Transcript for 50 Years After MLK Jr.'s Speech: How Far America Has Come
I want to bring in now civil rights activists and vice chair of the Democratic National Committee Donna Brazile Donna thank you so much. For joining us today and you obviously were instrumental in making Martin Luther King Jr. day a federal holiday a reminder for us to remember a great man. And his message and do your thoughts on today. Well it was almost thirty years ago on -- very. Week. That we petitioned the government to make that -- -- -- a national holiday. During the twentieth anniversary celebration served as a national mobilization coordinator. And one of the demands of cause was to ensure that we got congress to act on the -- right after the the march. Both the house and senate passed the bill and President Reagan -- -- law that that following November's south. It was a very at a crucial moment in the campaign to make his his -- -- and nationals. Day of service it. Well Ameren things actually that that happens Domino's well. Is that it was it was getting very difficult to get congress to influences and finally. I think it was congressman Kennedy Powell was Madonna who -- how arcade holiday Indiana -- -- up let's make this saying Monday holiday. And it made all the difference in the world because then then the business community got behind. It became -- Davis announced -- An effort certainly certainly worthwhile but. Takings in doing that -- Donovan President Obama I will speak later on on those very same steps as Doctor King spoke fifty years later. Would someone have thought. Fifty years ago that a day like today would be possible with President Obama taking the same spot. But it today is a child cried out in the segregated deep south in the blaze faculties those very well on the state of Louisiana and -- and but I never thought I was -- stamp was. Back then we didn't have been above rights act of 1965. Black -- registration. It was so may animal that we could -- then. -- -- got to date fifty years later -- at 101000 black elected officials to. It was. African Americans to serve as governor of the other African American governor the state of Massachusetts -- We have African Americans -- and was appointed Tim Scott and South Carolina. Well I hope one day soon the sea floor -- the from New Jersey as well but no we never thought we would see this day but this is a blessed -- -- days. That came about because of the tremendous sacrifice -- collaborative. Many heroic Americans black and white -- south they came together to petition the government equal rights civil rights above rags and luckily wouldn't -- a great president. In any event of another president Johnson we were finally able to achieve those -- Donna if you K I know you weren't but four years old and at that time but what is your recollection. If you sit around in the television the radio to hear this. -- Slough that would lift ships -- -- a -- on the boat sank in the background. With. But let me just say it is. I hope that President Obama last night that the White House he had. A small reception -- civil rights leaders and others and he said. The -- that we had elevated. Expectations of his. Remarks but I do believe that president Obama's team talked about the journey begins at about the -- -- standoff but you can also points away folic. -- where all Americans. Can celebrate in the liberty and freedom that this great. -- I think that's messaging world we'll give us as well as beyond. Demands of 63 march says demands of the job demands -- in quality and bring them. -- a. People come to -- lie to the mall to petition the government. To ask -- from. It's limited civil rights. -- -- health care funds about every. States -- the speaker is an oddity. Because. He's he's the person they're petitioning usually. And so. Kelly -- it could send in a different light to have him be the principal speaker because. Because he will have to talk about the broader subject of race in America. Let me petitioning the government for him. And and it and Donna Crittenton to -- on to -- he's pointing -- president. At the same time has reflected quite often on the importance of doctor king and his legacy in the effort that he has made. Do you -- the president at any point ever compares himself through or there's tries to holds himself to the standard that Doctor King had envisioned. -- -- You know that McCain was such a unique individual never got a chance to -- him -- It did have a chance of -- to hear his voice of many times on black radio stations grind up I was very very young. But let me just say this. You know -- Obama and -- -- -- he believes in the dream. And he's got to keep the legacy of bad dream alive all Americans. We know this is a major they have big day -- him what is also a big day for the entire tang family. Was -- -- civil rights community. And when you must act of right now at this crowd it's been rain -- Most of the Martin is very humid very hot but. People on here because they want to come to celebrate and they also want to continue the legacy of -- during. We've been asking all of our viewers to sweetest -- going to FaceBook and share their thoughts about what they would march for using the hash tag. I'm march for -- Donna you tweeted out I'm march for a more perfect union so of course that begs the question what does. A more perfect union -- life. Yes. This is a country where we don't have the fight in re litigate every battle that says whether -- Civil rights equal rights voting rights marks to see the day when we can. Continue. Doctor king's quest so that we're not judged by the color of my skin but the content about -- damn out march. Yes that post racial moment in this country but also -- -- Equal rights for women equal rights for gays and lesbians -- -- for the dream that so. Like many other activists here we -- not going to stop much include freedom. And we're not going to stop climate -- mountain today we reach another summit. On our marks to the mountaintop as -- the king envisioned. Strong statement right and strong --
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