President gives powerful speech at Urban League Convention
By Roger Caldwell
The “Big Easy” was the location of the Urban League Convention this year, and President Barack Obama gave the opening speech.
Thousands of folks waited outside in the rain to get an opportunity to listen and see the president.
President Obama is impressed with the work of Marc Morial, the president of the Urban League, and he enjoys speaking to this friendly crowd.
This was the president’s third time speaking at the Urban League convention, and he began his presentation joking and teasing the crowd. It was obvious that he was speaking to a largely African American crowd and felt that he was home and relaxed.
“For nearly a century the National Urban League has been inspiring people of every race and every religion and every walk of life to reach for the dream that lies at the heart of our founding. The promise that no matter who you are, no matter what you look like, no matter where you came from, no matter how modest your beginnings, no matter the circumstances of your birth, here in America, you can make it if you try,” said the President.
This night the President was focused on the opportunities that are available in America, but he was also honest, because he acknowledged that to take advantage of the opportunities, it would take hard work. The audience was very appreciative on the broad range of topics that the president tackled in his speech. There was continuous applause, and the President took his time to talk to the youth in the audience.
During this section in the speech, the president emphasized that college should be affordable for all students so they don’t graduate saddled with debt. That was a remark that drew loud applause from the hundreds of youth in the crowd.
“I’m just saying. Don’t cheer and then you didn’t do your homework. You will be competing with a lot of young people, especially from China and India, and they’re not hanging out. They’re not getting over. They’re not playing video games. They’re not watching “Real Housewives.” I’m just saying, it’s a two-way street. You’ve got to earn success,” said President Obama.
This was a dynamic speech and the president next began to talk about the madness associated with the mass shooting at the Colorado movie theater. In his broadest remarks to date on gun control, President Obama called for tougher back-ground checks designed to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.
“I believe the majority of gun owners would agree that we should do everything possible to prevent criminals and fugitives from purchasing weapons; that we should check someone’s criminal record before they can check out a gun seller, that a mentally unbalanced individual should not be able to get his hands on a gun so easily. These steps shouldn’t be controversial. They should be common sense,” as the audience applauded the president.
Many of the pundits have criticized the president for not taking a position on gun control, but at the Urban League Convention, the president made it clear on his position of purchasing guns. President Obama said, “AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, and not in the hands of criminals.”
In the final analysis this speech was about building strong, safe communities, which support a growing middle class. The president explained that since he has been in office, he has created over two million jobs, kept teachers in class-rooms, and invested in clean energy and manufacturing.
This was a wonderful speech to get his core base of supporters energized and mobilized. Kevin Willhoite who attended the speech said, “We’re not asleep and we can read between the lines, and so we know that he has done all that he could possibly do, and he needs another four years.”