One of the most important messages from a president I've ever seen just popped up on the White House blog. On that blog, a video of President Obama addressing the gay youth suicides, bullying, and adding his own "It Gets Better" message has now gone viral.
(It is truly a sign of the times when the White House blog has a viral video, right?)
Out of all of Obama's speeches over the past year -- it's hard to actually remember another one -- I'm thrilled to see this one is getting the attention it deserves.
Bullying is a serious problem that needs to be deconstructed and destroyed. One of the strongest messages President Obama just sent out was, "We've got to dispel this myth that bullying is just a normal rite of passage."
President Obama has been taking a lot of heat lately on LGBT issues. From his non-stance on gay marriage to the DOJ push-back on the latest Don't Ask, Don't Tell ruling, the gay community has some bones to pick with the president.
Will this video make it better?
Invoking his daughters makes me confident that President Obama gets it. He references his own past and talks about how he knows what it's like not to fit in, even if he doesn't know what it's like to be a gay teen who is bullied. I'm feeling this one, Obama.
Most importantly, President Obama emphasizes respect for one another, which is at the root of childhood bullying, and the grown-up kind as well. Whether that lack of respect results in harassing a gay teen until he feels the only option is to die, or telling an adult they don't have the right to marry whom they want to marry, it's got to stop.
There are plenty of adults who could take a lesson from this three-minute speech. I'm sure Obama has come face-to-face with Joe Wilson a few. But hopefully, the "It Gets Better" message will reach just one kid who feels trapped in his current circumstances to realize there is hope ... and change.
What did you think about Obama's speech on bullying?
Image via TheWhiteHouse.gov