Thursday, July 26, 2012

Obama to Urban League: Turn Off Video Games/Real Houswives & Hit the Books (VIDEO)

In a recent speech to the National Urban League, President Obama articulated his vision for universal access to higher education for everybody who wants to go to school and not just for those who can afford it.  Obama further drove home the notion that government should play a role in providing access to higher education for students without schools loading them up with mountains of debt (a topic we have discussed here before).  This drew one of the biggest applause lines of the day from the mostly Black audience.  Sensing the crowd's approval, Obama departed from his prepared remarks and gave some fatherly advice to the youth in the crowd.   See the exchange after the jump at the 3:45 mark.

A higher education in the 21st century cannot be a luxury; it is a vital necessity that every American should be able to afford.  I want all these young people to be getting a higher education and I don't want them loaded up with tens of thousands of dollars in debt just to get an education.  [*applause*]  That's how we make America great.  [*applause*] Of course that means all of yall have gotta hit the books.  [*laughter*]  I'm just saying.  Don't cheer and then you didn't do your homework.  [*laughter*]  Because that's part of the bargain.  That's part of the bargain.  America says "We will give you opportunity but you've gotta earn your success." [*applause*] You're competing against young people in Beijing and Bangalore.  You know, they're not hangin' out.  [*laughter*] They're not gettin' over. [*laughter*]  They're not playin' video games.  They're not watching Real Housewives.  [*laughter*]  I'm just saying it's a two-way street.  You've gotta earn success.  [*applause*]  That wasn't in my prepared remarks. [*laughter*] But I'm just saying. [*laughter*][*applause*]

Your thoughts on the President's off-script message?
How does this speech square with the government hand-out caricature of Obama that conservatives often accuse him of being?
Does the federal government have a role to play in providing access to education?
Is our youth, in particular the Black youth, being distracted w/ Video Games/Real Houswives/etc.?

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