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Sunday, May 8, 2016

PRESIDENT OBAMA AT HOWARD UNIVERSITY

"Even as we each embrace our own beautiful, unique and valid versions of our blackness

Remember the tie that does bind us as African Americans

And that is our particular awareness 
of injustice, 
and unfairness, 
and struggle.

That means we cannot sleepwalk through life

We cannot be ignorant of history

We can't meet the world with a sense of entitlement

We cannot walk by a homeless man without asking why 
a society as welath as ours allows that state affairs to occur

We can't just lock up a low level dealer without asking why 
this boy, barely out of childhood, felt he had no other options?

We have cousins 
and uncles 
and brothers 
and sisters
who we remember were just as smart and just as talented as we were but somehow got ground down by structures that are unfair and unjust...

That means we have to stand up for those who haven't been so lucky....
Yes, you've worked hard.
But you've also been lucky...

Blessed"



I'm glad he ran it down, the differences between now and 1983 when he graduated. Sometimes I don't think the younger generation realizes how far we've come in some areas. Some areas, like white law enforcement attitudes, have been stagnant since about the 1990s or so.

The internet and cell phone cameras? That technology has changed the ball game considerably --not as fast as I would have hoped, but the change for black people has been considerable and mostly for the better.

White racist murderers with badges are losing their jobs now; they are in danger of losing their pensions now. They aren't going to jail YET, for the most part, but we are a heck of a lot closer to that than we were in 1983.

I'm also glad he hit on, hit on, and hit on again how much progress black people have made over the last 3 decades. And it follows that I'm also glad he hit on black failure to vote in larger numbers in the last presidential election.

The failure to be grateful enough for the outcomes we have from so many black people that made sacrifices ahead of us leads to a failure to be hopeful. And a failure to be hopeful, leads to a failure want to hold onto what's ours, our piece of America. And when you don't feel like our piece of America is ours, you don't vote.

And the failure of black people to vote in larger numbers in 2012, much fewer numbers than in 2008, led to President Obama having a Congress that was more republican and more overtly racist than it had to be.

Listen to President Obama's speech and be encouraged to be grateful and activist in attitude. You don't have to be a college graduate to get something out of it.