COMMENTARY

10 Takeaways From President Obama’s Past Speech On Race

Photo Credit: Whitehouse – President Barack Obama.

The issue of race has been a topical subject in the U.S., partly because of the socio-economic, political, and historical development of the country.

In fact, a new Pew Research Center survey has shown a profound difference between black and white Americans in how they view the current state of race relations and racial equality and in the ways they experience day-to-day life.

President Obama as the first African-American to assume the presidency position was forced to address the topic of race on a number of different occasions during his campaign.

Below are 10 takeaways from one of his speeches:

1. Words on a parchment would not be enough to deliver slaves from bondage, or provide men and women of every color and creed their full rights and obligations as citizens of the United States.

2. It took protests and struggles, on the streets and in the courts, through a civil war and civil disobedience, and always at great risk — to narrow that gap between the promise of our ideals and the reality of their time.

3. We cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together.

4. The U.S. is more than the sum of its parts — that out of many, we are truly one.

5. Race is an issue that this nation cannot afford to ignore right now.

6. Segregated schools were and are inferior schools; we still haven’t fixed them, 50 years after Brown v. Board of Education.

7. Legalized discrimination — where blacks were prevented, often through violence, from owning property, or loans were not granted to African-American business owners, or black homeowners could not access FHA mortgages, or blacks were excluded from unions or the police force or the fire department — meant that black families could not amass any meaningful wealth to bequeath to future generations.

8. We have never worked through the complexities of race in this country.

9. A lack of economic opportunity among black men and the shame and frustration that came from not being able to provide for one’s family contributed to the erosion of black families.

10. The children of America are not those kids, they are our kids, and we will not let them fall behind in a 21st-century economy.

Carol Maye, Readers Bureau, Fellow

Edited by Jesus Chan

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