More And More About Frederick Douglass

by Robert BenzCo-Founder, Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives

As Co-Founder of Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, I’m able to publish, exclusively, the following statement from the direct descendants of Frederick Douglass:

The President’s comments from the Roosevelt Room of the White House, about Frederick Douglass, were noted and appreciated by us, the Douglass family. In fact, we believe, if he had more time to elaborate, the President would have mentioned the following:

“Frederick Douglass has done an amazing job …

* Enduring the inhumanity of slavery after being born heir to anguish and exploitation but still managing to become a force for solace and liberty when America needed it most,

* Recognizing that knowledge was his pathway to freedom at such a tender age,

* Teaching himself to read and write and becoming one of the country’s most eloquent spokespersons,

* Standing up to his overseer to say that ‘I am a man!’

* Risking life and limb by escaping the abhorrent institution,

* Composing the Narrative of his life and helping to expose slavery for the crime against humankind that it is,

* Persuading the American public and Abraham Lincoln that we are all equal and deserving of the right to live free,

* Establishing the North Star newspaper when there was very little in the way of navigation or hope for the millions of enslaved persons,

* Supporting the rights of women when few men of such importance endeavored to do so,

* Arguing against unfair U.S. immigration restrictions,

* Understanding that racism in America is part of our “diseased imagination,”

* Recruiting his sons—who were born free—to fight in the war to end the enslavement of other African Americans,

* Being appointed the first black U.S. Marshal by President Rutherford B. Hayes,

* Being appointed U.S. Minister to Haiti by President Benjamin Harrison,

* Serving as a compelling role model for all Americans for nearly two centuries.”

We look forward to helping re-animate Douglass’s passion for equality and justice. We encourage the President to join in that effort.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/more-and-more-about-frederick-douglass_us_5892855fe4b01a7d8e512b13

Like the President, we use the present tense when referencing Douglass’s accomplishments because his spirit and legacy are still very much alive, not just during Black History Month, but every month. Leading up to the Bicentennial of Douglass’s birth, in February 2018, here are some of the initiatives that we, the Frederick Douglass family, will be implementing as well as some of those we hope to implement with the support of this administration, the institutions it leads and the American people (black, brown and white alike):

* Publishing the Bicentennial Edition of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave,

* Giving this hard cover book to one million young people in schools, churches, clubs and detention centers as part of our One Million Abolitionists project,

* Collaborating to develop the PROTECT human trafficking prevention education program in the State of California,

* Creating a national Frederick Douglass curriculum for elementary and secondary schools as well as colleges,

* Renaming the original bill that governs the nation’s anti-human trafficking work both domestically and abroad: “The Trafficking Victims Prevention & Protection Act,”

* Further renaming the bill to honor him during his Bicentennial: “The Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention & Protection Act.”

These are just a few examples of how Frederick Douglass has impacted and will continue to impact this country. We look forward to helping re-animate Douglass’s passion for equality and justice over the coming year leading up to his Bicentennial in 2018. We encourage the President to join in that effort.

In Freedom!

The Frederick Douglass family / @DouglassFamily

 


Source:  The Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/more-and-more-about-frederick-douglass_us_5892855fe4b01a7d8e512b13

 

 

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Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution

…once a judicial opinion rationalizes such an order to show that it conforms to the Constitution, or rather rationalizes the Constitution to show that the Constitution sanctions such an order, the Court for all of time has validated the principle of racial discrimination. … The principle then lies about like a loaded weapon ready for the hand of any authority that can bring forward a plausible claim of urgent need.”

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America First, The Netherlands Second

A funny for the day.

As President Donald Trump has mentioned, people are talking about America all over the world — and that includes satirical comedy shows in the Netherlands. In response to Trump’s first speech about putting “America first,” the comedy show Zondag met Lubach is asking him to put the Netherlands second. So in their video pitch filled…

via This Dutch TV Show’s Parody of Donald Trump’s Inaugural Speech Is Going Viral — Newsfeed – TIME

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President Barack Obama: Thanks & Keep Moving Forward

“America is not the project of any one person. Because the single most powerful word in our democracy is the word ‘We.’ ‘We The People.’ ‘We Shall Overcome.’ ‘Yes, We Can.’”

~ Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States of America

President Obama’s Farewell Speech, Full Text, JAN. 9, 2017

(LAUGHTER)

Everybody have a seat.

My fellow Americans, Michelle and I have been so touched by all the well-wishes that we’ve received over the past few weeks. But tonight it’s my turn to say thanks.

Whether we have seen eye-to-eye or rarely agreed at all, my conversations with you, the American people — in living rooms and in schools; at farms and on factory floors; at diners and on distant military outposts — those conversations are what have kept me honest, and kept me inspired, and kept me going. And every day, I have learned from you. You made me a better president, and you made me a better man.

So I first came to Chicago when I was in my early twenties, and I was still trying to figure out who I was; still searching for a purpose to my life. And it was a neighborhood not far from here where I began working with church groups in the shadows of closed steel mills.

It was on these streets where I witnessed the power of faith, and the quiet dignity of working people in the face of struggle and loss.

(CROWD CHANTING “FOUR MORE YEARS”)

I can’t do that.

Now this is where I learned that change only happens when ordinary people get involved, and they get engaged, and they come together to demand it.

After eight years as your president, I still believe that. And it’s not just my belief. It’s the beating heart of our American idea — our bold experiment in self-government.

It’s the conviction that we are all created equal, endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights, among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It’s the insistence that these rights, while self-evident, have never been self-executing; that We, the People, through the instrument of our democracy, can form a more perfect union.

