Friday, July 17, 2009

Obama: Discrimination Cannot Not Stand - By Kerry Eleveld -

July 16, 2009

President Barack Obama spoke of prejudice against gays, Latinos, and Muslims in his first major address to an African-American audience Thursday night at the centennial celebration of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Obama told the audience that there might be "a temptation among some to think that discrimination is no longer a problem in 2009."

"But make no mistake," he continued, "the pain of discrimination is still felt in America. By African-American women paid less for doing the same work as colleagues of a different color and gender. By Latinos made to feel unwelcome in their own country. By Muslim Americans viewed with suspicion for simply kneeling down to pray. By our gay brothers and sisters, still taunted, still attacked, still denied their rights.

"On the 45th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, discrimination cannot not stand. Not on account of color or gender; how you worship or who you love. Prejudice has no place in the United States of America."

Full text of his remarks as prepared for delivery are below:

It is an honor to be here, in the city where the NAACP was formed, to mark its centennial. What we celebrate tonight is not simply the journey the NAACP has traveled, but the journey that we, as Americans, have traveled over the past one hundred years.

It is a journey that takes us back to a time before most of us were born, long before the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act, and Brown v. Board of Education; back to an America just a generation past slavery. It was a time when Jim Crow was a way of life; when lynchings were all too common; and when race riots were shaking cities across a segregated land. Read complete article

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