Monday, July 14, 2008

Obama Tells NAACP Blacks Must Take Responsibility


CINCINNATI (AP)- Democrat Barack Obama insisted Monday that blacks must show greater responsibility for their actions.

In remarks prepared for delivery at the annual NAACP convention, the man who could become the first black president, said Washington must provide greater education and economic assistance, but that blacks must demand more of themselves.

"If we're serious about reclaiming that dream, we have to do more in our own lives, our own families and our own communities," the Democratic presidential candidate said. "That starts with providing the guidance our children need, turning off the TV and putting away the video games; attending those parent-teacher conferences, helping our children with their homework and setting a good example."

He added: "I know some say I've been too tough on folks about this responsibility stuff. But I'm not going to stop talking about it. Because I believe that in the end, it doesn't matter how much money we invest in our communities, or how many 10-point plans we propose, or how many government programs we launch — none of it will make any difference if we don't seize more responsibility in our own lives."

Obama speaks often on this issue.

A similar speech on Father's Day prompted an awkward rebuke from the Rev. Jesse Jackson, a Democratic presidential contender in 1984 and 1988, a protege of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and a fellow Chicago political activist.

Jackson apologized last week after being caught saying on an open microphone that he wanted to castrate Obama for speaking down to blacks.

Republican presidential candidate John McCain is scheduled to address the convention on Wednesday.

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