Skip to comments.Obama: No ‘authentic’ way to be black
Posted on 07/21/2014 11:48:38 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
The notion that black men need to act, dress or speak in a certain way to be authentic is something that "has to go," President Obama said Monday at an event promoting his initiative to aid young men of color.
"The notion that theres some authentic way of being black, that if youre going to be black you have to act a certain way and wear a certain kind of clothes, that has to go, because there are a whole bunch of different ways for African-American men to be authentic," Obama said.
"You dont have to act a certain way to be authentic," Obama added. "You just have to be who you are and to go back to the values that you care about. Are you kind? Are you responsible? Do you work hard?"
The president also said that black men could be taunted for reading too much or speaking properly. He pointed to the first lady, noting his wife had grown up on the South Side of Chicago in "a neighborhood where gunshots go off."
"It can be rough where Michelle grew up, but shell talk proper when she needs to," Obama said. "You also dont want to get on her wrong side because she can translate that into a different vernacular."
The president added that unfortunately black men were sometimes only presented NBA players and rappers as role models, and that he hoped his initiative could show them how they could succeed in careers like graphic design, engineering or the law.
"Part of the goal of My Brothers Keeper is to expose you to more things so that you dont think that the only thing you can be passionate about is what youre seeing on TV," Obama said.
And the president said it was important to both know one's own culture and "be a part of this larger world."
"Theres some cultures, frankly, who have done this better than others," Obama said, pointing to Jewish Americans and Asian Americans who had retained a sense of their histories but also demonstrated academic accomplishments.
"I think this is something that we have to spend some time thinking about, making sure that, we understand theres a way of knowing your history, knowing your culture, being proud of it, using it as a strength but not thinking that there is just one way of you then having to act," Obama said.
The president made the remarks during a town hall discussion to promote his "My Brother's Keeper" initiative, which is designed to provide a boost to young men of color through mentoring programs and academic aid.
On Monday, Obama announced that the NBA, in coordination with its players association, will launch a five-year effort designed to connect 25,000 mentors with young men of color. The league will work with at-risk students to improve attendance and performance at schools, and current and former players will participate in after school workshops designed to help vulnerable children. NBA Players Association President and Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul joined Obama at the event.
Separately, AT&T announced that it would pledge $18 million this year to support mentoring programs. And the Emerson Collective, a nonprofit organization founded by the widow of Steve Jobs, has committed $50 million for a competition to find and develop the designs for next-generation high schools.
"I always say that I see myself in the young men who are coming up now," Obama said. "When I was in my teens, I didnt have a father in the house. I took me a while to realize that I was angry about that.
The president said he grew up in "a pretty forgiving environment," unlike some young men today.
"Some of the costs of making mistakes, they werent deadly," Obama said. "I wasnt going to end up shot. I wasnt going to end up in jail."
He’s race-obsessed and always has been
Every time I see, hear or read obama I can’t help but wonder what ever happened to good old fashion black on black violent crime.
We are all Africans.
One of the first things you could do to be authentic is to stop talking about the authentic way to be black.
“a neighborhood where gunshots go off.”
What an odd turn of phrase — Hussein is a seriously creepy person.
But, judging by black conservatives reception at the NAACP convention, they still have to be communists to be “authentic”.
Michelle will talk proper when she needs to?, what the heck is he talking about?
“The President said he grew up in “a pretty PRIVILEGED and WHITE environment,” unlike some Black young men today.
There “fixed “ it
his race requirements & policies are the same as Idi Amin’s.
I dunno. If it wasn't coming out of Barry's mouth, that quote sounds pretty bigoted to me.
Obunghole is a fake with zero black American roots. His Kenyan daddy wasn’t even an immigrant, he was just passing through
Eric Holder is also a fake with zero slave blood, His grandparents immigrated from Barbados (where they were part of the mulatto elite) circa 1910 and same for his wife’s. His wife has straight hair and is very light skin http://www.blackvibes.com/services/ms/7991-us-attorney-general-e/
I’ll agree with Obama’s statements to this degree: The pressure of the “hood” to conform is literally killing black America and condemns them to a future of poverty.
I like his classic Nation of Islam black suit attire he’s usually wearing. He blends in with CAIR members quite transparently when they visit him .
I bet nobody knows like Barry what The Beast is like when he gets on her wrong side. I bet she goes vernacular on his skinny azz like nobody's business.
Is a black conservative authentic?
They only have to be leftist and vote Democrat to be an authentic black person, I guess
Not for him, anyway. Half white, raised by his white grandparents, given expensive education only available to the highest elite, and then elected the first affirmative-action President. There’s not one thing “authentic” about Obama.