Friday, July 17, 2009

An Excuse Free Society - Yes We Can!

"We've got 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 somebody in a wealthy suburb does not have to face. 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 -- you cannot forget that. That's what we have to teach all of our children. No excuses. No excuses."

"You get that education, all those hardships will just make you stronger, better able to compete. Yes we can."

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I've been hearing about Barack Obama's speech before the NAACP's 100th Convention in New York City. I finally got a chance to hear it and I agree, it is inspiring and challenging - to all of us!

I think all too often we - all of us - don't remember that the challenges of overcoming poverty, injustice and inequality in our country is the responsibility of every American. We all have influence; we all have resources; we all have capacity. It is when we try and make ourselves the delusion of living in comfortable deniability, suggesting that we can pursue our dreams untouched and in no way benefitting from or suffering from the dark failures of our country's past, that we forgeight the greatest prospects for a brighter future.

It is interesting, that near the end of his speech, the President's call for greater personal responsibility can be heard in nearly every church in nearly every inner city community across this nation. There are teachers and coaches preaching this same message in classrooms and locker rooms across this nation saying the same thing.

Perhaps there is no greater partnership needed than that of other suburban communities to not just talk about compassion, but brotherhood. A partnership is needed in which suburban America talks about the shared future of every citizen and wealth not just for personal comfort, but to strengthen the fabric of society as a whole.

We have no excuses for doing less...

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