Obama connect dots. Standing at the apex of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, President Barack Obama connect dots. He made the case for restoring the 1965 Voting Rights Act. This bridge, which bears the name of a Confederate General made the perfect backdrop for President Obama to connect these dots.
“This speech,” my 86 year-old mother called to say to me, “will be repeated for years to come by the children, just like Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, ‘I have a dream’ speech.”
Undoubtedly, this speech will. By connecting these dots, Obama freed Selma from the burden of shame, her segregated past has carried the past 50 years.
Indeed the whole nation carries this shame, drenched in the blood of Lewis, Williams, Boynton, and nameless-faceless others.
While President Obama connected these dots, he wove every constituent part of America into the rich fabric of the expanding American dream. He implored conservatives in the nation to make room for the immigrant, the former Negroes, the women, the Gays, the Muslims; in short, every living breathing human being, who was not part of the equation when the framers drafted the Constitution of the United States of America.
He did it with a flare and a style unmatched by any president in the history of the country. At times, he spoke presidential. At other times, he spoke like he was sitting in my family knook, chatting over morning coffee while discussing the issues of the day.
Then there were times his speech was reminiscent of a political stump speech, as he urged the 100 congress men and women in the audience, to go back to congress and get 400 other members to restore the Voting Rights Act.
There were times he spoke like a parent, chiding the young people for not voting after so much blood had been shed to gain them the right to vote.
Finally, he spoke like a brother on the corner telling the brothers, that they give away their power. He concluded his speech in the tradition of the great ministers of the Gospel, quoting Isaiah, in the cadence of Jesse Jackson, to the roar of the crowd, connecting dots, making the case that black lives matter and we too are Americans.
Harold Michael Harvey, JD, is the author of the legal thriller “Paper Puzzle,” and “Justice in the Round: Essays on the American Jury System,” available at Amazon and at haroldmichaelharvey.com. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org