Here follow excerpts of President Barack Obama's address to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation event on September 18. He addressed the group as the evening's keynote speaker.
 
"You may have heard Hillary’s opponent in this election say that there’s never been a worse time to be a black person.    I mean, he missed that whole civics lesson about slavery and Jim Crow and (applause) — but we’ve got a museum for him to visit.  (Applause.)  So he can tune in.  We will educate him.  (Applause.) "
 

We'll educate him

 
"... When governors refuse to expand Medicaid, that hits the folks most in need, we’ll fight.  When folks block an increase to the minimum wage or refuse to expand paid family leave or won’t guarantee equal pay for equal work, that hurts the pocketbooks of every family, and African-American families — we will fight.  (Applause.)
 

We're just getting started

 
"When we’re not investing in the schools that our kids deserve; when one group of Americans is treated differently under the law, when there are those who somehow think it’s wrong to make sure that folks have access to affordable housing, or unwilling to do what it takes to make sure our veterans get the benefits that they’ve earned, or aren’t helping to sign folks up for health insurance — we will not stop our march for justice.  We will not stop pushing for the security and prosperity of all people.  That doesn’t stop with my presidency.  We’re just getting started.  (Applause.) 
 

Republicans keep Americans from voting

 
"And when people — when across this country, in 2016, there are those who are still trying to deny people the right to vote, we’ve got to push back twice as hard.  Right now, in multiple states, Republicans are actively and openly trying to prevent people from voting.  Adding new barriers to registration.  Cutting early voting.  Closing polling places in predominantly minority communities.  Refusing to send out absentee ballots.  Kicking people off the rolls, often incorrectly.
 

An advanced democracy keeps citizens from voting

 
"This should be a national scandal.  We were supposed to have already won that fight.  (Applause.)  We’re the only advanced democracy in the world that is actively discouraging people from voting.  It’s a shame.
 
"... Meanwhile, some of the same folks who are trying to keep you from voting turn a blind eye when hundreds of thousands of people are killed by guns.  (Applause.)  Imposing voter ID restrictions so that a gun license can get you on the ballot, but a student ID can’t — apparently more afraid of a ballot than a bullet — no, our work is not done.

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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