Obama to African-American Parents: Put Away the Xbox

July 17, 2009 -

President Barack Obama has - yet again - referenced playing video games as a metaphor for underachievement.

[GP: click here for other recent examples, although Obama has made similar comments going back to at least 2006.]

In a speech in New York last night marking the 100th anniversary of the NAACP, Obama said:

We have to say to our children, Yes, if you’re African American, the odds of growing up amid crime and gangs are higher. Yes, if you live in a poor neighborhood, you will face challenges that someone in a wealthy suburb does not. But that’s not a reason to get bad grades, that’s not a reason to cut class, that’s not a reason to give up on your education and drop out of school. No one has written your destiny for you. Your destiny is in your hands - and don’t you forget that.

To parents, we can’t tell our kids to do well in school and fail to support them when they get home. For our kids to excel, we must accept our own responsibilities. That means putting away the Xbox and putting our kids to bed at a reasonable hour. It means attending those parent-teacher conferences, reading to our kids, and helping them with their homework...

 

It also means pushing our kids to set their sights higher. They might think they’ve got a pretty good jump shot or a pretty good flow, but our kids can’t all aspire to be the next LeBron or Lil Wayne. I want them aspiring to be scientists and engineers, doctors and teachers, not just ballers and rappers. I want them aspiring to be a Supreme Court Justice. I want them aspiring to be President of the United States.

BlackPoliticsontheWeb has the full text of Obama's speech. The Washington Post has coverage of the event, which it termed a "tough love message for [Obama's] fellow African-Americans." The New York Times called Obama's speech "a fiery sermon."

UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal took notice of our coverage - and of some comments by GP readers...


Comments

Re: Obama to African-American Parents: Put Away the Xbox

Apparently, somebody didn't actually read anything.  I didn't say anything about Barrack Obama, I was attacking the newspapers that love him.

How about you, before making some wild accusation that I'm not who I say I am because you don't agree with me, you actually take the time to READ WHAT I WROTE and comment on what I ACTUALLY WROTE.

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Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Obama to African-American Parents: Put Away the Xbox

You can call it whatever you want, its still a thinly veiled attack on the man, par for the course really considering your outright hatred of him.

I've also got a little news for you, nothing I've said here to date is any more outlandish or wild than the crap that spews from your keyboard on a regular basis, the only difference is that I actually tend to back of what I say (we're still waiting for all those citations from you on three subjects now), and I don't play the victim card or threaten people when called out.

And no, I don't say you're lying about your life because I disagree with you, I say it, and stand behind it, because:

1) You behave nothing like a true Marine

2) You have absolutely no credibility due to your outright refusal to cite everything you claim.

 

You want to be taken seriously? Behave like the people you claim to be and backup your outlandish claims. Or continue to flaunt a persecution complex, I don't really care either way.

Re: Obama to African-American Parents: Put Away the Xbox

How am I attacking the President?  I said nothing about him in any negative light.  I was attacking the NEWSPAPERS, pointing out the double standard that they are representing.  You are so blinded by your adoration for our President that if ANYONE dare say ANYTHING involving him not in an absolute manner of idolation they have to be an idiot.

Get a fucking life.

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Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Obama to African-American Parents: Put Away the Xbox

Back to the projecting again I see. Its really a shame you can't come up with something actually effective as an arguement. I never realized giving the new guy the same window of opportunity of the last guy was equivalent to adoring him. And then the ad-hominems come back too; all we need is your usual victim card and he have the full trifecta!

Apparantly going out of your way to say that a politician has the media in his pocket isn't an insult to all parties involved now anymore either, just the way you see it and nothing more.

Oh, and that get a life schpeel is just classic, btw. I might actually take it into consideration when you stop lying about yours, Mr. Phony Soldier.

Re: Obama to African-American Parents: Put Away the Xbox

Look, I made a comment about PC in government and the media.  If you want to take that as an insult to the President, go right ahead.  The only person left looking stupid is you, as apparently you have no grasp of the english language, or no ability to take what somebody says at face value.  Either way, I'll just sit here and laugh.

And I really like the last part of your post.  "I'll stop acting childish when you do what I want, whether it's right or not."  Really cute.

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Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Obama to African-American Parents: Put Away the Xbox

Ok people, you heard it here, only jedidethfreak's interpretation of things are correct, and everyone else's are automatically wrong. If you don't see things exactly as he does, then you're just a stupid liberal out to make America worse, regardless of your voting record or positions. You're also required to prove every statement he makes, because actually citing his BS is beneath him and he should be exempt from it, despite his total lack of credibility whatsoever. He's also not the least bit hateful towards anyone he disagrees with, never calls anyone names, and is constantly a victim here on the site, because "Marines" like him are incapable of being criticized or told they're wrong without having a total meltdown.

In short, don't question the precious snowflake; he's sensitive.

