Please forward video to 45:00 mark.
The Blessings of a Black President speaking on the 150 anniversary of the 13th Amendment, and especially in this racially-charged environment in America.
THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT!
President #Obama gave a powerful speech today @150th anniversary celebration of the ratification of 13th amendment pic.twitter.com/iCVgQQknbL
— US Rep E.B.Johnson (@RepEBJ) December 9, 2015
Obama honors 13th Amendment, takes subtle shot across Trump’s bow
12/09/15 04:43 PM—UPDATED 12/09/15 04:59 PM
By Steve Benen
It was exactly 150 years ago this week that the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, officially abolishing slavery. President Obama attended a Capitol Hill ceremony today to honor the anniversary, and offered some timely and poignant remarks.
…Obama said, “We betray the efforts of the past if we fail to push back against bigotry in all its forms.” Obama called on Americans to “hold fast to our values” and advance the work done by abolitionists and civil rights leaders.
“All it requires is that our generation be willing to do what those who came before us have done: to rise above the cynicism and 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,” Obama said. “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.”
Note that when the president said “or what faith they practice,” he spoke with much greater emphasis, as if he were trying to send a specific message to a Republican presidential candidate and his allies.
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.
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. 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.”
PBO gave an inspiring and fitting statement in commemorating the 150 Anniversary of the 13th Amendment today.
Will be hear about it on cable and major networks this evening? No, we’ll hear more of the racist BS and they will try and sneak in Speaker Paul Ryan’s remarks, as he is the anointed one to declare whites did us DARKIES a favor a century and a half ago!
Thanks for posting this, Rikyrah.
An ISIS Tar Baby, The Continuing American Civil War, And Our President
JAMES ROGERS BUSH·MONDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2015
After watching President Obama’s speech the other night, I found myself slipping into a depression, one that I have not felt since President Bush’s invasion of Iraq.
On that day, fourteen years ago, as American bombs dropped on Baghdad, I found myself wanting to kick in the screen of my TV set.
After the president’s speech, I just slinked off to bed, shaking my head, and feeling deep sorrow for a president I have both admired and felt empathy for, for the last seven years, as I watched him struggle with a recalcitrant, Republican dominated, congress, a divided body politic, and an ever deepening, tar baby, quagmire in the Middle East. All while simultaneously trying to keep his campaign promises, save the American economy, pass legislation that would be good for the majority of Americans, and raise awareness of the threat of climate change.
We have had the unusual privilege of having a president whose intelligence and coolness under fire; whose moral fiber, as both a man, a husband, a father and representative of our country, have stood us in good stead in the world. But we have abused that privilege and squandered those qualities, by allowing some among us here at home to treat him with a disrespect not shown another president since Abraham Lincoln.
Perhaps, therein lies a clue to what the United States is going through, both in the Middle East and at home today. Perhaps one could fold both our war with ISIS and our war with each other into what one could call a continuation of the American Civil War.
Lincoln had to fight a war, both in the field and in congress, as Obama now must do with an enemy in the field and enemies in congress. Lincoln had to struggle with the hatred of an implacable enemy, as well as the hatred of some in an intractable congress, and Obama has had to deal with the hatred of an implacable enemy and the hatred of some in an intractable congress. Lincoln was hated as a “nigger lover” and Obama is hated for being one!
The only difference between Lincoln’s civil war and Obama’s was that Lincoln’s enemies were all at home and Obama’s are both at home and abroad. But, in Lincoln’s time the United States was not an international power yet, as it is now in Obama’s, so perhaps the difference is moot. Perhaps, ironically, considering that he is the first black president, Obama’s wars are just a continuation of Lincoln’s war.
Lately, we Americans have been struggling with the issues of race, religion, immigration, military intervention, economic inequity, and the power of government vs the power of the states. How different are these issues from the issues of Lincoln’s time? Each and every one of them was a contentious issue during the civil war. We are even fighting over the existence, use, and meaning of the Confederate Battle Flag!
I saw a tiredness in Obama’s face the other night – one that could be seen in the civil war photos of Lincoln. And I could not help but feel shame for what some of us have done to this man who has tried so hard to do the right thing for us, the American People, and the republic that he so obviously loves. Why have some of us, who claim to love our country and what it stands for, insisted on tearing down the man that the American People elected, twice, to sit in the Oval Office – an office that we all, no matter who sits in it, should show, at least, a modicum of respect?”
The struggles that are happening now, both at home and abroad, both between the American political parties, the American People, and with ISIS, have no easy answers. And no demagogue, spouting easy and quick solutions, will accomplish anything more than get us into deeper trouble.
The seemingly intransigent problems we face today, will continue to plague us into the foreseeable future, and no political party or president, black or white, male or female, is going to have an easy time solving them. In fact, no political party or president can solve them without the unified help of the American People.
As Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” I might add, a house divided against itself cannot stand against an outside enemy.
If we are to defeat ISIS, we must come together as a people, we must include our Muslim neighbors, and we must help President Obama, and our future president, whomever it is, to find a way forward.
Until we can to do this, we will continue to find ourselves stuck in both an ISIS Tar Baby in the Middle East and an American Civil War, that it seems has been going on since Lincoln’s time. And, if we are not more impeccable in our behavior than we have been lately, and we do not find a way, to finally “bind up the nation’s wounds,” this tar baby and civil war could very well mean the end of our republic and the American experiment in democracy that it represents.