Racism Is No Excuse, Obama Tells Black Grads

Encourages Morehouse grads to overcome inequality, give back to community

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted May 19, 2013 3:20 PM CDT

(Newser) – Obama delivered the commencement speech at the historically black, all-male Morehouse College today, encouraging graduates to use their education to help others in their communities, act as role models to other young black men, and to achieve success in spite of racism, rather than using it as an excuse to for failure, reports Politico. "Growing up ... sometimes I wrote off my own failings as just another example of the world trying to keep a black man down," he said.

"We’ve got no time for excuses—not because the bitter legacies of slavery and segregation have vanished entirely; they haven’t," Obama told the 500 grads. "It’s not because racism and discrimination no longer exist; that’s still out there. It’s just that in today’s hyperconnected, hypercompetitive world, with a billion young people from China and India and Brazil entering the global workforce alongside you, nobody is going to give you anything you haven’t earned." Read the full text of the speech at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks during the Morehouse College 129th Commencement ceremony.
President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks during the Morehouse College 129th Commencement ceremony.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Barack Obama gestures as he delivers the Morehouse College 129th Commencement ceremony address Sunday, May 19, 2013, in Atlanta.
President Barack Obama gestures as he delivers the Morehouse College 129th Commencement ceremony address Sunday, May 19, 2013, in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
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