Earlier today, Barack Obama addressed the NAACP at their annual convention. During the course of his speech, Obama stressed the need for black people to show greater responsibility in order to improve their own lives. He acknowledged the need for more government assistance and economic responsibility on the part of corporate America, but he made sure to let people know that none of that stuff really matters if folks don't take more responsibility for what's going on in their own lives.

Basically, the man found an eloquent way to say "Get your sh*t together, so we can save ourselves! F*ck waiting for the white man, or some 'Great Black Leader' to show us the way, because it ain't gonna happen! Raise your kids, teach them values and work hard. That's the only way, because the rest of the world is going to keep on moving forward, even if you don't."

You know what happened after Obama's speech? People cheered. Folks listened and agreed with him. His message got across, and here are the three main reasons why:

Reason 1: Obama was just as honest as Bill Cosby, but he did it in an eloquent way. No need for name-calling, stereotypical references, or outright expressions of disgust. It's hard totally criticize one generation as having lost it's way as Cosby did, because in order for that to happen, it means that the generation before them somehow failed to pass along these values. Once again, it boils down to look in the mirror, address your own issues, then work towards building a solution. Don't get me wrong, I respect Bill for speaking up on the state of Black America. I just wish he'd taken a second to think his words through a little more, instead of going for the fire and brimstone approach which made him come across as an elitist hypocrite to some, and a bitter old man to others. It caused a lot of what he said to get lost or ignored.

Reason 2: Obama didn't express his desire to cut anyone's nuts off. Jesse Jackson, what the f*ck were you thinking?! First off, Reverends shouldn't talk about cutting people's nuts off. I think God frowns upon that sort of thing. Second, and more importantly, you'd have to touch another man's balls with your own hand to cut them off, and that's just gay. Unless Jesse is secretly some kind of Hitori Hanzo blade-wielding master swordsman, following through on what he said would make him a testicle-toucher.

Reason 3: Obama did not dumb-down his message. Instead, he appealed to the sensibilities of the audience, without having to resort to the tactics that Jesse Jackson accused him of right before the ill-fated castration comment. Barack Obama's message of change through responsible action was similar to the theme of atonement from The Million Man March, when you think about it.

There you have it. I hope Jesse and Bill paid attention. No disrespect to those two esteemed gentlemen, but today should serve as a lesson in the right way to get your point across to the people.

Sincerely,

Leon

Yeah...I said it