Obama rocks delegates to NAACP convention
President Barack Obama blew the roof off the New York Hilton tonight. Surrounded by many of the nation's foremost orators who have honed their skills in the civil rights movement, Obama delivered an extraordinary lecture addressing the "journey we as Americans have traveled over 100 years."Posted — Updated
Thursday, July 16, 2009
This was a carefully crafted speech, written over the last two weeks and polished hours prior to its delivery, according to his White House aides.The expectations were high from an audience that is accustomed to both eloquence and substance.
However, he admitted "too many barriers still remain." He noted that African-Americans are more likely to be out of work than other groups. African-Americans are more likely to suffer from a host of medical problems and less likely to have medical insurance. They are also "five times more likely to see the inside of a prison." The "barriers of our time" will be different from the barriers of the past.
So, he posed the question: What steps do we take to move forward in the next 100 years? His solution includes 1) more affordable housing; 2) health insurance for all Americans; 3) closure of health care disparities; 4) make clean energy more affordable; 5) creating jobs that cannot be outsourced; 6) stop predatory lending; 7) eradicate prejudice and bigotry against any citizen of the United States.
Obama says he wants "everyone to participate in the American dream." ... "21st-century, world-class education is a prerequisite for success," he said. He said we should encourage excellence in our children. "No excuses."
The audience thanked Obama with a rousing standing ovation. It was the culmination of a week of outstanding presentations focusing on the past 100 years of the NAACP with an eye towards the next 100 years. Julian Bond, retiring chairman of the NAACP Board of Directors, then received the organization's highest award, The 94th Spingarn Medal, for his unselfish contributions to the organization. Recording audience Chaka Khan provided a vibrant, soulful close to a spectacular week.