Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My Favorite Part of Obama's Notre Dame Speech


...is his ending.
Mr. Obama was observing that he was speaking in South Bend on the 55th Anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education SCOTUS decision. He goes on to explain that progress in civil rights also required demonstrations, jailings and bloodshed.

The President then went on to recall Eisenhower's appointment of the Civil right Commission and how it drafted 12 resolutions which formed the essence of the Civil Rights Act of 1964:
There were six members of this commission. It included five whites and one African American; Democrats and Republicans; two Southern governors, the dean of a Southern law school, a Midwestern university president, and your own Father Ted Hesburgh, President of Notre Dame. (Applause.) So they worked for two years, and at times, President Eisenhower had to intervene personally since no hotel or restaurant in the South would serve the black and white members of the commission together. And finally, when they reached an impasse in Louisiana, Father Ted flew them all to Notre Dame's retreat in Land O'Lakes, Wisconsin -- (applause) -- where they eventually overcame their differences and hammered out a final deal.

And years later, President Eisenhower asked Father Ted how on Earth he was able to broker an agreement between men of such different backgrounds and beliefs. And Father Ted simply said that during their first dinner in Wisconsin, they discovered they were all fishermen. (Laughter.) And so he quickly readied a boat for a twilight trip out on the lake. They fished, and they talked, and they changed the course of history.

I will not pretend that the challenges we face will be easy, or that the answers will come quickly, or that all our differences and divisions will fade happily away -- because life is not that simple. It never has been.

But as you leave here today, remember the lessons of Cardinal Bernardin, of Father Hesburgh, of movements for change both large and small. Remember that each of us, endowed with the dignity possessed by all children of God, has the grace to recognize ourselves in one another; to understand that we all seek the same love of family, the same fulfillment of a life well lived. Remember that in the end, in some way we are all fishermen .....
The full transcript can be found on Fox News.

4 Moderated Comments:

Blogger Vigilante said...

Good pick, Emily. I won't even dare say what I always say about fishermen! (Won't even think it!)

5/19/2009 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger MacDaddy said...

What a great fish story! What a brilliant mind. We picked the right president alright.

5/20/2009 07:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Burr Deming said...

Great way to end the post. Thanks for the selection

5/22/2009 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

The President seems to have a fondness for Eisenhower. He mentions him frequently.

5/22/2009 08:52:00 PM  

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