tv Reliable Sources CNN October 16, 2011 11:00am-12:00pm EDT
mr. yamazares, who might want to keep his head down, says he plans to sue the fbi. the correct answer to our "gps" challenge question was c, king david kalakuau of the sandwich islands known as hawaii. he was the last monarch of the islands. thanks for watching. i'll see you next week. ♪ at sunrise, they came to honor the man who had the dream. ♪ >> i hear my father saying as we dedicate this monument, we must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. ♪
this is a special edition of "state of the union" this morning for the dedication of the martin luther king memorial. "reliable sources" will return next week. president obama arrived here a short time ago and will soon dlirch his tribute to dr. -- deliver his tribute to dr. king. this will close with the extraordinarily rare playing of dr. king's "i have a dream" speech in its entirety. the king family has approved its use for this one event. the president will speak the end transto the memorial, a small area that only accommodates a small number of vips. the general public is assembled in a field with its own stage and jumbo trans. since early morning they have been listening to music and speeches pie some of the people closest to dr. king. cnn's joe johns is down at the memorial dedication site. joe, i've been listening to the speeches that i could listen to. it seems a little bit from the podium a mixture of remembrance,
looking ahead and a sprinkle of politics thrown in there. set the scene for us. >> reporter: you certainly got all of that right, candy. we're seeing a bit of the past, the present, and perhaps the future of both the civil rights movement, the social just movement, and some politics, frankly, thrown in there. and as you said, we are sort of awaiting the appearance of the person who is probably one of the greatest beneficiaries of all of the legacy of martin luther king jr. that would be the first african-american president, barack obama. so throughout this day starting around 8:00 eastern time right on up until now, a variety of different speakers, including family members of martin luther king who actually in some ways were sort of channeling his memory. listen to this. >> i don't think my brother's legacy could get much larger. but i was wrong because here i
am overjoyed and humbled to see this great day when my brother, martin, takes his suspect place on the national mall. [ applause ] >> this is just overwhelming. >> this is a day that all americans can be proud of. and may i remind you that this is not just a celebration for african-americans but for american and citizen around this world. [ applause ] >> and no doubt today the world celebrates with us. today, our nation acknowledge its growth again, for this memorial represents the stair step beyond its laws of segregation. symbolizes that a black preacher, prophet from the south effected a social change that helped to redeem the soul of
america. >> it is also important to not place too much emphasis on martin luther king the idol, but not enough emphasis on the ideals of martin luther king jr. [ applause ] >> so while we commemorate his memory today with this great memorial, let us not confuse nor forget what he stood for and died for. the young people around this nation organizing are very something, but let us not forget the ideals he gave up his life for, love, peace, equality, jobs, education, nonviolence, decent housing, and an end to war. >> reporter: just a lot of living history out here on the mall right now, candy. and once again, we're told the president of the united states now on his way over to this
memorial for his part of this event. >> you know, joe, i talked with congressman john lewis, a man who i know you know well, as i do. and one of the things that we were talking about president obama, he said that on inauguration day president obama gave to john lewis a picture of the day and wrote on it "because of you, john," and the idea that this memorial is being dedicated -- and it's been 15 years in the making. being dedicated at time that an african-american is serving as president is amazing because i think even when martin luther king jr.'s fraternity, black fraternity came up with the idea of a memorial, even they could not envision where we would be just as far as history is concerned. just a short 15 years away. >> reporter: yeah. that's true. well, there is a certain amount
of amazement i think. and i wasn't able to hear all of your question because there's a helicopter and a lot of noise flying around here. but i think the jist of it is this notion of having an african-american president just however many years after the death of martin luther king. there were a number of leaders if you will if the civil rights movement still alive, speaking here,including john lewis. let's listen to them and talk about it. >> dr. king was our leader. he'd never, ever ask us to do anything he wouldn't do. he was arrested, jailed, beaten, and constantly harassed. his home was bombed. he was stabbed. he suffer ed from the errors of hate and the dproots struggle to prove -- grassroots struggle to prove that love can overcome the
