I advise all of the critics who scrutinized the President, who once again delivered a homerun by demonstrating his platform of hope today after speaking to students in Arlington, VA (a former Red state that he turned blue last fall), to listen to James Brown's "Talking Loud and Saying Nothing," because that's exactly what took place today. Critics talked loud and said nothing.
Even the most anal critic would find difficulty with the President's speech, even if they picked it apart with a fine tooth comb.
As the product of Catholic and inner city schools in the most powerful city in the world, I recall how important career day and strong role models were to the development of students and the community. We looked forward to seeing our local leaders. Stories of their journey to their promised land inspired us to do better, work harder and strive for more than what we saw in our everyday lives. Surely you can remember someone who inspired you in the same fashion.
I can only imagine the energy, excitement and the inspiration that the President's visit provided to young people from all walks of life today.
I was very fortunate to have the love and support from two parents, and a grandmother, who were all active and supportive in my education, life and upbringing. But that was my reality, and contrasted drastically from the reality of many of my playground buddies.
Perhaps the sounds of gunfire, absentee parents or kids raising their siblings is unique to many of our readers, but it is the reality for more than you can imagine. I witnessed this through the lives of classmates and colleagues. Today could have been the turning point in the lives of just one kid who lacked hope, who will cling to those words of encouragement as they move toward a future that is completely opposite from their present, as well as their past.
I was in awe of the critics who looked for any reason to give the President a difficult time this afternoon for engaging in conversation with our children on the same points that WE should be emphasizing to our children everyday.
"But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life Ã¢â‚¬â€œ what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got going on at home Ã¢â‚¬â€œ thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s no excuse for not trying.
Where you are right now doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have to determine where youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll end up. No oneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future," said the President during today's education speech.
"The story of America isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t about people who quit when things got tough. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best," President Obama also referenced during his remarks.
These are points that parents, teachers and communities need to be instilling in their children everyday. There are many who work hard and sacrifice everything to ensure that their children are afforded the best opportunities that life has to offer. I commend them for their initiative. There are others, however, who are simply too busy or too consumed with their own priorities to take the time to invest the little things, such as words of encouragement.
Does everything have to be political? There was nothing red nor blue about President Obama's remarks today. Sorry critics! Better luck tomorrow.
I appreciate the president taking time out of his busy schedule, with the weight of the world on his shoulders, to address a group of VIPs who can't sign a check, cast a vote, or pass a bill.
LaToya Foster is the host and producer of "The Washington Insider" in Washington, DC. Learn more about her at www.latoyafostertalks.com