What a radical idea, the great gift that our Founders gave to us. The freedom to chase our individual dreams through our sweat, and toil, and imagination — and the imperative to strive together as well, to achieve a common good, a greater good.

For 240 years, our nation’s call to citizenship has given work and purpose to each new generation. It’s what led patriots to choose republic over tyranny, pioneers to trek west, slaves to brave that makeshift railroad to freedom.

It’s what pulled immigrants and refugees across oceans and the Rio Grande. It’s what pushed women to reach for the ballot. It’s what powered workers to organize. It’s why GIs gave their lives at Omaha Beach and Iwo Jima; Iraq and Afghanistan — and why men and women from Selma to Stonewall were prepared to give theirs as well.

(APPLAUSE)

So that’s what we mean when we say America is exceptional. Not that our nation has been flawless from the start, but that we have shown the capacity to change, and make life better for those who follow.

Yes, our progress has been uneven. The work of democracy has always been hard. It has been contentious. Sometimes it has been bloody. For every two steps forward, it often feels we take one step back. But the long sweep of America has been defined by forward motion, a constant widening of our founding creed to embrace all, and not just some.

(APPLAUSE)

If I had told you eight years ago that America would reverse a great recession, reboot our auto industry, and unleash the longest stretch of job creation in our history — if I had told you that we would open up a new chapter with the Cuban people, shut down Iran’s nuclear weapons program without firing a shot, take out the mastermind of 9-11 — if I had told you that we would win marriage equality and secure the right to health insurance for another 20 million of our fellow citizens — if I had told you all that, you might have said our sights were set a little too high.

But that’s what we did. That’s what you did. You were the change. The answer to people’s hopes and, because of you, by almost every measure, America is a better, stronger place than it was when we started.

In 10 days the world will witness a hallmark of our democracy. No, no, no, no, no. The peaceful transfer of power from one freely-elected President to the next. I committed to President-Elect Trump that my administration would ensure the smoothest possible transition, just as President Bush did for me.

Because it’s up to all of us to make sure our government can help us meet the many challenges we still face. We have what we need to do so. We have everything we need to meet those challenges. After all, we remain the wealthiest, most powerful, and most respected nation on earth.

Our youth, our drive, our diversity and openness, our boundless capacity for risk and reinvention means that the future should be ours. But that potential will only be realized if our democracy works. Only if our politics better reflects the decency of our people. Only if all of us, regardless of party affiliation or particular interests help restore the sense of common purpose that we so badly need right now.

And that’s what I want to focus on tonight, the state of our democracy. Understand democracy does not require uniformity. Our founders argued, they quarreled, and eventually they compromised. They expected us to do the same. But they knew that democracy does require a basic sense of solidarity. The idea that, for all our outward differences, we’re all in this together, that we rise or fall as one.

There have been moments throughout our history that threatened that solidarity. And the beginning of this century has been one of those times. A shrinking world, growing inequality, demographic change, and the specter of terrorism. These forces haven’t just tested our security and our prosperity, but are testing our democracy as well. And how we meet these challenges to our democracy will determine our ability to educate our kids and create good jobs and protect our homeland.

In other words, it will determine our future. To begin with, our democracy won’t work without a sense that everyone has economic opportunity.

(APPLAUSE)

And the good news is that today the economy is growing again. Wages, incomes, home values and retirement accounts are all rising again. Poverty is falling again.

(APPLAUSE)

The wealthy are paying a fair share of taxes. Even as the stock market shatters records, the unemployment rate is near a 10-year low. The uninsured rate has never, ever been lower.

The Obama Era

In the coming weeks, The Obama Era will explore the sweeping change that President Obama has brought to the nation, and how the presidency has changed him.

  • PART 1The Regulator in Chief

  • PART 2The Threat to the Planet

  • PART 3The “Good War”

  • PART 4The Health Care Revolution

  • PART 5Breaking the Racial Barrier

  • PART 6A Changed Man

(APPLAUSE)

Health care costs are rising at the slowest rate in 50 years. And I’ve said, and I mean it, anyone can put together a plan that is demonstrably better than the improvements we’ve made to our health care system, that covers as many people at less cost, I will publicly support it.

(APPLAUSE)

Because that, after all, is why we serve. Not to score points or take credit. But to make people’s lives better.

(APPLAUSE)

But, for all the real progress that we’ve made, we know it’s not enough. Our economy doesn’t work as well or grow as fast when a few prosper at the expense of a growing middle class, and ladders for folks who want to get into the middle class.

(APPLAUSE)

That’s the economic argument. But stark inequality is also corrosive to our democratic idea. While the top 1 percent has amassed a bigger share of wealth and income, too many of our families in inner cities and in rural counties have been left behind.

The laid off factory worker, the waitress or health care worker who’s just barely getting by and struggling to pay the bills. Convinced that the game is fixed against them. That their government only serves the interest of the powerful. That’s a recipe for more cynicism and polarization in our politics.

Now there’re no quick fixes to this long-term trend. I agree, our trade should be fair and not just free. But the next wave of economic dislocations won’t come from overseas. It will come from the relentless pace of automation that makes a lot of good middle class jobs obsolete.

And so we’re going to have to forge a new social compact to guarantee all our kids the education they need.

(APPLAUSE)

To give workers the power…

(APPLAUSE)

… to unionize for better wages.

(CHEERS)

To update the social safety net to reflect the way we live now.

(APPLAUSE)

And make more reforms to the tax code so corporations and the individuals who reap the most from this new economy don’t avoid their obligations to the country that’s made their very success possible.

