Saturday, July 18, 2009

Obama's Speech to the NAACP

If you haven't already please go watch the clips from Obama's speech to the NAACP. It is ridiculous. For some reason he felt the need to change his voice, cadence, and accent to sound more like a stereotypical black preacher. Some of his words he intentionally cut off at the end to make it sound like he was abbrevatin' and other stuff he just said incorrectly because apparently that is the cool thing to do. It's absurd.

He did this a few times during the campaign including a rally where Oprah was on stage and they were speaking to a large group of black people. During his speech he dropped in a couple of slang words including some double negatives. Give me a break, this guy grew up in Hawaii and went to Columbia and Harvard.

I just think it's fake, deceptive, and lame for the President of The United States to lower himself to the level of using poor grammar because he thinks it will go over better with a large group of black people. Not to mention it's insulting to the educated black people who choose to learn and use proper English.

Bill Cosby talks about personal responsibility at the NAACP and he gets booed off the stage. Obama talks about personal responsibility at the NAACP and he is a hero. The difference? Cosby's idea of personal responsibility is to tell groups of poor, uneducated black people to get an education, get a job, stop abandoning their families, and work hard to lift themselves out of their situation. Obama's brand of personal responsibility:

"What Dr. King and Roy Wilkins understood is that it doesn't matter if you have the right to sit at the front of the bus if you can't afford the bus fare," he said. "It doesn't matter if you have the right to sit at the lunch counter if you can't afford the lunch."

"What they understood is that so long as Americans are denied the decent wages and good benefits and fair treatment that they deserve, the dream for which so many gave so much will remain out of reach; that to live up to our founding promise of equality for all, we have to make sure that opportunity is open to all."

If I weren't so disgusted by it, I might be able to actually admire his strategy. Obama is now using the guise of racial inequality to mask his systematic class warfare against the rich. Why you might ask? Because like so many other things in our ultra-sensitive, ultra-PC society, race has become one of those untouchable topics. So by hiding higher taxes beneath the cloak of racial equality, no politician in their right mind will speak out against it. Well of course, unless they want to be classified as a racist.


  1. I don't think the quote you give in this blog is really reflective of the speech he gave to the NAACP. The basic premise of his speech was that black people can't rely on the government to pull them out of their situation, and it starts with personal responsibility, accountability, and action.

    And what is so wrong with what you quote Obama saying here. Do you disagree that all Americans should have the right to decent wages, good benefits, and fair treatment. I just don't see the devisiveness in his comments that you apparently think are there.

    I do agree with you that he changes the way he talks, and it is pretty funny. This is very common though, and I notice it all the time. Lots of people change the way they talk depending on who they are talking to, and I think it is even more drastic for charismatic people. Case in point: Have you ever heard Dylan talk to Mexicans? Ridiculous.

  2. I hate hearing Dylan order chinese food....It's like he forgot how to congegate anything and suddenly has developed a Mandarin accent. It's so annoying. "Herro. I rike one orange chicken and one beef fried rice. Address? We riv 11111 XXXX rain, darras. When get here, ring doorbell, prease! Thank you!"

  3. Welcome back Jake! I think it is ridiculous to hear him talk different just because of his audience...although, people have been doing that for years to. Bill C. playing the Sax on stage, afterward he tried to have this 20 something slang. Seems like no one can just be their selves anymore.


  5. First, I think that he gave a great speech regardless of any changes in his dialect. But who cares how he addresses a group of people that has zero affiliation with you? The goal of his speech was to inspire a historically struggling group of people to take on personal accountability and start a change in our African American society. I thought he did that quite well. And, touching again on the change in tone, that is what you do in the business world – you change your presentation style depending on your audience! Obama wanted to inspire and reach his audience so of course he made sure that his intonation would hit home with everyone.

    Jake, where did you get those quotes you used? I read a transcript of his 2009 NAACP speech and didn’t see anything related to what you referenced. Everything that I read preached personal responsibility from the parents and the community in providing support for our youth to get an education. In fact, I’ve got to pull out a bunch of quotes myself (really just a big chunk from the final points of his speech) to support that. From the actual speech, here is Obama’s brand of personal responsibility:

    “But all these innovative programs and expanded opportunities will not, in and of themselves, make a difference if each of us, as parents and as community leaders, fail to do our part by encouraging excellence in our children. Government programs alone won't get our children to the Promised Land. We need a new mind set, a new set of attitudes -- because one of the most durable and destructive legacies of discrimination is the way we've internalized a sense of limitation; how so many in our community have come to expect so little from the world and from themselves.

