SPEECH

Obama to Blacks: 'No Excuses'

The New York Times is calling it a "fiery sermon": President Obama's speech to the NAACP on Thursday broke from the executive's usual cool speaking style, as he passionately urged fellow African Americans to take responsibility for themselves and others in their communities. He said parents' responsibilities range from "putting away the Xbox and putting our kids to bed at a reasonable hour" to urging children to aspire not "to be the next LeBron or Lil Wayne" but "to be scientists and engineers, doctors and teachers, not just ballers and rappers." He continued with a political twist: "I want them aspiring to be Supreme Court justice. I want them aspiring to be president of the United States." Though Obama acknowledged the "pain of discrimination," he touted individual responsibility. As for his speaking style, the Times writes, "He was one part politican and one part black preacher." When audience members shouted back at Obama, he "threw back his head and laughed" and said "I've got an amen corner back there." He also found common ground with Newt Gingrich, Al Sharpton, and Mike Bloomberg in prioritizing education.