[Marxism] Obama and LBJ

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon May 20 15:24:57 MDT 2013


Barack Obama at Morehouse College:

Well, we’ve got no time for excuses. Not because the bitter legacy of 
slavery and segregation have vanished entirely; they have not. Not 
because racism and discrimination no longer exist; we know those are 
still out there. It’s just that in today’s hyperconnected, 
hypercompetitive world, with millions of young people from China and 
India and Brazil — many of whom started with a whole lot less than all 
of you did — all of them entering the global workforce alongside you, 
nobody is going to give you anything that you have not earned.

Nobody cares how tough your upbringing was. Nobody cares if you suffered 
some discrimination. And moreover, you have to remember that whatever 
you’ve gone through, it pales in comparison to the hardships previous 
generations endured — and they overcame them. And if they overcame them, 
you can overcome them, too.


But if you stay hungry, if you keep hustling, if you keep on your grind 
and get other folks to do the same — nobody can stop you.


Lyndon Johnson at Howard University:

But freedom is not enough. You do not wipe away the scars of centuries 
by saying: Now you are free to go where you want, and do as you desire, 
and choose the leaders you please.

You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and 
liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, 
“you are free to compete with all the others,” and still justly believe 
that you have been completely fair.

Thus it is not enough just to open the gates of opportunity. All our 
citizens must have the ability to walk through those gates.

This is the next and the more profound stage of the battle for civil 
rights. We seek not just freedom but opportunity. We seek not just legal 
equity but human ability, not just equality as a right and a theory but 
equality as a fact and equality as a result.

For the task is to give 20 million Negroes the same chance as every 
other American to learn and grow, to work and share in society, to 
develop their abilities–physical, mental and spiritual, and to pursue 
their individual happiness.

To this end equal opportunity is essential, but not enough, not enough.

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