(VCB)Speech concerning the 1972 Presidential Election and what it meant for the voters, Chicago, Illinois, 1973 November 15

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"GUARANTEE THAT NO AMERICAN WILL GO WITHOUT THE BASIC NECESSITIES: FOOD, SHELTER, HEALTH CARE, A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT, PERSONAL SAFETY, AND AS ADEQUATE INCOME.

"MEET OUR OBLIGATIONS TO ASSIST IN THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF THE WORLD'S LESSER DEVELOPED NATIONS.

"THESE ARE THE GOALS. WE CAN MOVE A LONG WAY TOWARD THEM BY 1976."*

BUT IN ADDITION TO THE COALITION'S MAJOR GOALS, AND THEIR DEFINITION OF "PARALYSIS OF WILL" AS THE GREATEST OF OUR ILLS, THERE IS ANOTHER GOAL MUCH MORE DESIRABLE, ANOTHER ILL MUCH MORE HORRIBLE. THAT ILL IS RACISM; THE GOAL ITS CONTAINMENT AND ERADICATION.

EVERYONE KNOW, OR OUGHT TO KNOW, THAT THERE IS ONE CNSUMING PROBLEM THAT MAKES LIFE IN NEW YORK'S HARLEM, CLEVELAND'S HOUGH, LOS ANGELES' WATTS, OR ATLANTA'S VINE CITY OR ANY OF AMERICA'S OTHER URBAN ATTICAS - WHERE SOME MEN ARE HELD IN BONDAGE BY SOME OTHER MEN - BOTH INTOLERABLE AND INSUFFERABLE.

Last edit 11 months ago by Meredith Merna
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THAT PROBLEM IS RACE. IT IS RACE THAT ELECTED OUR PRESENT PRESIDENT IN 1968; RACE THAT MAKES SOME AMERICANS SERVE AND DIE MORE READILY THAT OTHERS IN VIETNAM; RACE THAT MAKES SOME CHILDREN MORE EDUCATED THAT OTHERS; RACE THAT COLORS ALL OF OUR LIVES.

FOR THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS, SOLUTIONS TO THE PROBLEMS OF RACE, AND THEREFORE TO THE PATHOLOGIES OF SOCIETY THAT SPRING FROM IT, HAVE BEEN MORE THAN ABUNDANT.

THERE ARE SEVERAL SOLUTIONS THAT, IF IMPLEMENTED, WOULD BEGIN TO MAKE THIS COUNTRY A PROPER PLACE FOR MEN AND WOMEN TO LIVE AND WORK AND A HEALTHY PLACE FOR OUR CHILDREN TO PLAY AND GROW AND LEARN.

THE NATION COULD ADOPT, AND STRIVE FOR, A POLICY OF FULL EMPLOYMENT.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY, BOTH RACIALLY AND SEXUALLY, CAN STOP BEING THE RHETORIC OF CAMPAIGNS AND PLATFORMS AND BECOME THE REALITY OF THE PRESENT.

Last edit 11 months ago by Meredith Merna
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THROUGH PUBLIC SERVICE EMPLOYMENT, INCREASED ECONOMIC GROWTH, INCREASES IN WAGE MINIMUMS AND IN MINIMUM WAGE COVERAGE, AND IN GUARANTEEING SOCIAL INSURANCE BY RADICALLY ALTERING PUBLIC ASSISTANCE, EVERY AMERICAN CAN BE GUARANTEED AN INCOME.

THE INSTITUTION OF A NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM AND A RADICAL ALTERATION OF FEDERAL HOUSING PROGRAMS WILL ADDITIONALLY AID IN MAKING BOTH URBAN AND RURAL AMERICA MORE ATTRACTIVE PLACES TO LIVE.

OF COURSE, NONE OF THESE THINGS WILL EVER BE DONE, UNLESS AND UNTIL THERE IS INCREASED INTEREST AMONG THE PEOPLE WHO NEED AND WANT THEM IN REPLACING THE NEW AND NO LONGER SILENT MAJORITY WITH A NOISY AND AGITATED MOVEMENT OF THE DISPOSSESSED WHO WILL SEEK POLITICAL SOLUTIONS TO THEIR POLITICAL PROBLEMS.

