He said the 30-foot granite sculpture of the pastor, arms crossed and eyeing the horizon, was a celebration of the civil rights movement that gave blacks the vote and ended segregation in schools, on buses and elsewhere in U.S. life.I wonder how the man he was supposed to be honoring would have felt about being used as a campaign prop...
While describing "progress that has expressed itself in a million ways" since the 1963 March on Washington, he said the economic crisis that has driven up the U.S. jobless rate was a new challenge also requiring determined action.
"On this day, in which we celebrate a man and a movement that did so much for this country, let us draw strength from those earlier struggles," he told the crowd on the Mall, where the other iconic monuments commemorate wars and presidents.
Echoing a theme from his speeches for the 2012 campaign, Obama said it was important to remember that King's successes did not come easily and required a great deal of persistence.
"When met with hardship, when confronting disappointment, Dr. King refused to accept what he called the 'is-ness' of today. He kept pushing for the 'ought-ness' of tomorrow," he told the crowd on the sunny, crisp autumn day.
"And so, as we think about all the work that we must do -- rebuilding an economy that can compete on a global stage, and fixing our schools so that every child ... gets a world-class education, and making sure that our health care system is affordable and accessible to all, and that our economic system is one in which everybody gets a fair shake and everybody does their fair share, let us not be trapped by what is," he shouted into the microphone.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
President Obama knows: Never let a dedication to MLK go to waste: