Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Oprah Winfrey at the March today: "Not everyone can be famous"; economic and justice differences purely by race persist, even with Obama's presidency, Oprah's own success; "Let Freedom Ring!"

You can watch the coverage of events, of the "Let Freedom Ring" Ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial right now on NBC4 (NBC Washington).
Oprah Winfrey just spoke at about 2:10 PM.  She said, “Not everyone can be famous, but everyone can be great, because greatness involves service, and everyone can serve.”

To watch the coverage, you have to sit through an annoying NY State vacation ad. 

After Winfrey spoke, the floor recognized former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, and president Barack Obama.

The National Anthem was sung a cappella in spiritual style.

Today, it would be good to read a Washington Post article by Michael A. Fletcher, “50 Years Later, Economic Gap Persists”, link here.  In 1963, LBJ was more explicit in using the term “Negro” and did say that people of different races did have different experiences as legacies of the past, ranging from oppression to hidden guilt. 

Bill Clinton spoke of "unearned suffering".  He also criticized the Supreme Court on voting rights, disarming the "they voted anyway" argument, and said it shouldn't be easier to get a weapon than get health insurance. 
I can recall an African-American co-worker in the mid 1990s who said openly that he was teaching his young son to deal with racial discrimination.

The Freedom Bell (from the burned church in Birmingham, AL) rang at exactly 3 PM. 

President Obama mentioned the fact that many people hitch-hiked to Washington in 1963, an practice not well thought of today.  You're not supposed to pick up hitch-hikers, right  He often mentioned freedom fighters in South Africa, people who fought in wars but did not have equal rights at home, and people willing to go to jail to protest.  
Light rain is falling in the March area, and some bigger storms are approaching from the NW, now in PA, link.
Earlier today, there were reports on the Post of difficulties in seeing the text of the original “I Have a Dream” speech this day in 1963.  The URL is at the National Archives and has to be entered absolutely correctly, without end characters.  See my posting Aug. 24.  The URL points to a PDF photograph of the original letter, about 4 Meg.  

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