FOR TOO MANY YOUNG AMERICANS, THE POSSIBILITY OF AN EXCHANGE OF PRESIDENTS MEANT NOTHING MORE THAN AN EXCHANGE OF PHOTOGRAPHS ON THE POST OFFICE WALL, OR ON A DORMITORY WALL DART BOARD.

Last edit 11 months ago by Catharine Reagan
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FOR BLACK PEOPLE, THE ELECTION WAS A NATIONAL REFERENDUM ON US OF WHETHER WE WOULD PROGRESS, RUN IN PLACE, OR CONTINUE TO SLIDE BACKWARD AS WE HAVE BEEN DOING SINCE 1968.

SINCE RICHARD NIXON TOOK OFFICE IN 1968, WE HAVE SPENT BILLIONS MORE ON WAR; OVER TWO MILLION MORE AMERICANS HAVE BEEN ADDED TO THE RANKS OF THE UNEMPLOYED; SIX MILLION MORE ARE ON EVER MOUNTIN RELIEF ROLLS, INFLATION HAS REDUCED OUR STANDARD OF LIVING, AND ELITIST. SEXIST AND RACIST PRACTICES RUN RAMPANT, UNCHECKED THROUGH PUBLIC AND PRIVATE AMERICAN LIFE.

THESE PRACTICES WILL NOT BE ENDED BY SOME CATYCLISMIC REVOLUTION ANYTIME SOON - THEY CAN BE ENDED BY HARD WORK AND BY CONCERTED POLITICAL AND SOCIAL ACTION.

THAT HAS BEEN THE HISTORY OF BLACK PEOPLE'S LIVES IN AMERICA - CONSTANT PRESSURE - WITH OR WITHOUT ALIIES - AIMED AT IMPROVING OUR POSITION.

WHAT HAS HAPPENED IN THE UNITED STATES SINCE THE FIRST BLACK

Last edit 11 months ago by Greer Moore
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PEOPLE SET FOOT HERE IN 1619 IS THAT EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED AND NOTHING HAS CHANGED, PARTICULARLY FOR US IN THE SOUTH.

FOR ONE, WE ARE NO LONGER SLAVES. SECONDLY, WE CAN SIT AT LUNCH COUNTERS, SIT DOWNSTAIRS AT MOVIE THEARES, RIDE IN THE FRONT OF BUSES. REGISTER AND VOTE WHERE WE ONCE COULD NOT.

BUT IN A GREAT MANY WAYS, WE ARE CONSTANTLY DISCOVERING THAT THINGS HAVE EITHER NOT CHANGED AT ALL, OR HAVE BECOME MUCH WORSE.

A QUICK LOOK AT ALL OF THE FACTS AND FIGURES THAT MEASURE HOW WELL, OR HOW POORLY, A PEOPLE ARE DOING - THE KINDS OF STATISTICS THAT MEASURE INFANT MORTALITY, UNEMPLOYMENT, MEDIAN FAMILY INCOME, LIFE EXPECTANCY - DEMONSTRATES CLEARLY THAT THE AVERAGE BLACK AMERICAS, WHILE BETTER OFF THAT HIS FATHER WAS, IS ACTUALLY WORSE OFF WHEN HIS STATISTICS ARE MEASURED AGAINST SIMILAR ONES FOR WHITE PEOPLE.

IT IS AS THOUGH BLACK AMERICANS ARE CLIMBING A MOLASSES MOUNTAIN IN SNOWSHOES, WHILE WHITE PEOPLE ARE RIDING A SKI LIFT TO THE TOP.

IT IS THESE DEPRESSING FIGURES, AND THE ZCCOMPANYING PATHOLOGY WHICH RESULTS FROM THEM, THE CAUSES SO MUCH DISCONTENT AND DEPRESSION

Last edit 11 months ago by Greer Moore
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