360° Coverage : Because they kept marching, America changed: Obama

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Because they kept marching, America changed: Obama
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Because they kept marching, America changed: Obama

Aug 28 2013, 11:48pm CDT | by IANS

Washington, Aug 29 (IANS) Thousands of Americans converged on the national mall to hear America's first black president as they sought to recapture the magic of Martin Luther King's historic "I Have a Dream" speech fifty summers ago.

Washington, Aug 29 — Thousands of Americans converged on the national mall to hear America's first black president as they sought to recapture the magic of Martin Luther King's historic "I Have a...

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51 weeks ago

Because they kept marching, America changed: Obama

Aug 28 2013, 11:48pm CDT | by IANS

Washington, Aug 29 (IANS) Thousands of Americans converged on the national mall to hear America's first black president as they sought to recapture the magic of Martin Luther King's historic "I Have a Dream" speech fifty summers ago.

Washington, Aug 29 — Thousands of Americans converged on the national mall to hear America's first black president as they sought to recapture the magic of Martin Luther King's historic "I Have a Dream" speech fifty summers ago.

Standing on the same steps of the Lincoln Memorial from where the civil rights leader spoke in the afternoon of Aug 28, 1963, President Barack Obama Wednesday recalled how King "gave mighty voice to the quiet hopes of millions" as a multitude of black, white and people of other varied shades listened.

But more than his words, the very act of an African-American president marking King's Mahatma Gandhi inspired "March on Washington" that he called "the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation", was steeped in symbolism.

"His words belong to the ages, possessing a power and prophecy unmatched in our time," said Obama, dressed in a black suit and a blue tie, at the end of a day-long ceremony attended among others by two former presidents, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

Hailing leaders who braved intimidation and violence in their fight for equal rights, Obama cast his own election to the Oval Office as a consequence of persistence and courage from leaders such as King.

"Because they kept marching, America changed," Obama said amid a light drizzle.

"Because they marched, city councils changed and state legislatures changed and Congress changed and, yes, eventually, the White House changed."

While other, negative changes have forestalled the push toward racial harmony, Obama said the work of civil rights leaders had permanently changed the discourse between races in America.

"To dismiss the magnitude of this process, to suggest, as some sometimes do, that little has changed, that dishonours the courage and the sacrifice of those who paid the price to march in those years," Obama said.

Adopting words from another of King's speeches, Obama declared that "the arc of the moral universe may bend toward justice, but it doesn't bend on its own".

However, "to secure the gains this country has made requires constant vigilance, not complacency", he said.

"We will suffer the occasional setback, but we will win these fights. This country has changed too much."

Before he spoke, Obama, his wife Michelle in a black dress with red flowers, and the King family gathered around and rang a cast iron bell to mark the moment King ended his speech with a call to "let freedom ring".

The bell had been saved from the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, where a bombing by the Ku Klux Klan killed four black girls in September 1963.

Earlier, speaking from those very steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Clinton said: "This march and that speech changed America."

"They opened minds, they melted hearts and they moved millions, including a 17-year-old boy watching alone in his home in Arkansas."

Clinton also took to task people who dwell gridlock in Washington, instead of focusing on a way forward, like King did.

Carter, a Georgian like King, said: "We all know how Dr. King would have reacted" to voter ID requirements and stand-your-ground laws, among other policies.

"Well, there's a tremendous agenda ahead of us, and I'm thankful to Martin Luther King, Jr. and his dream is still alive," Carter said.

The Rev. Bernice King, Martin Luther King's daughter, who spoke after the former presidents, noted that there were no women on the programme 50 years ago, but that a number of powerful women spoke Wednesday afternoon.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

IANS

Source: IANS

 
Update
11

2 days ago

Holder and Obama trampling on MLK's dream

Aug 24 2014 3:21pm CDT | Source: WND

Martin Luther King’s famous dream speech called for a color-blind society, one in which one’s character, not skin color, would be the basis for judging any individual. Many decades later, America has elected an African-American president who has installed an African-American attorney general as the chief enforcer of the law. So, how are these African-American leaders doing with regard to Martin Luther King’s demand for color blind justice? Two recent issues are illustra ...
Source: WND  Full article at: WND
 

 
Update
10

4 days ago

We don't have to have more Fergusons

Aug 22 2014 6:12pm CDT | Source: WND

Aug. 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on the mall in Washington, D.C. One year later, a half century ago, the Civil Rights Act was signed into law. A half-century is a long time. Yet, as events in Ferguson, Missouri, attest to, race remains a problem in America. Why? Change has swept our nation over these years. Technologies abound that no one would have ...
Source: WND  Full article at: WND
 

 
Update
9

1 week ago

What Ever Happened to 'Officer Friendly' Ferguson?