(CHEERS)

(APPLAUSE)

We can argue about how to best achieve these goals. But we can’t be complacent about the goals themselves. For if we don’t create opportunity for all people, the disaffection and division that has stalled our progress will only sharpen in years to come.

There’s a second threat to our democracy. And this one is as old as our nation itself.

After my election there was talk of a post-racial America. And such a vision, however well intended, was never realistic. Race remains a potent…

(APPLAUSE)

… and often divisive force in our society.

Now I’ve lived long enough to know that race relations are better than they were 10 or 20 or 30 years ago, no matter what some folks say.

(APPLAUSE)

You can see it not just in statistics. You see it in the attitudes of young Americans across the political spectrum. But we’re not where we need to be. And all of us have more work to do.

(APPLAUSE)

If every economic issue is framed as a struggle between a hardworking white middle class and an undeserving minority, then workers of all shades are going to be left fighting for scraps while the wealthy withdraw further into their private enclaves.

(APPLAUSE)

If we’re unwilling to invest in the children of immigrants, just because they don’t look like us, we will diminish the prospects of our own children — because those brown kids will represent a larger and larger share of America’s workforce.

(APPLAUSE)

And we have shown that our economy doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game. Last year, incomes rose for all races, all age groups, for men and for women.

So if we’re going to be serious about race going forward, we need to uphold laws against discrimination — in hiring, and in housing, and in education, and in the criminal justice system.

(APPLAUSE)

That is what our Constitution and highest ideals require.

But laws alone won’t be enough. Hearts must change. It won’t change overnight. Social attitudes oftentimes take generations to change. But if our democracy is to work the way it should in this increasingly diverse nation, then each one of us need to try to heed the advice of a great character in American fiction, Atticus Finch, who said “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

For blacks and other minority groups, that means tying our own very real struggles for justice to the challenges that a lot of people in this country face. Not only the refugee or the immigrant or the rural poor or the transgender American, but also the middle-aged white guy who from the outside may seem like he’s got all the advantages, but has seen his world upended by economic, and cultural, and technological change.

We have to pay attention and listen.

(APPLAUSE)

For white Americans, it means acknowledging that the effects of slavery and Jim Crow didn’t suddenly vanish in the ’60s; that when minority groups voice discontent, they’re not just engaging in reverse racism or practicing political correctness; when they wage peaceful protest, they’re not demanding special treatment, but the equal treatment that our founders promised.

(APPLAUSE)

For native-born Americans, it means reminding ourselves that the stereotypes about immigrants today were said, almost word for word, about the Irish, and Italians, and Poles, who it was said were going to destroy the fundamental character of America. And as it turned out, America wasn’t weakened by the presence of these newcomers; these newcomers embraced this nation’s creed, and this nation was strengthened.

(APPLAUSE)

So regardless of the station we occupy; we all have to try harder; we all have to start with the premise that each of our fellow citizens loves this country just as much as we do; that they value hard work and family just like we do; that their children are just as curious and hopeful and worthy of love as our own.

(APPLAUSE)

(CHEERING)

And that’s not easy to do. For too many of us it’s become safer to retreat into our own bubbles, whether in our neighborhoods, or on college campuses, or places of worship, or especially our social media feeds, surrounded by people who look like us and share the same political outlook and never challenge our assumptions. In the rise of naked partisanship and increasing economic and regional stratification, the splintering of our media into a channel for every taste, all this makes this great sorting seem natural, even inevitable.

And increasingly we become so secure in our bubbles that we start accepting only information, whether it’s true or not, that fits our opinions, instead of basing our opinions on the evidence that is out there.

(APPLAUSE)

And this trend represents a third threat to our democracy. Look, politics is a battle of ideas. That’s how our democracy was designed. In the course of a healthy debate, we prioritize different goals, and the different means of reaching them. But without some common baseline of facts, without a willingness to admit new information and concede that your opponent might be making a fair point, and that science and reason matter, then we’re going to keep talking past each other.

(CROWD CHEERS)

And we’ll make common ground and compromise impossible. And isn’t that part of what so often makes politics dispiriting? How can elected officials rage about deficits when we propose to spend money on pre-school for kids, but not when we’re cutting taxes for corporations?

How do we excuse ethical lapses in our own party, but pounce when the other party does the same thing? It’s not just dishonest, it’s selective sorting of the facts. It’s self-defeating because, as my mom used to tell me, reality has a way of catching up with you.

 

Video

Best Speeches of Barack Obama’s Presidency

By SUSAN JOAN ARCHER on Publish DateJanuary 10, 2017. Photo by Damon Winter/The New York Times. Watch in Times Video »

Take the challenge of climate change. In just eight years we’ve halved our dependence on foreign oil, we’ve doubled our renewable energy, we’ve led the world to an agreement that (at) the promise to save this planet.

(APPLAUSE)

But without bolder action, our children won’t have time to debate the existence of climate change. They’ll be busy dealing with its effects. More environmental disasters, more economic disruptions, waves of climate refugees seeking sanctuary. Now we can and should argue about the best approach to solve the problem. But to simply deny the problem not only betrays future generations, it betrays the essential spirit of this country, the essential spirit of innovation and practical problem-solving that guided our founders.

(CROWD CHEERS)

It is that spirit — it is that spirit born of the enlightenment that made us an economic powerhouse. The spirit that took flight at Kitty Hawk and Cape Canaveral, the spirit that cures disease and put a computer in every pocket, it’s that spirit. A faith in reason and enterprise, and the primacy of right over might, that allowed us to resist the lure of fascism and tyranny during the Great Depression, that allowed us to build a post-World War II order with other democracies.

