President Obama on Sunday summoned the graduates of historically black Morehouse College to “transform the way we think about manhood,” urging the young men to avoid the temptation to make excuses and to take responsibility for their families and their communities.
Delivering a commencement address at the all-male private liberal arts college in Atlanta, Obama spoke in deeply personal terms about the “special obligation” he feels as a black man to help those left behind.
“There but for the grace of God, I might be in their shoes,” Obama said. “I might have been in prison. I might have been unemployed. I might not have been able to support a family — and that motivates me.”
The president also reflected on the absence of his father growing up, noting that he was raised by a “heroic single mother,” and urged the young graduates not to shrink from their family responsibilities.
“My whole life, I’ve tried to be for Michelle and my girls what my father wasn’t for my mother and me,” Obama said. “I want to break that cycle — where a father’s not at home, where a father’s not helping to raise that son and daughter. I want to be a better father, a better husband, a better man.”
It was a personal and moving speech. The response from the wingers? Exactly what you would expect: