Thursday, May 23, 2013

Perspectives on Obama's Morehouse Address

James Fallows points, probably rightly so, to the impossible predicament that President Obama (and First Lady Michelle Obama by implication) find themselves in when addressing issues of race and/or about lesbians and gays, as exemplified by the reaction to the President's commencement address to historically Black men's university, Morehouse.  The historical significance of the President's mere presence (i.e., the first Black president addressing the graduating class of one of the preeminent colleges for Black men) and the content of his address as well.  In particular, two aspects of his speech have gained prominent attention: his admonition that these young Black men need to not blame racism for their failings and to press on, and his mention that Black men should be good husbands, or partners, opening up space for the recognition of the gay men / same-gender loving (SGL) men. (Some Black men find gay to be racially marked as White, and choose other identity designations, such as SGL).