Selma and "Bloody Sunday" 50 Years Later

President Obama spoke at today's Selma March , commemorating the 50th anniversary of the historic event, also known as "Bloody Sunday." I read a lot of articles but chose this link from the Daily Mail because of the great photos (no auto video play) and it also has the full text of President Obama's speech, which I think was very inspiring.

At one point in his speech, the President said of the notion that racism is no longer an issue in America: 'We don't need the Ferguson report to know that's not true', referring to the Justice Department document, which found that seven racist emails had been sent by officials in the St Louis suburb.

'We just need to open our eyes, and ears, and hearts, to know that this nation's racial history still casts its long shadow upon us,' he continued. 'We know the march is not yet over, the race is not yet won, and that reaching that blessed destination where we are judged by the content of our character - requires admitting as much.' But he noted that race relations in the US had come a long way - referring to progress in gender and marriage equality. [More...]

About 100 members of Congress were present, but sharing the stage with Obama was George W. Bush and his wife Laura. See the photos in the article, he looks really old.

Another quote:

There's nothing America can't handle if we actually look squarely at the problem. And this is work for all Americans, not just some. Not just whites. Not just blacks.

... With such an effort, we can make sure our criminal justice system serves all and not just some. Together, we can raise the level of mutual trust that policing is built on –- the idea that police officers are members of the community they risk their lives to protect, and citizens in Ferguson and New York and Cleveland, they just want the same thing young people here marched for 50 years ago -– the protection of the law. (Applause.)

Together, we can address unfair sentencing and overcrowded prisons, and the stunted circumstances that rob too many boys of the chance to become men, and rob the nation of too many men who could be good dads, and good workers, and good neighbors. (Applause.)

And a nice ending:

Fifty years from Bloody Sunday, our march is not yet finished, but we're getting closer. Two hundred and thirty-nine years after this nation's founding our union is not yet perfect, but we are getting closer. Our job's easier because somebody already got us through that first mile. Somebody already got us over that bridge. When it feels the road is too hard, when the torch we've been passed feels too heavy, we will remember these early travelers, and draw strength from their example....

....We honor those who walked so we could run. We must run so our children soar. And we will not grow weary.

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  • Display: Sort:
    It was a wonderful and inspiring speech. (none / 0) (#1)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Mar 08, 2015 at 04:29:43 PM EST
    Too bad that the people in D.C. who really needed to hear the message never even bothered to show up. Only House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield, CA) reversed course late Friday and announced he would travel to Selma to attend the commemoration, likely after being right-wing $lut-shamed by several prominent conservative pundits who were aghast at the tone-deaf optics displayed by the GOP's congressional leadership. Charles Cooke of the National Review, in particular, pulled no punches in his withering criticism of Republicans for being no-shows at the public event.

    'The Party of Lincoln'... (none / 0) (#2)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 09, 2015 at 12:59:40 PM EST
    ...is just a bumper sticker.

    Who really cares, we all know where republicans stand on race, diverting one house member isn't going to change a damn thing.


    For a GOP whose chair loves to insist that ... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Mar 09, 2015 at 08:07:37 PM EST
    ... Republicans have turned a page in their acrimonious relationship with our country's minority populace, not going to Selma this weekend was an unforced error politically, because that absence serves only to underscore the collective suspicions about Republican sincerity by persons of color.

    If Republicans were never serious about turning that page in the first place, which is quite likely given that the party is presently dominated by the sort of folks who used to be known as "Dixiecrats," then staying home in D.C. was a signal that it's simply business as usual.



    Yes (none / 0) (#3)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Mar 09, 2015 at 06:45:09 PM EST
    I was thinking the same thing. I mean they're neoconfederates so why should anyone expect them to show up? I don't think it's even worth mentioning that the didn't show up. It would only be worth mentioning if they did.

    I'm mentioning it (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 10, 2015 at 07:41:15 AM EST
    Over and over and over again.