Speaking in Oakland, California, at the fifth anniversary of the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance — an organization that aims to close opportunity gaps facing young minority men, Obama and NBA star Stephen Curry spoke together about the social pressures facing younger generations and the images of success portrayed by most hip-hop stars. However, Obama seemed to be displeased with how today’s stars are portraying themselves.
“We live in a culture where our worth is measured by how much money we have and how famous we are. I will tell you, at the end of the day, the thing that will give you confidence is not that. I know a lot of rich people that are all messed up,” Obama told the audience.
“If you are really confident about your financial situation, you’re probably not going to be wearing an 8-pound chain around your neck. If you’re very confident about your sexuality, you don’t have to have eight women around you twerking,” he added.
Obama and Curry then started to discuss how to build confidence, with the former president admitting that he was “all kinds of screwed up” during his high school days.
Obama also expanded on his view that sometimes it takes a tough approach to eradicate stereotypes in order to improve society.
“Some communities need more police, not fewer police,” he said. “Building trust, knowing who is who and just because somebody is wearing a hoodie doesn’t mean they are a criminal. That is just the style.”