Aug 19 2014 10:44pm CDT | Source: Politics - The Huffington Post

I approach this topic as a woman of color. I grew up in racially segregated Chicago. Although it was not the South, there were still neighborhoods where blacks were not welcomed. My first encounter with racism was as an 8-year-old on a family vacation to visit relatives in the South. It soured me on returning, and whenever I hear a certain drawl, it instantly revives memories of our almost-encounter with the KKK. When I was a preteen shopping for an eighth-grade grad ...
Source: Politics - The Huffington Post   Full article at: Politics - The Huffington Post
 

 
Update
8

1 week ago

Larry Elder Blasts 'Odd Duck' Rand Paul for Telling Blacks Cops Are Out to Get Them

Aug 19 2014 7:23pm CDT | Source: Big Government

Calling Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) an "odd duck," conservative talk radio host Larry Elder accused Paul of needlessly fueling the notion that cops are out to get black people. On Tuesday's The Laura Ingraham Show, Elder, after saying that he was as libertarian as Paul but disagreed with his foreign policy views, said of Paul's recent inclusion efforts, "I get the idea of making sure the Republican party is embracing black people and trying to attr ...
Source: Big Government   Full article at: Big Government
 

 
Update
7

1 week ago

Ferguson: What if positions were reversed?

Aug 19 2014 6:43pm CDT | Source: WND

As I sit watching the wall to wall coverage of the events that are taking place in Ferguson, Missouri, I can’t help but wonder how different things might be if an African-American police officer had shot and killed an unarmed white teenager. If there were video evidence showing a hypothetical white teen stealing merchandise and strong arming a clerk in a convenience store prior to being shot, would the media coverage be anywhere close to ...
Source: WND  Full article at: WND
 

 
Update
5

1 week ago

Elder: If Everything Has to Be Racially Representative, Obama Can’t be President

Aug 18 2014 7:10pm CDT | Source: Big Government

Talk radio host Larry Elder rebutted arguments that Ferguson’s police force had to represent the city’s demographics on Monday’s “CNN Newsroom.”  “I live in Compton, a suburb of Los Angeles that used to be almost all black," Elder said. "It is now almost all Latino.  However, the people that run the city are still almost all black. And if you ask them about that, they'll say ‘what are ...
Source: Big Government   Full article at: Big Government
 

 
Update
4

1 week ago

China State Media: Ferguson Shows Americans Racist in 'Every Aspect' of Society

Aug 18 2014 3:16pm CDT | Source: Big Government

Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua released an op-ed written by commentator Li Li Monday, titled “Commentary: Ferguson riot reveals U.S. racial divide, human rights flaw.” The author begins by briefly mentioning the progress America has made in advancing its civil society, from Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” to the first black president in Barack Obama. However, he notes that despite the US’s progress in race relations, t ...
Source: Big Government   Full article at: Big Government
 

 
Update
3

1 week ago

The World’s Most Repressive Regimes Delight In U.S. Is Crack Down In Ferguson

Aug 18 2014 9:23am CDT | Source: ThinkProgress

Police advance after tear gas was used to disperse a crowd of protesters in Ferguson, MO on Sunday CREDIT: AP Photo/Charlie Riedel After years of being critiqued for its own crackdowns against dissidents, China has begun to use the ongoing clashes between police and protesters and police in Ferguson, MO as a way to lambaste the United States for hypocrisy, joining other repressive regimes in expressing no small amount of schadenfreude at the current situation. The Chinese ...
Source: ThinkProgress   Full article at: ThinkProgress
 

 
Update
2

1 week ago

History and Ferguson, Missouri

Aug 18 2014 6:52am CDT | Source: Politics - The Huffington Post

As I watched with a sickening sense of deja vu the images coming out of Ferguson, Missouri this week, I couldn't help but come to this conclusion: we have allowed a pernicious historical revisionism to undermine the legacy of the civil rights movement. A half century ago, after covering datelines like Birmingham, Alabama and Oxford, Mississippi and men like Dr. Martin Luther King and Medgar Evers, I came to Washington as the CBS News White House Corresp ...
Source: Politics - The Huffington Post   Full article at: Politics - The Huffington Post
 

 
Update
1

2 weeks ago

Ben Carson: St Louis Rioters Fail to Recognize the Lessons of MLK

Aug 13 2014 12:06am CDT | Source: Big Government

On Tuesday’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” former Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Ben Carson took on the uproar in some St. Louis suburbs over the death of Michael Brown. Carson argued that the rioters don’t realize they are hurting more than helping further the cause of the alleged injustice and suggested they look at how Martin Luther King, Jr. handled those injustices. “Unfortunately, I think these people, perhaps, have not studied history,” Carson said. “The reason that Dr. ...
Source: Big Government   Full article at: Big Government
 

 

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