President Bill Clinton, 50th Anniversary of #MLK's "March on Washington" speech
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President Bill Clinton, 50th Anniversary of #MLK's "March on Washington" speech

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President Clinton on the 50th anniversary of #MLK "I have a dream" speech at the "March on Washington".

President Clinton on the 50th anniversary of #MLK "I have a dream" speech at the "March on Washington".

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President Bill Clinton, 50th Anniversary of #MLK's "March on Washington" speech President Bill Clinton, 50th Anniversary of #MLK's "March on Washington" speech Document Transcript

  •                             #newCommunication  #newLeadership  #newPolitics     1   communication,  strategy  &  leadership  architects     www.ingenia-­‐pro.com                            @ingenia_pro                                                                                                                                                                                                         "Let  Freedom  ring,  ceremony"     At  the  Lincoln  Memorial,  Washington  D.C.     August  28th,  2013       President  Bill  Clinton  at  the  50th   anniversary  of  the  "March  on  Washington",   remembering  #MLK    
  •                             #newCommunication  #newLeadership  #newPolitics     2   communication,  strategy  &  leadership  architects     www.ingenia-­‐pro.com                            @ingenia_pro     The  Full  Speech  Text       "Thank  you.     Mr.  President,  Mrs.  Obama,  President  Carter,  Vice  President  Biden,  Dr.  Biden,  I  want  to   thank  my  great  friend  Reverend  Bernice  King  and  the  King  family  for  inviting  me  to  be   a  part  of  this  50th  observation  of  one  of  the  most  important  days  in  American  history.   Dr.  King  and  A.  Philip  Randolph,  John  Lewis  and  Bayard  Rustin,  Dorothy  Height,  Myrlie   Evers,  Daisy  Bates  and  all  the  others  who  led  this  massive  march  knew  what  they  were   doing  on  this  hallowed  ground.       In  the  shadow  of  Lincoln’s  statute,  the  burning  memory  of  the  fact  that  he  gave  his  life   to  preserve  the  Union  and  end  slavery,  Martin  Luther  King  urged  his  crowd  not  to  drink   from  the  cup  of  bitterness  but  to  reach  across  the  racial  divide  because,  he  said,  we   cannot   walk   alone.   Their   destiny   is   tied   up   with   our   destiny.   Their   freedom   is   inextricably  bound  to  our  freedom.       He  urged  the  victims  of  racial  violence  to  meet  white  Americans  with  an  outstretched   hand,  not  a  clenched  fist,  and,  in  so  doing,  to  prove  the  redeeming  power  of  unearned   suffering.  And  then  he  dreamed  of  an  America  where  all  citizens  would  sit  together  at   the  table  of  brotherhood,  where  little  white  boys  and  girls  and  little  black  boys  and   girls  would  hold  hands  across  the  color  line,  where  his  own  children  would  be  judged   not  by  the  color  of  their  skin  but  by  the  content  of  their  character.       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.       It   was   an   empowering   moment,   but   also   an   empowered   moment.   As   the   great   chronicler  of  those  years,  Taylor  Branch,  wrote:  The  movement  here  gained  the  force   to  open,  quote,  “the  stubborn  gates  of  freedom,”  and  out  flowed  the  Civil  Rights  Act,   the  Voting  Rights  Act,  immigration  reform,  Medicare,  Medicaid,  open  housing.     It  is  well  to  remember  that  the  leaders  and  the  foot  soldiers  here  were  both  idealists   and  tough  realists;  they  had  to  be.  It  was  a  violent  time.  Just  three  months  later,  we  
  •                             #newCommunication  #newLeadership  #newPolitics     3   communication,  strategy  &  leadership  architects     www.ingenia-­‐pro.com                            @ingenia_pro     lost  President  Kennedy  and  we  thank  God  that  President  Johnson  came  in  and  fought   for  all  those  issues  I  just  mentioned.       Just  five  years  later,  we  lost  Senator  Kennedy.  And  in  between  there  was  the  carnage   of  the  fight  for  jobs,  freedom  and  equality.  Just  18  days  after  this  march,  four  little   children  were  killed  in  the  Birmingham  church  bombinng.  Then  there  were  the  Ku  Klux   Klan  murders,  the  Mississippi  lynching  and  a  dozen  others  until  in  1968  Dr.  King  himself   was   martyred,   still   marching   for   jobs   and   freedom.   What   a   debt   we   owe   to   those   people  who  came  here  50  years  ago.         The  martyrs  played  it  all  for  a  dream,  a  dream,  as  John  Lewis  said,  that  millions  have   now  actually  lived.       So   how   are   we   going   to   repay   the   debt?   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.         We  cannot  be  disheartened  by  the  forces  of  resistance  to  building  a  modern  economy   of   good   jobs   and   rising   incomes   or   to   rebuilding   our   education   system   to   give   our   children   a   common   core   of   knowledge   necessary   to   ensure   success   or   to   give   Americans  of  all  ages  access  to  affordable  college  and  training  programs.  And  we  thank   the  president  for  his  efforts  in  those  regards.       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.  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.  
  •                             #newCommunication  #newLeadership  #newPolitics     4   communication,  strategy  &  leadership  architects     www.ingenia-­‐pro.com                            @ingenia_pro         We  cannot  be  discouraged  by  a  Supreme  Court  decision  that  said  we  don’t  need  this   critical  provision  of  the  Voting  Rights  Act  because,  look  at  the  states,  it  made  it  harder   for  African  Americans  and  Hispanics  and  students  and  the  elderly  and  the  infirm  and   poor  working  folks  to  vote.  What  do  you  know;  they  showed  up,  stood  in  line  for  hours   and  voted  anyway.  So,  obviously  we  don’t  need  any  kind  of  law.         But  a  great  democracy  does  not  make  it  harder  to  vote  than  to  buy  an  assault  weapon.         We  must  open  those  stubborn  gates.       And   let   us   not   forget   that   while   racial   divides   persist   and   must   not   be   denied,   the   whole  American  landscape  is  littered  with  the  lost  dreams  and  dashed  hopes  of  people   of  all  races.  And  the  great  irony  of  the  current  moment  is  that  the  future  has  never   brimmed   with   more   possibilities.   It   has   never   burned   brighter   in   what   we   could   become  if  we  push  open  those  stubborn  gates  and  if  we  do  it  together.       The  choice  remains  as  it  was  on  that  distant  summer  day  50  years  ago:  cooperate  and   thrive  or  fight  with  each  other  and  fall  behind.  We  should  all  thank  God  for  Dr.  King   and  John  Lewis  and  all  those  who  gave  us  a  dream  to  guide  us,  a  dream  they  paid  for,   like  our  founders,  with  their  lives,  their  fortunes,  their  sacred  honor.       And  we  thank  them  for  reminding  us  that  America  is  always  becoming,  always  on  a   journey.  And  we  all,  every  single  citizen  among  us,  have  to  run  our  length.   God  bless  them,  and  God  bless  America."         *  *  *  *  *