limitation of hate. had it not been for the philosophy of peace, the fi philosophy of nonviolence that he preached, and his insistence on the nonviolent resistant based on brotherly love, this would be a different nation. we would be living in a different place today. >> we recognize here that in the midst of the amazing truths that an african-american preacher who never held public political office is recognized here among the fathers of the country. indeed, he has become a father of the country. [ applause ] >> for his leadership gave birth to a new america. >> but you think of martin luther king as a giant of a man. but the one complex he had was a
complex about his height. he was really just 5'7", and he was always getting upset with tall people who looked down on him. now he's 30-feet tall looking down on everybody. [ applause ] >> reporter: hearing the president of the united states just now arriving here at the dedication of the martin luther king memorial on the mall. that last sound bite, candy, with andrew young pretty funny. but also sort of underscores the notion that there's actually been quite a bit of kef subrounding this memorial about the inscription -- controversy surrounding this memorial about the inscription, the placement, the person who designed it. but i have to tell you, and i think you know, too, from living in the city, every time there's another big memorial put up, it seems there's a big controversy. and it always degrees down. also, martin luther king himself was a pretty controversial figure to many people. they call him just a peacemaker,
but he was also very much an agitator. and people here know that. >> joe johnson on the mall for us. cnn, of course, is going to be covering the president's speech. a very important speech both for those in the audience and to the president coming up. we're going to take a break, but we'll be back with joe johns and more of the speakers. ♪
♪ welcome back to cnn's coverage of the dedication of the memorial to dr. martin luther king jr. that is a live picture you are looking at right now. a picture of the memorial as you can walk in to in on two sides. it is a massive, massive structure. today being dedicated amidst a flood of memories, dreams for the future, a little bit of politics. speaking of which we want to take you to the speaker right now. a man who knows his way around politics and words. it's the reverend al sharpton. >> we line up to vote, don't make this partisan. when you mess with social security, this is not about obama, this is about our mama.
we will vote like we never voted before. [ cheering ] let me say as i close, when we go through to the temple of hope, to the stone of hope, had the them come from all over the world to the stone of hope where you fight in europe, where you fight in the middle east, where you fight in africa, come here to the king monument and see the stone of hope. and when you walk through, you'll see a man standing in a pasture of faith because we not only had hope, but we had faith. faith that fed us when we were hungry. faith that clothed us when we were naked. faith that brought us from the back of the bus toward the white house, from the outhouse to the white house.
we come this far by faith! leaning on the lord, trusting in his holy way! he never -- he never -- he never failed us yet! >> reverend al sharpton. a little bit sermon, little bit politics, a little bit of a rally. this, again, the dedication of the memorial on the washington mall to the reverend dr. martin luther king. this -- he was the first african-american to be named "time's" man of the year. the youngest person at the time to ever win a nobel peace prize, but there were so very many time between those awards and when he first started where dr. king was in the forefront of the very front lines of the civil rights movement which meant that there were beating, there were arrests, and along with him was a man who is now a congressman, his name is john lewis of
georgia. i spoke with him earlier. in august of 1963, chairman of the student nonviolent coordinating committee, lewis was the youngest speaker at the march on washington. he watched dr. king as king delivered his famous "i have a dream" speech. i asked lewis to reflect on that day. on that day, were you excited about the possibilities? were you frightened about the possibilities? what -- can you kind of capture that moment for us. >> well, on that day, i think we all were pretty pleased, really happy. the leadership, all of us of the movement had gone up on capitol hill to visit with the bipartisan leadership on the house side. then we went up on the senate side. and then we started walking down constitution avenue, trying to move toward the washington monument and the lincoln memorial. and the people were already
marching. you saw just hundred and thousands of people coming from union station, and we thought we were supposed to be the the ones leading the march, but they were already marching. it was like, there go my people, let me catch up with them. >> tell me about the day that president obama was inaugurated. i know that he signed a picture for you. tell me what he wrote on it, and where do you keep it? >> president obama on that day -- he was over and signed a photograph and said "because of you john, barack obama." i keep it in atlanta in our home there. and i will cherish it forever. >> that must mean -- >> it means everything. you know, on that day i cried, and i cried. it was tears of happy not, tears of joy. and i was just wishing that some