An order based not just on military power or national affiliations, but built on principles, the rule of law, human rights, freedom of religion and speech and assembly and an independent press.

(APPLAUSE)

That order is now being challenged. First by violent fanatics who claim to speak for Islam. More recently by autocrats in foreign capitals who seek free markets in open democracies and civil society itself as a threat to their power.

The peril each poses to our democracy is more far reaching than a car bomb or a missile. They represent the fear of change. The fear of people who look or speak or pray differently. A contempt for the rule of law that holds leaders accountable. An intolerance of dissent and free thought. A belief that the sword or the gun or the bomb or the propaganda machine is the ultimate arbiter of what’s true and what’s right.

Because of the extraordinary courage of our men and women in uniform. Because of our intelligence officers and law enforcement and diplomats who support our troops…

(APPLAUSE)

… no foreign terrorist organization has successfully planned and executed an attack on our homeland these past eight years.

(CHEERS)

(APPLAUSE)

And although…

(APPLAUSE)

… Boston and Orlando and San Bernardino and Fort Hood remind us of how dangerous radicalization can be, our law enforcement agencies are more effective and vigilant than ever. We have taken out tens of thousands of terrorists, including Bin Laden.

(CHEERS)

(APPLAUSE)

The global coalition we’re leading against ISIL has taken out their leaders and taken away about half their territory. ISIL will be destroyed. And no one who threatens America will ever be safe.

(CHEERS)

(APPLAUSE)

And all who serve or have served — it has been the honor of my lifetime to be your commander-in-chief.

(CHEERS)

And we all owe you a deep debt of gratitude.

(CHEERS)

(APPLAUSE)

But, protecting our way of life, that’s not just the job of our military. Democracy can buckle when it gives into fear. So just as we as citizens must remain vigilant against external aggression, we must guard against a weakening of the values that make us who we are.

(APPLAUSE)

And that’s why for the past eight years I’ve worked to put the fight against terrorism on a firmer legal footing. That’s why we’ve ended torture, worked to close Gitmo, reformed our laws governing surveillance to protect privacy and civil liberties.

(APPLAUSE)

That’s why I reject discrimination against Muslim Americans…

(CHEERS)

… who are just as patriotic as we are.

(CHEERS)

(APPLAUSE)

That’s why…

(APPLAUSE)

That’s why we cannot withdraw…

(APPLAUSE)

That’s why we cannot withdraw from big global fights to expand democracy and human rights and women’s rights and LGBT rights.

(APPLAUSE)

No matter how imperfect our efforts, no matter how expedient ignoring such values may seem, that’s part of defending America. For the fight against extremism and intolerance and sectarianism and chauvinism are of a piece with the fight against authoritarianism and nationalist aggression. If the scope of freedom and respect for the rule of law shrinks around the world, the likelihood of war within and between nations increases, and our own freedoms will eventually be threatened.

So let’s be vigilant, but not afraid. ISIL will try to kill innocent people. But they cannot defeat America unless we betray our Constitution and our principles in the fight.

(APPLAUSE)

Rivals like Russia or China cannot match our influence around the world — unless we give up what we stand for, and turn ourselves into just another big country that bullies smaller neighbors.

Which brings me to my final point — our democracy is threatened whenever we take it for granted.

(APPLAUSE)

All of us, regardless of party, should be throwing ourselves into the task of rebuilding our democratic institutions.

(APPLAUSE)

When voting rates in America are some of the lowest among advanced democracies, we should be making it easier, not harder, to vote.

(APPLAUSE)

When trust in our institutions is low, we should reduce the corrosive influence of money in our politics, and insist on the principles of transparency and ethics in public service. When Congress is dysfunctional, we should draw our districts to encourage politicians to cater to common sense and not rigid extremes.

(APPLAUSE)

But remember, none of this happens on its own. All of this depends on our participation; on each of us accepting the responsibility of citizenship, regardless of which way the pendulum of power happens to be swinging.

Our Constitution is a remarkable, beautiful gift. But it’s really just a piece of parchment. It has no power on its own. We, the people, give it power. We, the people, give it meaning — with our participation, and with the choices that we make and the alliances that we forge.

Whether or not we stand up for our freedoms. Whether or not we respect and enforce the rule of law, that’s up to us. America is no fragile thing. But the gains of our long journey to freedom are not assured.

In his own farewell address, George Washington wrote that self-government is the underpinning of our safety, prosperity, and liberty, but “from different causes and from different quarters much pains will be taken… to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth.”

And so we have to preserve this truth with “jealous anxiety;” that we should reject “the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest or to enfeeble the sacred ties” that make us one.

(APPLAUSE)

America, we weaken those ties when we allow our political dialogue to become so corrosive that people of good character aren’t even willing to enter into public service. So course with rancor that Americans with whom we disagree are seen, not just as misguided, but as malevolent. We weaken those ties when we define some of us as more American than others.

(APPLAUSE)

When we write off the whole system as inevitably corrupt. And when we sit back and blame the leaders we elect without examining our own role in electing them.

(CROWD CHEERS)

It falls to each of us to be those anxious, jealous guardians of our democracy. Embrace the joyous task we have been given to continually try to improve this great nation of ours because, for all our outward differences, we in fact all share the same proud type, the most important office in a democracy, citizen.

(APPLAUSE)

Citizen. So, you see, that’s what our democracy demands. It needs you. Not just when there’s an election, not just when you own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime. If you’re tired of arguing with strangers on the Internet, try talking with one of them in real life.

(APPLAUSE)

If something needs fixing, then lace up your shoes and do some organizing.

