Skip to comments.Obama Slams Hoop Dreams for High School Diplomas
Posted on 07/08/2008 7:55:54 PM PDT by TornadoAlley3
Barack Obama took a "tough love" message to African American youth, telling that finishing high school is a better route to success in life than an unlikely trip to the NBA or the top of the rap industry.
"You are probably not that good a rapper. Maybe you are the next Lil' Wayne, but probably not, in which case you need to stay in school," Obama, D-Ill., told a cheering crowd, brought to a standing ovation at a town hall meeting in Powder Springs, Georgia.
The presumptive Democratic nominee was speaking about high school drop out rates and the need for people to be committed to working hard in school so they can get a job after school.
Obama said he knows some young men think they can't find a job unless they are a really good basketball player.
"Which most of you brothas are not," Obama, who played basketball in high school, a sport he continues to play to this day, said jokingly. "I know you think you are, but you're not. You are over-rated in your own mind. You will not play in the NBA."
Obama, who will be the first African American presidential nominee of a major party when he accepts the Democratic nomination on August 28, 2008, in Denver, spoke to a predominantly black audience at the Georgia event.
The candidate regularly voices a "tough love" message in front of all groups - telling parents to turn off the video games, get off the sofa, and if their child is in trouble in school to "not cuss out the teacher."
The town hall marks Obama's first visit to Georgia -- a state not won by a Democratic presidential candidate since then-Gov. Bill Clinton's win in 1992 -- in the general election campaign. Speculation has also surrounded former Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga., a potential Obama vice presidential pick that could help put the Peach State in play.
Obama's visit is part of the campaign's week-long effort to campaign in so-called "red states" that have favored Republicans in recent elections and, presumably, also lean toward his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
The Democratic contender's red state swing heads to Virginia -- home to, among others, Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., who took himself out of the running mate stakes -- and Ohio -- which played a critical role in President George W. Bush's 2004 victory over Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., later this week.
But what if they want to be the next Clarence Thomas? Then what, B. Hussein?
I finally found something about which Obama and I can agree. Kids of all races need to stay in school and not get diverted with unrealistic dreams. If they really are superb at basketball (or showjumping, or writing, or acting, or modeling, or whatever), they can prove that in college.
Great. A black guy from Chicago is going to lecture us about HS dropout rates.
He needs to pull the plank out of his own (Chicago) eye first.
-NO. NO YOU CAN'T!!!
-OH NO HE JUST DITNT...
...and by the way, instead of lecturing us on how we should learn French or Spanish like the Europeans, why doesn't he lecture those high school kids down in Atlanta on the merits of learning to speak proper (scratch that: basically intelligible) english.
“You are over-rated in your own mind.”
You should know a bit about that Barack.
I agree with him on this too, and I'm surprised that most of those who've commented so far don't seem to.
Also, the National School Boards Association weblog says that Minnesota Public Radio reported on Obama's appearance at, and endorsement by, the NEA convention and concluded that the endorsement was less significant as a surprise (NEA has consistently supported Democratic nominees) than for the relatively low (80%) member affirmation of the decision. Seems NEA members aren't wild about Obama's support for merit payNEA's Representative Assembly booed when the subject came up. He's also voiced support for school choice, though not for vouchers.
On the one hand, I wouldn't be totally surprised if Obama flip-flopped on these issues, either, but I'm wondering if perhaps his positions are portents of more hopeful signs of changes in other, more mainstream venues - that the NEA is losing clout among the Democrats, that merit pay might stand a chance, that school choice is becoming more attractive and mainstream, etc.