President Obama’s speech in New York City commemorating the 100th anniversary of the NAACP really hit the mark. His comments came on the heels of a recent trip to Ghana where he praised that country’s strong democratic record but also noted that its future depends on its citizens.
Whether or not Obama’s trip to west Africa was purposefully planned to build buzz in advance of his NAACP remarks is irrelevant. The fact is that it worked. Plain and honest talk to the African-American community made his NAACP speech a resounding success.
It’s not always what is said that’s important but rather how it’s presented. Could a white president talk to the African-American community as did Obama? Probably not. There’s no doubt the president’s ethnicity enabled him to successfully deliver his “no excuses” speech to the mostly African-American audience.
It would seem there is no other alternative than to deliver a message of responsibility to the black community. Anything less would be perceived as watered down or even contrived. Timing was ironically impeccable for Mr. Obama … not to mention the NAACP for that matter.