(CROWD CHEERS)

If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clip board, get some signatures, and run for office yourself.

(CROWD CHEERS)

Show up, dive in, stay at it. Sometimes you’ll win, sometimes you’ll lose. Presuming a reservoir in goodness, that can be a risk. And there will be times when the process will disappoint you. But for those of us fortunate enough to have been part of this one and to see it up close, let me tell you, it can energize and inspire. And more often than not, your faith in America and in Americans will be confirmed. Mine sure has been.

(APPLAUSE)

Over the course of these eight years, I’ve seen the hopeful faces of young graduates and our newest military officers. I have mourned with grieving families searching for answers, and found grace in a Charleston church. I’ve seen our scientists help a paralyzed man regain his sense of touch. I’ve seen Wounded Warriors who at points were given up for dead walk again.

I’ve seen our doctors and volunteers rebuild after earthquakes and stop pandemics in their tracks. I’ve seen the youngest of children remind us through their actions and through their generosity of our obligations to care for refugees or work for peace and, above all, to look out for each other. So that faith that I placed all those years ago, not far from here, in the power of ordinary Americans to bring about change, that faith has been rewarded in ways I could not have possibly imagined.

And I hope your faith has too. Some of you here tonight or watching at home, you were there with us in 2004 and 2008, 2012.

(CHEERS)

(APPLAUSE)

Maybe you still can’t believe we pulled this whole thing off.

(CHEERS)

Let me tell you, you’re not the only ones.

(LAUGHTER)

Michelle…

(CHEERS)

(APPLAUSE)

Michelle LaVaughn Robinson of the South Side…

(CHEERS)

(APPLAUSE)

… for the past 25 years you have not only been my wife and mother of my children, you have been my best friend.

(CHEERS)

(APPLAUSE)

You took on a role you didn’t ask for. And you made it your own with grace and with grit and with style, and good humor.

(CHEERS)

(APPLAUSE)

You made the White House a place that belongs to everybody.

(CHEERS)

And a new generation sets its sights higher because it has you as a role model.

(CHEERS)

(APPLAUSE)

You have made me proud, and you have made the country proud.

(CHEERS)

(APPLAUSE)

Malia and Sasha…

(CHEERS)

… under the strangest of circumstances you have become two amazing young women.

(CHEERS)

You are smart and you are beautiful. But more importantly, you are kind and you are thoughtful and you are full of passion.

(CHEERS)

(APPLAUSE)

And…

(APPLAUSE)

… you wore the burden of years in the spotlight so easily. Of all that I have done in my life, I am most proud to be your dad.

(APPLAUSE)

To Joe Biden…

(CHEERS)

(APPLAUSE)

… the scrappy kid from Scranton…

(CHEERS)

… who became Delaware’s favorite son. You were the first decision I made as a nominee, and it was the best.

(CHEERS)

(APPLAUSE)

Not just because you have been a great vice president, but because in the bargain I gained a brother. And we love you and Jill like family. And your friendship has been one of the great joys of our lives.

(APPLAUSE)

To my remarkable staff, for eight years, and for some of you a whole lot more, I have drawn from your energy. And every day I try to reflect back what you displayed. Heart and character. And idealism. I’ve watched you grow up, get married, have kids, start incredible new journeys of your own.

Even when times got tough and frustrating, you never let Washington get the better of you. You guarded against cynicism. And the only thing that makes me prouder than all the good that we’ve done is the thought of all the amazing things that you are going to achieve from here.

(APPLAUSE)

And to all of you out there — every organizer who moved to an unfamiliar town, every kind family who welcomed them in, every volunteer who knocked on doors, every young person who cast a ballot for the first time, every American who lived and breathed the hard work of change — you are the best supporters and organizers anybody could ever hope for, and I will forever be grateful. Because you did change the world.

(APPLAUSE)

You did.

And that’s why I leave this stage tonight even more optimistic about this country than when we started. Because I know our work has not only helped so many Americans; it has inspired so many Americans — especially so many young people out there — to believe that you can make a difference; to hitch your wagon to something bigger than yourselves.

Let me tell you, this generation coming up — unselfish, altruistic, creative, patriotic — I’ve seen you in every corner of the country. You believe in a fair, and just, and inclusive America; you know that constant change has been America’s hallmark, that it’s not something to fear but something to embrace, you are willing to carry this hard work of democracy forward. You’ll soon outnumber any of us, and I believe as a result the future is in good hands.

(APPLAUSE)

My fellow Americans, it has been the honor of my life to serve you. I won’t stop; in fact, I will be right there with you, as a citizen, for all my remaining days. But for now, whether you are young or whether you’re young at heart, I do have one final ask of you as your president — the same thing I asked when you took a chance on me eight years ago.

I am asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change — but in yours.

I am asking you to hold fast to that faith written into our founding documents; that idea whispered by slaves and abolitionists; that spirit sung by immigrants and homesteaders and those who marched for justice; that creed reaffirmed by those who planted flags from foreign battlefields to the surface of the moon; a creed at the core of every American whose story is not yet written:

Yes, we can.

(APPLAUSE)

Yes, we did.

(APPLAUSE)

Yes, we can.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you. God bless you. And may God continue to bless the United States of America. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

END


Source: https://www.whitehouse.gov/farewell

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I’d vote for him… just for her!

This is by far one of the best political ads I’ve ever seen. Why? Because it’s makes me want to vote for the guy and I’ve never heard of him before seeing this ad. It’s effective in it’s purpose. Not just because of the wife’s earnest plea and her woe-begone expressions… or those of her guests. In the background, Gerald is actually talking about what he wants to do in office. The ad is informative and practical in a very comical way and it represents someone who is committed to doing his job.

