President Obama addressed a 50th anniversary commemoration of the March on Washington yesterday, at an event entitled Let Freedom Ring. Although he had warned ahead of time that his speech would not be as good as Dr. King’s speech in 1963, he channeled a fiery spirit not seen in recent times.
Obama thundered, “Change does not come from Washington, change comes to Washington,” contradicting his election-campaign refrain of asking for people’s votes to bring hope and change to the White House. He spent a large portion of the speech repeating his push for economic reform, reminding the audience that “King’s dream remains elusive” on the economic justice he sought.
Today we’ll examine President Obama’s speech at a time when progressives have become increasingly bitter about his tenure. Obama is decried for deporting more immigrants than any other President, overseeing the most draconian domestic surveillance program in world history, escalating drone wars in various countries, and now verging on a new war against Syria. Unsurprisingly there was not a single mention of any of those issues in his speech.
GUEST: Rinku Sen is a leading figure in the racial justice movement and the the President and Executive Director of the Applied Research Center (ARC) and the publisher of Colorlines.com. She has written several books including Stir It Up, and The Accidental American