Obama denounces ‘bigotry’ in veiled shot at Donald Trump

10 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Marking abolition of slavery, Obama urges rejection of ‘bigotry in all forms’.

In a speech commemorating the 150th anniversary of the abolition of slavery on Wednesday, President Obama urged Americans to “push back against bigotry in all forms.” Describing slavery as the “nation’s original sin,” Mr. WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Wednesday took a veiled swipe at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has called for blocking Muslims from entering the United States in the aftermath of terror attacks at home and abroad. Obama said the efforts of Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln and later Martin Luther King Jr. to fight a legacy of racial discrimination should be an inspiration for Americans today to come together, “to remember that our freedom is bound up with the freedom of others, regardless of what they look like, or where they come from, or what their last name is or what faith they practice.” Since the passage of the 13th Amendment by Congress on December 6, 1865, he said, bigotry have may taken different, less overt forms than the brutality of slavery, but that has not lessened its impact. “We condemn ourselves to shackles once more, if we fail to answer those who wonder if they’re truly equals in their communities or in their justice systems or in a job interview. In tying together the past and the present, Obama’s words also seemed to be an effort to further address complex issues of race – and criticisms that he has not done more for the black community – through two terms as the nation’s first black president. “Many of Mr.

Constitution, which formally abolished slavery. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images) “If we were to let cynicism consume us, and fear overwhelm us, if we lost hope, for however slow, however incomplete, however harshly, loudly, rudely challenged at each point along our journey, in America we can create the change that we seek,” Obama said. “All it requires is that our generation be willing to do what those who came before us have done, to rise above the cynicism, rise above the fear, to hold fast to our values, to see ourselves in each other, to cherish dignity and opportunity not just for our own children, but for somebody else’s child. But since taking office, the president had been skittish on the subject and had mostly let it lapse into disturbing silence,” the sociologist Michael Eric Dyson wrote in a New York Times opinion in August. I’ll leave it to you to guess who, though the point did not appear lost on today’s audience – much of which responded to the president’s comment with a standing ovation. Professor Dyson pointed to a rising tide of outrage about police violence against young black people and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement as key milestones in spurring greater action and a slew of efforts to reform the nation’s criminal justice system, late in Obama’s presidency. Lest anyone think this was a coincidence, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters today, “I’m not going to wave you off consideration of the idea that that message stands in quite stark contrast to the rhetoric that we hear from a variety of Republican candidates for president.

Speaking of the passion of “the reformers,” he recounted how African American slaves fled the plantations of the south and journeyed toward freedom in the north. Reflecting on a speech Obama made at the NAACP’s annual convention in Philadelphia in July, Dyson wrote, “It was almost as if Michelle Alexander, author of ‘The New Jim Crow,’ and the former attorney general Eric H.

So I think it’s appropriate for you to notice the difference in those messages, but I would contest the notion that this is something that the president newly inserted into his remarks to respond to one individual.” Holder Jr. had hacked his computer and collaborated on his speech.” Obama’s legacy on race may be defined in part by his actions to curb the harsh mandatory minimum sentences adopted for drug crimes in the 1980s and 90s. House and Senate leaders read historical accounts of what happened in Congress and in the states leading up to ratification. “When we read those 43 short and simple words, we should remember these men and what they did,” House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said of the amendment. “We should realize those words, like their acts, were gallant, noble and profound.” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the values exemplified by Tubman “are a guiding light” in fights for higher wages, better education and criminal justice reform. In July, he became the first sitting president to visit a federal prison, questioning harsh sentences for nonviolent crimes. “Even on Capitol Hill, policymakers in both parties have recognized that the billions spent during the decades-long war on drugs have created an unsustainably high prison population – the largest in the world – that is straining budgets,” The Christian Science Monitor reported last month, noting that measures to curb mandatory minimum sentencing has enjoyed bipartisan support.

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