Here’s a good interview with one of the creators of the ad: Six Questions With the Agency Behind the Election Ad That Won the Internet

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First Lady Michelle Obama speaks of the dignity women under assault from powerful men

First Lady Michelle Obama live in Manchester, New Hampshire at a Hillary Clinton rally.

“This week has been particularly interesting for me personally because it has been a week of profound contrasts. See on Tuesday, at the White House, we celebrated the International Day of the Girl and Let Girls Learn. And it was a wonderful celebration…and I had the pleasure of spending hours talking to some of the most amazing young women you will ever meet. Young girls here in the U.S. and all around the world. And we talked about their hopes and their dreams. We talked about their aspirations. See because many of these girls have face unthinkable obstacles just to attend school. Jeopardizing their personal safety, their freedom – risking the rejection of their families and communities.

So I thought it would be important to remind these young women how valuable and precious they are.  I wanted them to understand that the measure of any society is how it treats its women and girls. And I told them that they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and I told them that they should disregard anyone who demeans or devalues them, and that they should make their voices heard in the world.  And I walked away feeling so inspired, just like I’m inspired by all the young people here — and I was so uplifted by these girls.  That was Tuesday.

 

Full Remarks by the First Lady Michelle Obama at Hillary for America Campaign Event

Southern New Hampshire University
Manchester, New Hampshire

October 13, 2016  | 12:34 P.M. EDT

MRS. OBAMA:  My goodness!  (Applause.)  You guys are fired up!  (Applause.)  Well, let me just say hello, everyone.  (Applause.)  I am so thrilled to be here with you all today in New Hampshire.  This is like home to me, and this day — thank you for a beautiful fall day.  You just ordered this day up for me, didn’t you?  (Applause.)  It’s great to be here.

Let me start by thanking your fabulous governor, your next U.S. senator, Maggie Hassan.  (Applause.)  I want to thank her for that lovely introduction.  I also want to recognize your Congresswoman, Annie McKlane Kuster, who’s a dear, dear friend.  (Applause.)  Your soon-to-be Congresswoman once again, Carol Shea Porter — (applause) — all of whom have been just terrific friends to us.  And your Executive Council and candidate for governor, Colin Van Ostern. (Applause.)

And, of course, thanks to all of you for taking the time to be here today.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We love you!  (Applause.)

MRS. OBAMA:  Thanks so much.  That’s very sweet of you.  I love you guys too.  I can’t believe it’s just a few weeks before Election Day, as we come together to support the next President and Vice President of the United States, Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine!  (Applause.)  And New Hampshire is going to be important, as always.

So I’m going to get a little serious here, because I think we can all agree that this has been a rough week in an already rough election.  This week has been particularly interesting for me personally because it has been a week of profound contrast.

See, on Tuesday, at the White House, we celebrated the International Day of the Girl and Let Girls Learn.  (Applause.)  And it was a wonderful celebration.  It was the last event that I’m going to be doing as First Lady for Let Girls Learn.  And I had the pleasure of spending hours talking to some of the most amazing young women you will ever meet, young girls here in the U.S. and all around the world.  And we talked about their hopes and their dreams.  We talked about their aspirations.  See, because many of these girls have faced unthinkable obstacles just to attend school, jeopardizing their personal safety, their freedom, risking the rejection of their families and communities.
So I thought it would be important to remind these young women how valuable and precious they are.  I wanted them to understand that the measure of any society is how it treats its women and girls.  (Applause.)  And I told them that they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and I told them that they should disregard anyone who demeans or devalues them, and that they should make their voices heard in the world.  And I walked away feeling so inspired, just like I’m inspired by all the young people here — (applause) — and I was so uplifted by these girls.  That was Tuesday.

And now, here I am, out on the campaign trail in an election where we have consistently been hearing hurtful, hateful language about women — language that has been painful for so many of us, not just as women, but as parents trying to protect our children and raise them to be caring, respectful adults, and as citizens who think that our nation’s leaders should meet basic standards of human decency.  (Applause.)

The fact is that in this election, we have a candidate for President of the United States who, over the course of his lifetime and the course of this campaign, has said things about women that are so shocking, so demeaning that I simply will not repeat anything here today.  And last week, we saw this candidate actually bragging about sexually assaulting women.  And I can’t believe that I’m saying that a candidate for President of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women.

And I have to tell you that I can’t stop thinking about this.  It has shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn’t have predicted.  So while I’d love nothing more than to pretend like this isn’t happening, and to come out here and do my normal campaign speech, it would be dishonest and disingenuous to me to just move on to the next thing like this was all just a bad dream.

This is not something that we can ignore.  It’s not something we can just sweep under the rug as just another disturbing footnote in a sad election season.  Because this was not just a “lewd conversation.”  This wasn’t just locker-room banter.  This was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behavior, and actually bragging about kissing and groping women, using language so obscene that many of us were worried about our children hearing it when we turn on the TV.

And to make matters worse, it now seems very clear that this isn’t an isolated incident.  It’s one of countless examples of how he has treated women his whole life.  And I have to tell you that I listen to all of this and I feel it so personally, and I’m sure that many of you do too, particularly the women.  The shameful comments about our bodies.  The disrespect of our ambitions and intellect.  The belief that you can do anything you want to a woman.

It is cruel.  It’s frightening.  And the truth is, it hurts.  It hurts.  It’s like that sick, sinking feeling you get when you’re walking down the street minding your own business and some guy yells out vulgar words about your body.  Or when you see that guy at work that stands just a little too close, stares a little too long, and makes you feel uncomfortable in your own skin.

It’s that feeling of terror and violation that too many women have felt when someone has grabbed them, or forced himself on them and they’ve said no but he didn’t listen — something that we know happens on college campuses and countless other places every single day.  It reminds us of stories we heard from our mothers and grandmothers about how, back in their day, the boss could say and do whatever he pleased to the women in the office, and even though they worked so hard, jumped over every hurdle to prove themselves, it was never enough.

We thought all of that was ancient history, didn’t we?  And so many have worked for so many years to end this kind of violence and abuse and disrespect, but here we are, in 2016, and we’re hearing these exact same things every day on the campaign trail.  We are drowning in it.  And all of us are doing what women have always done:  We’re trying to keep our heads above water, just trying to get through it, trying to pretend like this doesn’t really bother us maybe because we think that admitting how much it hurts makes us as women look weak.  Maybe we’re afraid to be that vulnerable.  Maybe we’ve grown accustomed to swallowing these emotions and staying quiet, because we’ve seen that people often won’t take our word over his.  Or maybe we don’t want to believe that there are still people out there who think so little of us as women.  Too many are treating this as just another day’s headline, as if our outrage is overblown or unwarranted, as if this is normal, just politics as usual.

But, New Hampshire, be clear:  This is not normal.  This is not politics as usual.  (Applause.)  This is disgraceful.  It is intolerable.  And it doesn’t matter what party you belong to — Democrat, Republican, independent — no woman deserves to be treated this way.  None of us deserves this kind of abuse.  (Applause.)

And I know it’s a campaign, but this isn’t about politics.  It’s about basic human decency.  It’s about right and wrong.  (Applause.)  And we simply cannot endure this, or expose our children to this any longer — not for another minute, and let alone for four years.  (Applause.)  Now is the time for all of us to stand up and say enough is enough.  (Applause.)  This has got to stop right now.  (Applause.)

Because consider this:  If all of this is painful to us as grown women, what do you think this is doing to our children?  What message are our little girls hearing about who they should look like, how they should act?  What lessons are they learning about their value as professionals, as human beings, about their dreams and aspirations?  And how is this affecting men and boys in this country?  Because I can tell you that the men in my life do not talk about women like this.  And I know that my family is not unusual.  (Applause.)  And to dismiss this as everyday locker-room talk is an insult to decent men everywhere.  (Applause.)

The men that you and I know don’t treat women this way.  They are loving fathers who are sickened by the thought of their daughters being exposed to this kind of vicious language about women.  They are husbands and brothers and sons who don’t tolerate women being treated and demeaned and disrespected.  (Applause.)  And like us, these men are worried about the impact this election is having on our boys who are looking for role models of what it means to be a man.  (Applause.)

In fact, someone recently told me a story about their six-year-old son who one day was watching the news — they were watching the news together.  And the little boy, out of the blue, said, “I think Hillary Clinton will be President.”  And his mom said, “Well, why do you say that?”  And this little six-year-old said, “Because the other guy called someone a piggy, and,” he said, “you cannot be President if you call someone a piggy.”  (Applause.)

So even a six-year-old knows better.  A six-year-old knows that this is not how adults behave.  This is not how decent human beings behave.  And this is certainly not how someone who wants to be President of the United States behaves.  (Applause.)

Because let’s be very clear:  Strong men — men who are truly role models — don’t need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful.  (Applause.)  People who are truly strong lift others up.  People who are truly powerful bring others together.  And that is what we need in our next President.  We need someone who is a uniting force in this country.  We need someone who will heal the wounds that divide us, someone who truly cares about us and our children, someone with strength and compassion to lead this country forward.  (Applause.)

And let me tell you, I’m here today because I believe with all of my heart that Hillary Clinton will be that President.  (Applause.)

See, we know that Hillary is the right person for the job because we’ve seen her character and commitment not just in this campaign, but over the course of her entire life.  The fact is that Hillary embodies so many of the values that we try so hard to teach our young people.  We tell our young people “Work hard in school, get a good education.”  We encourage them to use that education to help others — which is exactly what Hillary did with her college and law degrees, advocating for kids with disabilities, fighting for children’s health care as First Lady, affordable child care in the Senate.  (Applause.)

We teach our kids the value of being a team player, which is what Hillary exemplified when she lost the 2008 election and actually agreed to work for her opponent as our Secretary of State — (applause) — earning sky-high approval ratings serving her country once again.  (Applause.)

We also teach our kids that you don’t take shortcuts in life, and you strive for meaningful success in whatever job you do.  Well, Hillary has been a lawyer, a law professor, First Lady of Arkansas, First Lady of the United States, a U.S. senator, Secretary of State.  And she has been successful in every role, gaining more experience and exposure to the presidency than any candidate in our lifetime — more than Barack, more than Bill.  (Applause.)  And, yes, she happens to be a woman.  (Applause.)

And finally, we teach our kids that when you hit challenges in life, you don’t give up, you stick with it.  Well, during her four years as Secretary of State alone, Hillary has faced her share of challenges.  She’s traveled to 112 countries, negotiated a ceasefire, a peace agreement, a release of dissidents.  She spent 11 hours testifying before a congressional committee.  We know that when things get tough, Hillary doesn’t complain.  She doesn’t blame others.  She doesn’t abandon ship for something easier.  No, Hillary Clinton has never quit on anything in her life.  (Applause.)

So in Hillary, we have a candidate who has dedicated her life to public service, someone who has waited her turn and helped out while waiting.  (Applause.)  She is an outstanding mother.  She has raised a phenomenal young woman.  She is a loving, loyal wife.  She’s a devoted daughter who cared for her mother until her final days.  And if any of us had raised a daughter like Hillary Clinton, we would be so proud.  We would be proud.  (Applause.)

