President Obama on Sunday urged the graduates of historically black Morehouse College not to rely on “excuses” and to take responsibility for more than just themselves.
“One of the things you’ve learned over the last four years is there’s no longer any room for excuses,” he told the Atlanta college’s 500 male graduates, in a rare speech on what he sees as the obligations that young black men have to themselves, their families and their communities.
“We’ve got no time for excuses – not because the bitter legacies of slavery and segregation have vanished entirely; they haven’t,” he said. “It’s 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, he said, while being black may sometimes pose obstacles, “whatever hardships you may experience because of your race … pale in comparison to the hardships previous generations endured – and overcame.”
Bill Cosby said essentially the same thing a few years ago. I don't think this the message Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson put out.
So who is today's most influential civil rights leader? Wouldn't it have to be Obama? Will this increase or decrease his influence depending on how well it is received.