people that i'd known, i wish they cough been there. >> one of the thing that you said to someone around inauguration time for president obama was that barack obama is what comes at the end of that bridge in selma, talking about the selma to montgomery marches where there were brutal beatings, yourself included. but it was so key in the voting rights act. has president obama at any point been a disappointment to you? >> this president has not been a disappointment to me. this young president has been trying. he's been pulling people together, been working hard. and i think the best days for him as president is yet to come. >> and what do you make of the criticism, some of it from the congressional black caucus, that he has not been helpful to the african-american community specifically? there is anger toward him at being too accommodating, anger
at him not offering help, jobs in particular. offering help to the african-american community. do you think that frustration is misplaced, or do you think it's valid? >> no, i think some of the frustration -- and i understand why some of my friend and some of my colleagues could be frustrated or maybe disappointed. but we must keep in mind that the struggle is not just a struggle that last one day, one week, or one political term, presidential term. it's a struggle of a lifetime. and barack obama is not just a president of african-americans. he is the president of all americans. so you only have a short time -- i'm not saying that we should be patient because in another period where i spoke on the march on washington, in 1963, when i was 23 years old, i said, we condition be patient, we
cannot wait. we want our freedom, and we want it now. so i understand that. but this president came in to office facing so many problems, so many difficulty. so let's work with him. >> so it's okay with you that he doesn't specifically target package toward the african-american community at this point? >> i think this president must target the whole of america. whether we are african-american, latino, asian american, white american, native american, we're all in the same boat. to help one of us or help all of us. >> we also have a picture of you when they broke ground for the martin luther king memorial. in which you cried that day, as well. do you remember what was going through your mind? >> i was crying because i started thinking about dr. king. i started to think about the first time i met the man. i met him at a little church in montgomery 50 miles from my home. and when i walked through the
door of this little church and saw him, he said, "are you the boy from troy? are you john lewis?" and i said, "dr. king, i'm john robert lewis." i gave him the whole name, and he started calling me "the boy from troy." and i just lost it. >> and at the time you were heading the student nonviolent -- >> coordinating. >> the coordinating committee at this point. he knew of you. >> he knew of me, and we got to know each other. it was wonderful working with him. he was my inspiration. he was my hero. >> john lewis again, with martin luther king on the day of that march in 1963 on the washington mall. it was supposed to take place on the 40th anniversary this past august. instead, we had a hurricane, and it had to be postponed until now. later on we're going to show you the entire "i have a dream" speech. but more of our special coverage of the martin luther king memorial dedication here in washington comes next.
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the first non-president and non-war hero ever to have any kind of memorial for him in this area, in washington. another first for dr. martin luther king who had many, many of them during his lifetime, down on the mall, education all of this incredible day is our correspondent athena jones. i know you've been talking to people all day long. we've seen the luminaries down there, but there are all just folks that wanted to go there to be a part of this. >> reporter: exactly, there are thousands of people here in the crowd. it's been a very celebratory atmosphere. you've seen a lot of the program. hearing from civil rights leaders, hearing from dr. king's children. hearing from the poet, nikki giovanni. i've also talked to people in the crowd about why it was important for them to come. let me bring in allison join who's from washington, d.c. let me tell you why you decided to come today. why it was important. >> this is a historic moment. we're here wenting history, a man who fought for social,
economic, and political justice is being honored today and we all should be here to honor him. >> reporter: one more thing i thought was interesting, a lot of the speeches we heard, whether it was from andrew young who spoke about the housing market collapse and the need to keep the president obama in office, even marian wright edelman talked about the need to not focus so much on the cuts for the poor, are you surprised about the political nature of some of the discussion and the fact that they've talked a lot about occupy wall street? >> no. no, because if we think about it, dr. king -- he would definitely have been there marching all this time because he was fighting for the same things that they're fighting for, social, economic, and political just. so he would be out there, and so everyone is acknowledging that the fight continues. you know, his legacy is the fact that we're still fighting for the 99%, and he would be out there with us. >> reporter: last question, why is it important to bring your daughter to this event? >> because we know that the future generations, they have to understand that we are building the united states of america every single day. and we can't stop fighting for all of us.