Re: Obama to African-American Parents: Put Away the Xbox

Okay, now you're really being childish.  Maybe you should actually take the time to read what I've said and what you've said.  If you do so, in a way that's actually objective, you'll find that any and all namecalling between us was started by you.  The post you made about me could be reworded with very little effort to describe you in a nutshell.

You know what they say, Don't throw stones in a glass house.

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Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Obama to African-American Parents: Put Away the Xbox

I think I'd rather wait for you to begin being objective before I take any advice you make. 

I'd also say it would take more than "a little re-wording to fit that towards myself, as I'll cite my sources when asked to, I don't act like a victim, and I haven't made any lies about my life to try and prove a point.

So do you pass blame onto other all the time too, or is that just another facet of your persecution complex coming to air itself?

Re: Obama to African-American Parents: Put Away the Xbox

Well, you may do what you say you do, but you still haven't answered my question: how is saying that newspapers would treat a white person who said what he said different than they treated the President an attack on the President?  Now, here's a chance to prove that you do what you say you do and back up what you say.  You know, since you haven't done that yet.

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Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Obama to African-American Parents: Put Away the Xbox

Because when you think/take that, and couple it in with your statement that the media is enraptured with the man, its on par with saying he gets a free pass from them on what he says. If that were the case, then whats stopping them from giving him a free pass on anything else he says, or even does? It insults the credibility of both the media and the president - the media is insulted for saying they have a lack of credibility, and the president gets insulted by insinuating he doesn't even need to have any credibility because he just gets a free pass. We know you don't have a problem with having no credibility at all, but some people actually happen to value that aspect.

Re: Obama to African-American Parents: Put Away the Xbox

Conspiracy theory much?

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Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Obama to African-American Parents: Put Away the Xbox

Thats all you can reply with? Pathetic.

Re: Obama to African-American Parents: Put Away the Xbox

It does pretty much say it all, but I'll dumb it down for you:  I attacked the Media.  You twist that into an attack on the Media, the President and anything else you hold dear.  You then attack me for being sensational.  And then you call me pathetic for calling you out on it.

---

Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Obama to African-American Parents: Put Away the Xbox

Thanks for proving that you think only your interpretation of things is the correct one, and further extending your persecution complex to boot. You really make this too easy.

Re: Obama to African-American Parents: Put Away the Xbox

"Only your interpretation of the things you say is correct."  There.  I fixed that.  I know what I said.  Just because you took it waaaay out to left field isn't an excuse to tell me I don't know what I'm talking about.

---

Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Obama to African-American Parents: Put Away the Xbox

I also would love to see proof to back up your claims. Every time I read your post they sound like a child telling a story.

"The Fish was this big and it was hidding in a magical place where big fish grow"


I am a critical thinker not a dumb ass inbred conservative or a jackass liberal

Pedophiles are the new Nazi / Communist. Labeling someone a Pedophile will get them blacklisted even though there is no evidence.

Murder is not a crime when done in self defense, a time of war, or when done by court order (death penalty). People cry murder when fetus are aborted. How about when the mother could die? The mother is 13 years old? The mother was raped? The child is a product of incest? Is foster care really the best answer for children who's parents cant take of them? How many children actually end up in foster care when their parents are dead beats?

A 14 year old is child when they have sex but is an adult when they commit murder?

Re: Obama to African-American Parents: Put Away the Xbox

Sorry, that doesn't fly around here. Your fellow conservatives refused to allow Letterman to use that for his comments, so you don't get to use it either.

 

Try again, sparky.

Re: Obama to African-American Parents: Put Away the Xbox

Playing the "racist" card says more about you than it does about me.  I didn't once say that you were being racist.

Way to set up a strawman argument.  None of what you say that I say can be intelligently be deduced from my post.

And if you read what I actually said, there ARE cultural differences, and they *may* be perceived as disadvantages.

Anyhow, everything you write makes me lose brain cells.  I, sir, am judging you on your ability to form a coherent argument, not the colour of your skin or your upbringing.  Though it's ironic that the real point (that parents need to be there to support their kids) is completely lost on you.

------- Morality has always been in decline. As you get older, you notice it. When you were younger, you enjoyed it.

Re: Obama to African-American Parents: Put Away the Xbox

And you completely missed the point of MY first post, in that newspapers are fawning over Obama saying "Be better parents," as though this was some sort of heretofore unknown piece of wisdom, to a race of people that have, for years, resisted all similar comments from somebody who happens to be from another race.  By you reading such and saying I'm an idiot for saying that and defending the people who perpetuate such a farse, you prove yourself to be racist.

---

Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Obama to African-American Parents: Put Away the Xbox

Kanye West is a gay fish.  Also Obama seems to be anti-Microsoft.  Apparently the PS3 and Wii are still okay.

Re: Obama to African-American Parents: Put Away the Xbox

I was just thinking that.  He keeps mentioning the Xbox.  Does he just not know about the Wii and PS3, or is the Wii cool because he owns one?

Re: Obama to African-American Parents: Put Away the Xbox

He said Xbox because it's the relevant one. If this was 6 years ago he would have said PS2. Before then he would have simply said "the Nintendo".

