President Obama didn’t hesitate to tell Howard University graduates that there has never been a better time in the United States to be a black person than now. Despite all the evidence to the contrary that race relations are worse since America elected it’s first black president, Obama credited himself during the weekend commencement address at the historically black college for making this decade the best one to live in over anytime since the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s combined. “America is a better place today than it was when I graduated from college,” he said, before doubling down. “Let me repeat: America is, by almost every measure, better than it was when I graduated from college.”
“It also happens to be better off than when I took office — but that’s a longer story,” he boasted with extreme confidence and to thunderous applause. But that’s not all:
America’s better, the world is better — and stay with me now — race relations are better since I graduated. That’s the truth.
In my inaugural address, I remarked that just 60 years earlier, my father might not have been served in a D.C. restaurant…. There were no black CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. Very few black judges. Shoot, as Larry Wilmore pointed out last week, a lot of folks didn’t even think blacks had the tools to be a quarterback. Today, former Bull, Michael Jordan, isn’t just the greatest basketball player of all time, he owns the team.
When I was graduating, the main black hero on TV was Mr. T. Rap and hip-hop were counter-culture — underground. Now Shonda Rhimes owns Thursday night and Beyonce runs the world.
For those keeping score, Rhimes is executive producer of the hit television series Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy. Beyonce, well, she loves black power and apparently is Jesus Christ when the president is busy.
Obama did say that there are still persistent “gaps” in society when it comes to discrimination, but said there’s no better time to be a marginalized person than today:
If you had to choose one moment in history in which you could be born, and you didn’t know ahead of time who you were going to be: what nationality, what gender, what race, whether you’d be rich or poor, gay or straight, what faith you’d be born into. You wouldn’t choose a hundred years ago. You wouldn’t choose the ’50s, or the ’60s, or the ’70s. You’d choose right now.
This “Messiah moment” brought to you by the Associated Press: