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Obama: 'Because They Marched, America Is More Free'

  • U.S.
  • 08.28.13 05:06 PM EDT

The President spoke today from the same vantage point where Martin Luther King delivered his famous "I Have A Dream" fifty years ago. The President paid tribute to the courage of the men and women who marched on Washington, and spoke of the struggles the civil rights movement still has in front of it. 

Recalling that the original purpose of the March on Washington was just as much for economic freedom as it was for racial equality, the President connected the idea of racial equality with a goal of economic empowerment. Obama quoted a famous King line, saying, "For what does it profit a man to sit at an integrated lunch counter if he can't afford the meal?"

As he often does, the President also took pains to connect the black civil rights struggle with a larger civil rights struggle, touching on similarities between racial discrimination and that based on sexuality, immigration status or physical handicap.