Pete Souza (Official White House Photo)

A New Model for Civil Rights: Obama at Morehouse

Why the president’s commencement speech was more than just “finger-wagging”

On Sunday, President Obama addressed the graduating Class of 2013 at Morehouse College, which also awarded him an honorary doctorate. (You can find a transcript and video of his speech here and here, respectively.) His speech, while seemingly well-received by his audience at Morehouse, has drawn criticism from several commentators, including Ta-Nehisi Coates at the Atlantic, whose work I greatly respect. He and others argue that Obama’s Morehouse speech reflects a tendency of his to scold black audiences on personal responsibility while failing to address flawed policies that harm black communities. I’d like to submit a rebuttal to their claims.

Business and tech journalist. Previously @Inc. I like to read (and post, occasionally) musings on business, music, sports and TV/film.

Business and tech journalist. Previously @Inc. I like to read (and post, occasionally) musings on business, music, sports and TV/film.