50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. President Clinton’s speech
Although I liked Obama’s speech, he really didn’t bring the fire. He gave his scholarly speech. It was Bill Clinton who consistently can bring it. The take home line from the March in my opinion was “But a great democracy does not make it harder to vote than to buy an assault weapon.” As matter of fact he had several lines which are worth repeating –
Dr. King’s dream of interdependence, his prescription of wholehearted cooperation across racial lines — they ring as true today as they did 50 years ago. Oh, yes, we face terrible political gridlock now. Read a little history; it’s nothing new. Yes, there remain racial inequalities in employment, income, health, wealth, incarceration, and in the victims and perpetrators of violent crime. But we don’t face beatings, lynchings and shootings for our political beliefs anymore. And I would respectfully suggest that Martin Luther King did not live and die to hear his heirs whine about political gridlock. It is time to stop complaining and put our shoulders against the stubborn gates holding the American people back.
And he went on to say –
We cannot relax in our efforts to implement health care reform in a way that ends discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions — one of which is inadequate income to pay for rising health care — (applause) — a health care reform that will lower costs and lengthen lives; nor can we stop investing in science and technology to train our young people of all races for the jobs of tomorrow; and to act on what we learn about our bodies, our businesses and our climate. We must push open those stubborn gates.