Yesterday President Barack Obama spoke to the assembly commemorating the 5oth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. In my view, it was Obama oratory at it’s finest, but you be the judge of that. I have an article, the complete video, and a link to the transcript for you.
For three days, the veterans of a long-ago movement reunited and drew together their spiritual heirs to explore the legacy of the Civil Rights Act a half-century after it transformed America. And then the legacy walked onstage.
President Obama presented himself on Thursday as the living, walking, talking and governing embodiment of the landmark 1964 law that banned discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion or national origin.
In a speech that stirred an audience of civil rights champions here at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, Mr. Obama acknowledged that racism has hardly been erased and that government programs have not always succeeded. But, he added, “I reject such cynicism because I have lived out the promise of L.B.J.’s efforts, because Michelle has lived out the legacy of those efforts, because my daughters have lived out the legacy of those efforts.”
Thanks to the law and the movement that spawned it and the progress made after it, Mr. Obama said, “new doors of opportunity and education swung open for everybody,” regardless of race, ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation. “They swung open for you, and they swung open for me,” he said. “And that’s why I’m standing here today, because of those efforts, because of that legacy.”…
Inserted from <NY Times>
Here is the video.
For a transcript, go to the Washington Post.
Most of us think of LBJ in terms of the Vietnam War. Obama did an excellent job of fleshing out the man to present his good side.
Obama is right that history moves in all directions, and Republicans are doing their utmost to return us to the paradigm of lynching and Jim Crow. Obama is spot on to reject Republican cynicism and racism.
Obama is right that our rights and freedoms must be won over and over again. Republicans will not stop trying to take them away.