President Obama gave the commencement address at Hampton University on Sunday, encouraging the graduates of the historically-black school to close the achievement gap between African-American and Latino students and their white classmates. More importantly, he dissed the iPad.
A week after speaking at the University of Michigan about improving civility in public discourse, the president dropped by Hampton University to give the commencement address and receive an honorary doctorate for contributions to Kenyan Marxism studies. His address focused on the disparity in academic achievement between white students and black students—a worthy subject if there ever was one—and in it, he urged Hampton grads to be "mentors in [their] communities." The full text of the speech, which is really worth reading, can be found here.
But who cares about all that, besides people invested in making the world a more just and equal place (losers)? Barack Obama mentioned the iPad. The only way Google's top search terms could get closer together would be if Justin Beiber went on American Idol with Naked Pictures of Lady Gaga. For the record, this is what he said:
Meanwhile, you're coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don't rank all that high on the truth meter. With iPods and iPads; Xboxes and PlayStations; information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment. All of this is not only putting new pressures on you; it is putting new pressures on our country and on our democracy.
That's right, not only did Barack Obama talk shit on the iPad, he said it's a threat to democracy. Do you know what else is a threat to democracy? Terrorism. Does Barack Obama think the iPad is a terrorist? Seems likely!
Really, though, what is he even talking about here? The iPad is... "putting new pressures on our democracy"? Video game systems and MP3 players are turning information into a "distraction"? There is not even any information on an iPod, unless your mistagged Weird Al MP3s count as "information"!
Then again, it was one line in a smart speech, and... not at all important vis-a-vis his larger point.
On the other hand: Barack Obama hates the iPad Justin Bieber Jonas Brothers Swine Flu How Can I Tell If I Am Pregnant.
[HamptonRoads.com; pic via AP]