Re: Obama to African-American Parents: Put Away the Xbox

How is the Xbox in any way more relevant than the PS3 or the Wii?

Re: Obama to African-American Parents: Put Away the Xbox

Because the Wii doesn't hold the hardcores like the other two; kids aren't staying up all night playing Cooking Mama. And the PS3 is a niche item like the Xbox was last generation. Sorry to break it to you.

Re: Obama to African-American Parents: Put Away the Xbox

 The Wii would actually be more Relevant than Xbox or PS3 in terms of sales.  Which just shows that Obama has no clue what is going on with the video game industry.  

Re: Obama to African-American Parents: Put Away the Xbox

Actually, the Obama kids got a Wii for Christmas, so we should assume that the Prez is at least passingly familiar with it...

Re: Obama to African-American Parents: Put Away the Xbox

My thoughts exactly.

Re: Obama to African-American Parents: Put Away the Xbox

Apparently, Obama believes that all black people own an Xbox.  

Re: Obama to African-American Parents: Put Away the Xbox

Interestingly, although he has expressed this sentiment so many times that I've lost count, this is the first time that it has moved from the generic "video games" to a specific system.

I'm willing to bet that "Xbox" was chosen for stylistic reasons over anything else. Using "Wii" would have perhaps lead to confusion among some listeners with the word "we"... "PlayStation 3" doesn't roll off the tongue as easily as does "Xbox."

Re: Obama to African-American Parents: Put Away the Xbox

The word Xbox sounds cooler and fits into speech better than the word Wii (which, given its synonymity with manitalia, is a good word to avoid anyway).

EDIT: also no one can afford a ps3.

 

No, Luke, I AM the Walrus

Re: Obama to African-American Parents: Put Away the Xbox

He has mentioned gameboy in the same context before.

Re: Obama to African-American Parents: Put Away the Xbox

Yes, you're right. Way back in 2006, as I recall, before declaring for the Prez campaign. I had forgotten about that one.

 
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Andrew EisenI'm sure someone could come up with something regarding barrel jumping but there's certainly a lot of fun stuff to mine out of the scenario and back story.11/24/2014 - 9:03pm
Wonderkarpand the defining trait of a Game is that it should be fun.(Thank you Nintendo)11/24/2014 - 9:00pm
Wonderkarpwe can talk about games, but there's no existential questions regarding Mario jumping over Barrels to beat a Monkey.11/24/2014 - 8:59pm
WonderkarpGaming won 1st Ammendment Rights. Its Already Legit. Nobody can legislate against it. So just enjoy.11/24/2014 - 8:57pm
Wonderkarplike, in early nintendo power, they would write these little blurbs. Not really crapping on the game if its bad. Kinda hinting at it. I want people to play the games for themselves. One Persons Duck Tales is another Persons Festers Quest.11/24/2014 - 8:55pm
black mantaRight. "Leave us alone to let us play our video games devoid of of deeper analysis and influence. They're just playthings." You do realize how damaging that is; potentially undoing everything we in the ECA have fought for to legitimize gaming?11/24/2014 - 8:50pm
Andrew EisenI have no idea what that means but hey, good luck with that and post a link when it's ready for prime time.11/24/2014 - 8:49pm
Wonderkarpno editorials unless absolutly necessary, no scored reviews. Reviews are going to be ambiguous ala classic Nintendo Power11/24/2014 - 8:47pm
WonderkarpI decided I'm going to pull the trigger on my website I've been working on. Getting some people together. I want to make a Gaming News Site that only cares about the Games.11/24/2014 - 8:46pm
Matthew Wilsonin the end, I dont think its a big deal.11/24/2014 - 8:44pm
WonderkarpRight, I'm not going to argue with Black Manta. I've already argued once today on the Internet. Thats one time too many. Anybody hear about the Star Wars Spinoff news?11/24/2014 - 8:43pm
black mantaIf it's imprtant at all.11/24/2014 - 8:43pm
black mantaI'm with Andrew. I fail to see how this really improves anything. The importance of this is overstated.11/24/2014 - 8:42pm
Matthew Wilsonit should be obvious what those links are, but more transparency is never a bad thing in my eyes.11/24/2014 - 8:42pm
Wonderkarpyeah.11/24/2014 - 8:41pm
black mantaAll I see is GG ruining everything it touches in the name of some misguided and twisted notion of "ethics."11/24/2014 - 8:41pm
Andrew EisenWell, unless this was something the FTC was already working on. And still, it remains to be seen what its guideline updates actually say.11/24/2014 - 8:40pm
Wonderkarpand other media I suppose11/24/2014 - 8:39pm
WonderkarpI repeat, Its concidered a victory because, if its true, then it shows they are causing change in (Changes) Journalistic Practices in Games Media.11/24/2014 - 8:38pm
Wonderkarpits not the easiest "Ethical Issue" to discuss. Its more trivial. I'm playing devils advocate on this one.11/24/2014 - 8:36pm
 

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