And regardless of who her opponent might be, no one could be more qualified for this job than Hillary — no one.  And in this election, if we turn away from her, if we just stand by and allow her opponent to be elected, then what are we teaching our children about the values they should hold, about the kind of life they should lead?  What are we saying?

In our hearts, we all know that if we let Hillary’s opponent win this election, then we are sending a clear message to our kids that everything they’re seeing and hearing is perfectly okay.  We are validating it.  We are endorsing it.  We’re telling our sons that it’s okay to humiliate women.  We’re telling our daughters that this is how they deserve to be treated.  We’re telling all our kids that bigotry and bullying are perfectly acceptable in the leader of their country.  Is that what we want for our children?

AUDIENCE:  No!

MRS. OBAMA:  And remember, we won’t just be setting a bad example for our kids, but for our entire world.  Because for so long, America has been a model for countries across the globe, pushing them to educate their girls, insisting that they give more rights to their women.  But if we have a President who routinely degrades women, who brags about sexually assaulting women, then how can we maintain our moral authority in the world?  How can we continue to be a beacon of freedom and justice and human dignity?  (Applause.)

Well, fortunately, New Hampshire, here’s the beauty:  We have everything we need to stop this madness.  You see, while our mothers and grandmothers were often powerless to change their circumstances, today, we as women have all the power we need to determine the outcome of this election.  (Applause.)

We have knowledge.  We have a voice.  We have a vote.  And on November the 8th, we as women, we as Americans, we as decent human beings can come together and declare that enough is enough, and we do not tolerate this kind of behavior in this country.  (Applause.)

Remember this:  In 2012, women’s votes were the difference between Barack winning and losing in key swing states, including right here in New Hampshire.  (Applause.)  So for anyone who might be thinking that your one vote doesn’t really matter, or that one person can’t really make a difference, consider this:  Back in 2012, Barack won New Hampshire by about 40,000 votes, which sounds like a lot.  But when you break that number down, the difference between winning and losing this state was only 66 votes per precinct.  Just take that in.  If 66 people each precinct had gone the other way, Barack would have lost.

So each of you right here today could help swing an entire precinct and win this election for Hillary just by getting yourselves, your families, and your friends and neighbors out to vote.  You can do it right here.  (Applause.)  But you could also help swing an entire precinct for Hillary’s opponent with a protest vote or by staying home out of frustration.

Because here’s the truth:  Either Hillary Clinton or her opponent will be elected President this year.  And if you vote for someone other than Hillary, or if you don’t vote at all, then you are helping to elect her opponent.  And just think about how you will feel if that happens.  Imagine waking up on November the 9th and looking into the eyes of your daughter or son, or looking into your own eyes as you stare into the mirror.  Imagine how you’ll feel if you stayed home, or if you didn’t do everything possible to elect Hillary.

We simply cannot let that happen.  We cannot allow ourselves to be so disgusted that we just shut off the TV and walk away.  And we can’t just sit around wringing our hands.  Now, we need to recover from our shock and depression and do what women have always done in this country.  We need you to roll up your sleeves.  We need to get to work.  (Applause.)  Because remember this:  When they go low, we go —

AUDIENCE:  High!

MRS. OBAMA:  Yes, we do.  (Applause.)

And voting ourselves is a great start, but we also have to step up and start organizing.  So we need you to make calls, and knock on doors, and get folks to the polls on Election Day, and sign up to volunteer with one of the Hillary campaign folks who are here today just waiting for you to step up.  (Applause.)

And, young people and not-so-young people, get on social media.  (Applause.)  Share your own story of why this election matters, why it should matter for all people of conscience in this country.  There is so much at stake in this election.

See, the choice you make November 8th could determine whether we have a President who treats people with respect — or not.  A President who will fight for kids, for good schools, for good jobs for our families — or not.  A President who thinks that women deserve the right to make our own choices about our bodies and our health — or not.  (Applause.)  That’s just a little bit of what’s at stake.

So we cannot afford to be tired or turned off.  And we cannot afford to stay home on Election Day.  Because on November the 8th, we have the power to show our children that America’s greatness comes from recognizing the innate dignity and worth of all our people.  On November the 8th, we can show our children that this country is big enough to have a place for us all — men and women, folks of every background and walk of life — and that each of us is a precious part of this great American story, and we are always stronger together.  (Applause.)

On November 8th, we can show our children that here in America, we reject hatred and fear — (applause) — and in difficult times, we don’t discard our highest ideals.  No, we rise up to meet them.  We rise up to perfect our union.  We rise up to defend our blessings of liberty.  We rise up to embody the values of equality and opportunity and sacrifice that have always made this country the greatest nation on Earth.  (Applause.)

That is who we are.  (Applause.)  And don’t ever let anyone tell you differently.  (Applause.)  Hope is important.  Hope is important for our young people.  And we deserve a President who can see those truths in us — a President who can bring us together and bring out the very best in us.  Hillary Clinton will be that President.  (Applause.)

So for the next 26 days, we need to do everything we can to help her and Tim Kaine win this election.  I know I’m going to be doing it.  Are you with me?  (Applause.)  Are you all with me?  (Applause.)  You ready to roll up your sleeves?  Get to work knocking on doors?

All right, let’s get to work.  Thank you all.  God bless.  (Applause.)

END


Source: www.Whitehouse.gov

Read more "First Lady Michelle Obama speaks of the dignity women under assault from powerful men"