    We've got to say to our children, yes, if you're African American, the odds of growing up amid crime and gangs are higher. Yes, if you live in a poor neighborhood, you will face challenges that somebody in a wealthy suburb does not have to face. But that's not a reason to get bad grades -- that's not a reason to cut class -- that's not a reason to give up on your education and drop out of school. No one has written your destiny for you. Your destiny is in your hands -- you cannot forget that. That's what we have to teach all of our children. No excuses. No excuses…

    …To parents -- to parents, we can't tell our kids to do well in school and then fail to support them when they get home. You can't just contract out parenting. For our kids to excel, we have to accept our responsibility to help them learn. That means putting away the Xbox -- putting our kids to bed at a reasonable hour. It means attending those parent-teacher conferences and reading to our children and helping them with their homework…

    …It also means pushing our children to set their sights a little bit higher. They might think they've got a pretty good jump shot or a pretty good flow, but our kids can't all aspire to be LeBron or Lil Wayne. I want them aspiring to be scientists and engineers -- doctors and teachers -- not just ballers and rappers. I want them aspiring to be a Supreme Court Justice. I want them aspiring to be the President of the United States of America.”

    How is that not inspirational and exactly what the African American community needs to hear? How is Coker not crapping her pants about personal responsibility and screaming “You are so friggin’ right Obama!”? I applaud Obama for trying to inspire and turn some of our trash into working and contributing members of society. He is telling the black community that a change has to start with the black community itself.

    I really do struggle to see why this is so beneath our president? Before we can bridge the gap between the educated and the uneducated, you have to be able to reach the uneducated. Maybe that means that you have to dumb-down your speech a little bit so that you can be fully understood. But again, who cares? He is doing what needs to be done to address a situation at hand and attempt to remedy it. I still say well done President Obama.

  6. Justin - Are there Cliff's Notes for your post somewhere?

  7. Nope - if you want to be learned you have to read all of the comments I was teached through his speech!

  8. Justin, we bofe know da man be sellin it strate.

  9. my favorite part was when he made a shout out to his boy Ray-Ray.

  10. Sorry JB, I can't agree. Changing his speech patterns to sound like an idiot sends the wrong message.

    But like you, I do agree with a lot of things he said in this speech, many of his past speeches, and most of what you said above. Who could disagree with it - fundamentally the message is sound. My problem is not in what he is saying, but how I think he wants to accomplish it. That's really my problem with the entire liberal viewpoint.

  11. Okay Jake, I first only listened to the initial 15 minutes of Obama's NAACP speech and in that 15 minutes I may have noticed him drop the occassional last syllable of an 'ing' word but honestly, he sounded pretty normal to me. And then later, when Casey was listening to it at home, I did not really pick up on all that much. Yeah maybe you can say that he got a little "preachy" but that was the entire point of his speech. He was trying to spread a message of personal accountability to the present congregation. And who will black people listen to above anyone else in their lives? Their preacher. How can you seriously criticize the man for using the best form and media outlet for this communication? I think Obama really hit home with a large portion of his audience with the way he communicated. Isn't that right there the definition of a good communicator? I really don't understand why his ennunciation is such an issue.

    So go on Obama, become the new preacher and new messiah in these people's eyes. As long as you are spreading messages like the one in your NAACP speech then I am all for the minorities idolizing you and living for your every word. But the moment you take advantage of your newfound stature and start turning America into an old-school facist Italy, I am coming to assasinate your idealistic ass.

  12. I watched his NAACP speech and then watched his acceptance of the democratic nomination speech, and did not notice any difference in his delivery. In fact, I thought his acceptance speech was much more "preachy". I don't have a problem with most of his message or his style in delivering it. I do have a problem with Justin's blatantly conflicting ideology and his ridiculously dumb statement about assassination.

  13. And when the Secret Service reads this, I want to make it perfectly clear that I DO NOT support the assassination of any U.S. President!