Obama in the Classroom

by Steven F. Hayward

I’m going to join Jonah and suggest we might want to calibrate our attitude about Obama’s classroom speech a little bit. I’m not wild about it, but I’m not worked up about it either. Keep in mind that one important thing Obama and the first lady can do in their time in office is convey to black kids that studying hard and doing well in school is not “acting white,” which is one of the most debilitating currents in the inner city today. It would be tricky for Obama to present this message only to black kids in black schools; remember how Jesse Jackson got caught off camera during the campaign complaining that Obama was “talking down to black people.” So he needs to speak to all school kids as a practical matter.

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