obama creature says praiseworthy.

Sherman1864 on May 21, 2013 at 2:12 AM

Come into my parlor said the spider to the fly.

VorDaj on May 21, 2013 at 2:42 AM

Listen to me, I have beautiful stories I can spin you
Stories to linger within you
Close your eyes and we’ll ride my carousel
For, you see, stories are the one thing I do well
Come, let’s believe stories can be just as real as they seem
Let’s live on dreams..

PercyB on May 21, 2013 at 2:51 AM

“…typical white woman…”

Barry’s pet name for his blackwashed Grandmom.

profitsbeard on May 21, 2013 at 4:01 AM

Nothing keeps the “Black Man Down” any better than the big government Democratic Party holding on to a large segment of its constituency with dependency and freebies. Barack Hussein Obama is the leader of this institution. The stench of this hypocrisy is worse than July roadkill.

BigAlSouth on May 21, 2013 at 6:04 AM

I hated the speech and most of my friends and acquaintances in the black intelligentsia were not into it either. A number of folks have written excellent critiques, this is my favorite.

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/13/05/how-the-obama-administration-talks-to-black-america/276015/

This one is also quite good, with a touch of humor and emotion.

http://kieselaymon.com/?p=2454

libfreeordie on May 20, 2013 at 10:32 PM

That’s hilarious. Both “critiques” take issue with the Obamas telling their audiences that Black kids should look beyond being rappers. Coates even blames the fact that they don’t on government policy. That’s “intelligentsia” all right.

Quisp on May 21, 2013 at 6:38 AM

If I had quoted the same passages and told you Ben Carson said them, you’d believe it. It’s not all “standard liberal claptrap.” That’s the point. The OSU speech was ONLY statist claptrap. This one had another, far more conservative element. I think it’s interesting he saves it for this audience, and great that they hear it.

Mary Katharine Ham on May 20, 2013 at 10:16 PM

So, when the Devil quotes Scripture, we should assume that the Devil is going down the right road?

Honestly, I never thought you were this naive. You really have to go out of your way to find something good to say about Obama, but you managed to do it. Congrats.

fossten on May 21, 2013 at 7:31 AM

The Oamas are racists of the first rate.

Plus, his “you have to work twice as hard as a black” b/s – he has never worked a day in his life, and never produced anything, but hot air.

Schadenfreude on May 21, 2013 at 12:59 AM

Yes, that part was certainly . . . ironic . . . coming from Obama.

How many white law school graduates get hired as lecturers by major law schools, despite not having a single academic publication to their credit? How many white law school graduates with no significant achievements (other than being law school graduates) get offered book contracts for their autobiographies? How many white law school lecturers at major law schools get offered to be put on the tenure track, even though they have zero academic publications and have received mediocre student reviews for their teaching?

How many white community organizers, with zero executive experience and no knowledge of basic economics, get offered top positions at organizations like the Chicago Annenberg Challenge? How many white junior senators with zero military, foreign policy, or business expertise get nominated for U.S. President after serving just half a term?

As the late one-time Democratic VP candidate Geraldine Ferraro correctly pointed out in 2008, Obama would never have been taken seriously as a presidential candidate if he had been a white man with Obama’s thin resume’.

Obama has spent his entire career getting away with doing far less than the average, similarly-situated white man would have had to do to get the same opportunities that have been handed to Obama because of his skin color.

AZCoyote on May 21, 2013 at 7:51 AM

This speech may be one of the few positive accomplishments of his presidency.

But Schadenfreude’s and AZCoyote’s comments are quite accurate.

talkingpoints on May 21, 2013 at 8:14 AM

Ta-nehisi Coates (sp) isn’t very happy about Obama speaking differently to black groups than to white groups.

http://www.theatlantic.com/ta-nehisi-coates/

And did anyone notice an irony here? Milhouse? Milhouse? Richard Milhouse Nixon.

MaggiePoo on May 21, 2013 at 9:01 AM

As always, don’t listen to what 0bama says. Watch what he does.

jukin3 on May 21, 2013 at 9:10 AM

So, when the Devil quotes Scripture, we should assume that the Devil is going down the right road?

fossten on May 21, 2013 at 7:31 AM

Devastating.

Cleombrotus on May 21, 2013 at 9:17 AM

Was Bammie goin all Sister Souljah at Morehouse?

BigAlSouth on May 21, 2013 at 9:46 AM

If so, Why?

If not, Why not?

BigAlSouth on May 21, 2013 at 9:47 AM

If Morehouse is “the Harvard of black colleges”, why didn’t Obama go there? We all know the answer: connections got him in to Harvard, and the connections he made there got him into the White House. Going to Morehouse would have required something like work of him.

UnrepentantCurmudgeon on May 21, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Isn’t there pretty good evidence that Obama not only smoked weed but also took cocaine? And some claim that he also sold cocaine.

J Baustian on May 22, 2013 at 12:41 AM