The Rev. Canon Gregory Jacobs of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark blogs today about racism in America, and President Obama’s recent commencement speech at Morehouse University:
It was a speech that focused on the responsibilities of the young black men who were about to seek their fortunes in the world as graduates of one of the leading black educational institutions in this country.
The President said, “There is no longer any room for excuses… nobody is going to give you anything that you have not earned.… Nobody cares how tough your upbringing was. Nobody cares if you suffered some discrimination.” The newly-minted graduates were told to be role models for others, to “keep hustling, keep on your grind, and get other folks to do the same.”
Now, despite these lofty preachments in the President’s speech which undoubtedly played well in White America, many in the black community were concerned that his words harkened back to the days of Jim Crow segregation, when Booker T. Washington admonished black people to lift themselves up by their bootstraps. It was not lost on some that just like those early days of the 20th century, this century still finds too many Black Americans without boots.
Disturbingly missing from the President’s address to these young men, was a warning of just how dangerous it is to be a black man in America today.
Read his full post here.