The president's remarks are receiving mixed reviews. At one point the president told the audience:
"In troubled neighborhoods all across this country — many of them heavily African American — too few of our citizens have role models to guide them. Communities just a couple miles from my house in Chicago, communities just a couple miles from here — they’re places where jobs are still too scarce and wages are still too low; where schools are underfunded and violence is pervasive; where too many of our men spend their youth not behind a desk in a classroom, but hanging out on the streets or brooding behind a jail cell."
TA-NEHISI COATES: Taking the full measure of the Obama presidency thus far, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that this White House has one way of addressing the social ills that afflict black people -- and particularly black youth -- and another way of addressing everyone else.
ANDREW SULLIVAN: If the right is concerned about the black family, they should be falling over themselves to celebrate what Obama’s family is, and means. But they don’t. It would kill them to say anything gracious about this president.
KEITH EDWARDS: Masked in his personal responsibility speech to the Morehouse College graduates, President Obama clearly identifies himself as being down with the struggle and no less a victim of racist America than any other black man.
JAMES FALLOWS: I increasingly think of Obama as walking a tiny, little rope suspended across a Grand Canyon. Through four and a half years he has mainly kept his footing, in a way that becomes cumulatively surprising -- and I say that even while disagreeing with many of his policies, notably including the recent security-state extensions. Every now and then, as with this speech, we see how hard what he is doing is.
You can judge for yourself: