[Marxism] Text of Obama's speech tonight to NAACP
mikedf at amnh.org
Tue Jul 15 09:15:13 MDT 2008
Text of Obama's speech tonight to NAACP
Monday, July 14, 2008
Tonight Senator Obama will address the 99th Annual Convention of the
NAACP. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery.
Remarks of Senator Barack Obama-(as prepared for delivery) 99th Annual
Convention of the NAACP, Monday, July 14, Cincinnati
It is always humbling to speak before the NAACP. It is a powerful reminder
of the debt we all owe to those who marched for us and fought for us and
stood up on our behalf; of the sacrifices that were made for us by those
we never knew; and of the giants whose shoulders I stand on here today.
They are the men and women we read about in history books and hear about
in church; whose lives we honor with schools, and boulevards, and federal
holidays that bear their names. But what I want to remind you tonight on
Youth Night is that these giants, these icons of America's past, were
not much older than many of you when they took up freedom's cause and made
their mark on history.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was but a 26-year old pastor when he led a bus
boycott in Montgomery that mobilized a movement. John Lewis was but a
25-year old activist when he faced down Billy clubs on the bridge in Selma
and helped arouse the conscience of our nation. Diane Nash was even
younger when she helped found SNCC and led Freedom Rides down south. And
your chairman Julian Bond was but a 25-year old state legislator when he
put his own shoulder to the wheel of history.
It is because of them; and all those whose names never made it into the
history books those men and women, young and old, black, brown and
white, clear-eyed and straight-backed, who refused to settle for the world
as it is; who had the courage to remake the world as it should be that I
stand before you tonight as the Democratic nominee for President of the
United States of America.
And if I have the privilege of serving as your next President, I will
stand up for you the same way that earlier generations of Americans stood
up for me by fighting to ensure that every single one of us has the
chance to make it if we try. That means removing the barriers of prejudice
and misunderstanding that still exist in America. It means fighting to
eliminate discrimination from every corner of our country. It means
changing hearts, and changing minds, and making sure that every American
is treated equally under the law.
But social justice is not enough. As Dr. King once said, "the inseparable
twin of racial justice is economic justice." That's why Dr. King went to
Memphis in his final days to stand with striking sanitation workers.
That's why the march that Roy Wilkins helped lead forty five years ago
this summer wasn't just named the March on Washington, and it wasn't just
named the March on Washington for Freedom; it was named the March on
Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
What Dr. King and Roy Wilkins understood is that it matters little if you
have the right to sit at the front of the bus if you can't afford the bus
fare; it matters little if you have the right to sit at the lunch counter
if you can't afford the lunch. What they understood is that so long as
Americans are denied the decent wages, and good benefits, and fair
treatment they deserve, the dream for which so many gave so much will
remain out of reach; that to live up to our founding promise of equality
for all, we have to make sure that opportunity is open to all Americans.
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