and that's why we come out here and celebrate him, we celebrate our president and the future that we can build together. >> reporter: great. thank you. >> thank you. >> reporter: so you can see, candy, it's been some parts church service, lots of hymnals and gospels sung. and part rally, as well. certainly a political message to a lot of the speeches we've been hearing and some of the people in the audience here. >> absolutely. certainly that is in keeping with so many of the events for dr. martin luther king during his lifetime and not at all surprising. president obama is now on the grounds getting his first tour, athena, of that monument. take me through what you have seen. what is it like when you first saw this monument? >> reporter: you know, we visited back in august before the original date of the dedication, of course, as you know. it was set for august 28, which would have been the 48th anniversary of the march on washington and of the famous "i have a dream" speech. so you can't see it from where i
am now, but back behind the stage is where it's located. you see that giant 30-foot-tall statue of dr. king emerging from the stone of hope. all of these quotes and -- from his sermons and his speeches etched on the walls around the site. it's impressive. you have the statue of dr. king overlooking the tidal basin. and so it's quite an impressive look. you know, the obama family was able to come for a sneak peek the other night, friday night, after dark, though. so now they're getting a chance to view it and tour it in the light of day which will certainly give them a better impression of what they're seeing. so it should be an interesting sight for people to come and see. as you know, there has been some controversy surrounding the statue. there was an issue about one of the inscriptions where he says, "i was a drum major for peace, righteousness, and justice." the idea that it was shorten aid great deal. there's been controversy over
the chinese sculptor. but it's mostly about happiness that this came to be. candy? >> thank you very much. martin luther king's life, of course, all about controversy. i don't think he would have been surprised or bothered bi eed by it today at the dedication of his memorial. up next we'll of course have more coverage. the president now taking a private tour of this memorial to martin luther king jr. still to come, aretha franklin and the president of the united states. ♪ meineke's personal pricing on brakes. i tell you what i can spend. i do my best to make it work. i'm back on the road safely. and i saved you money on brakes. that's personal pricing.
they had prepared for even the unthinkable. and they danced. see what a raymond james advisor can do for you. her morning begins with arthritis pain. that's a coffee and two pills. the afternoon tour begins with more pain and more pills. the evening guests arrive. back to sore knees. back to more pills. the day is done but hang on... her doctor recommended aleve. just 2 pills can keep arthritis pain away all day with fewer pills than tylenol. this is lara who chose 2 aleve and fewer pills for a day free of pain. [ female announcer ] get money saving coupons at aleve.com.
the memorial was canceled until today. bringing in joe johns, down at the mall. what a day you got. no hurricane irene today. this just seems picture perfect. >> reporter: fantastic. >> for this memorial. >> reporter: it really is. really has been picture perfect. and a far cry from that hurricane just a few weeks ago. i wanted to give you some send of where we are. we're standing behind the bulk of the crowd, obviously. and if you look in front of that, there's a jumbotron where we've been watching the president of the united states and his family as they toured the monument itself. and you see the stage. on the other side of all of that in the distance is where the memorial actually is. that's where the president is. it's a very enclosed space, not a lot of people. and the president it appears is just now almost headed to the
podium. we can't see him. we're all watching it on television from this point of view. if i just step out, you can get some idea of the perspective at least. this is quite a moment, as you know, because i don't think we've dealt enough with the symbolism of this man who is actually one of the greatest beneficiaries of the legacy of the president -- of the legacy of martin luther king. that is because he's the first african-american president and easy to see why. if martin luther king had not done what he did in so many different ways, it wouldn't have been possible for barack obama to public president, candy? >> well, in fact, joe, during the president's campaign for the presiden presidency, he -- the audacity of hope, in fact, came from one of martin luther king's speeches. so certainly he was always well aware of the history that went
before him. i was just sitting here thinking the president was born in august of '61. so when that march on washington, the famous "i have a dream speech," he just turned 2 years old. he was not yet 7 when martin luther king died. and it's just -- to me, i love the symmetry of this young african-american president being the one to speak at the dedication of the memorial. so you must feel so much history and so much present this, as well. >> reporter: yeah. and, you know, fascinating because of his age. in some ways, he's almost post the civil rights era as to opposed to, say, a herman cain, also now a real contender on the republican side. an african-american who was in college in 1963. and pretty much didn't involve himself in the civil rights movement. so you have a real clash there
was the -- of politics if you will and how people on one hand somebody who chose not to participate, on the other hand a president who was too young to participate in the civil rights movement. so that -- that's something very interesting going on here in american politics, not to mention the fact that you have two african-americans, both very much in the mix, in the presidential race if you will. and it wouldn't have been possible but for desegregation, but for the marchers in selma and montgomery and so many other places in the south to bring in more african-americans in the political process and in the voting process. candy? >> i think some of the thing that are missed by those who haven't studied history or lived it at this point is the sheer courage of a martin luther king, of a john lewis, of a jesse
jackson, of those who -- joseph lowery, there's just so many that really put their lives on the line. it seems so impossible sitting here in 2011 with an african-american president. but the truth is they were dangerous times for these men. >> reporter: extremely dangerous times. and, you know, we know of numbers of people in the civil rights movement who were irreparably harmed. i mean, there were people who died, certainly. there were people who were jailed. martin luther king himself survived a stabbing attack that nearly killed him even -- long before that day when he was shot to death. and so a lot of people in this movement who never lived to see this day. and you know, even a reference to it made by john lewis who said there were something like ten speakers here in the march on washington in august of 1963,
and out of those ten, martin luther king was number ten. he, john lewis, was number six. and he said -- i believe i heard him say he's the only one left. so that tells you that, you know, age has taken some of them as well as -- you know, there were some grave dangers for some of those people involved in the civil rights movement in those days. >> and certainly five years later martin luther king would be assassinated. joe, i ask permission to ask this question of you -- give me your personal reflections on being down this today. >> reporter: well, you know, i have to tell you, i was one of those -- i was one of those people who was born in the time of but not old enough to participate in any of the civil rights activities. but my family was involved in it. very especially because i was sort of a member of a very large
african-american church in columbus, ohio, shiloh baptist church. and my godfather was a deacon in that church and was very much involved in the place, that intersection where black politics and black religion sort of crosses the line, if you will, as we know it all does. and they had conversations, the deacon boards did, about how to view martin luther king in those days. and i barely remember these conversation. whether he was an agitator, whether he was a force for change, a good force for change, or whether he was going to bring down some conflagration, confrontation if you will between white americans in columbus, ohio, and the african-american community. so i got some sense of the kind of agitator he was, the kind of agent for change, and the way he made people nervous. so fast forward to today. because of my job and partly, obviously i can tell you, i am a beneficiary of martin luther
king. simply because he pushed so hard to get his movement and his people in the media. he made the media a force for change. we saw, you know, dan rather out here, for example. we see roland martin has participated in this program. gwen iffel, two -- two african-american journalist. so there's so much to say, and it's been fascinating to watch. partly because of my job, partly because of growing up and watching this movement, candy. >> i imagine it's just -- it's a great day. i want to tell our viewers that we are now expecting -- i am seeing on my monitor, joe can't see it, aretha franklin coming up to the stage. we are expecting her to sing a musical composition. so let us stop for a moment. the incomparable aretha franklin. >> what a pleasure it is to be
here with you and to be a part of this magnanimous and most historical day of remembrance. for a man who was so great and so lovely. good morning, christine. how are you? i'm going sing something that dr. king often requested and as a matter of fact, he requested it on the morning that he was going to billy kyle's for dinner. may we have the track, please. good morning, dr. lowery.
♪ oh precious lord take my hand ♪ ♪ and lead lord lead me home ♪ plays [ applause ]. >> hallelujah! >> hear, hear. >> all right. >> aretha franklin kicking off sort of the -- at least one of the highlight of a program with many highlights. now what we're expecting is to hear from harry johnson, the president and ceo of the martin luther king national memorial foundation. the guy that made this happen. >> god bless aretha franklin.
august 28, that week we had a -- an earthquake and then a lady named irene paid us a visit, and it was indeed a dark day for me. but joy cometh in the morning, and what a glorious morning this is today. as i stand here and look across the transformed landscape, i see a wonderful example of what we can accomplish with this fate and with a stone of hope. we come together today to honor and celebrate the ideals of a humble man who understood that all humanity is linked together. and we come together to dedicate the martin luther king jr.
memorial, our memorial, the world's memorial. many of you seated here throughout this day and throughout this country have contributed years of your time, talents, and money to help us u we dedicate today. it has been both humbling and uplifting for me to be a part of this magnificent undertaking. our hope is that through this memorial dr. king's legacy will continue to touch those who walked with him, those inspired by him, and future generations who will get to know him. on behalf of the martin luther king jr. national memorial project foundation, i want to thank everyone for doing so much, so long to help us arrive at this triumphant day in history.
once more i want to thank the staff of the mlk memorial, a small group of folks that have worked tirelessly to make dr. king's legacy a reality on the national mall. it is with great pleasure that i have to introduce to you the president of the united states, president barack obama. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. president. >> thank you. thank you very much. please be seated.
an earthquake and a hurricane may have delayed this day. but this is a day that would not be denied. for this day we celebrate dr. martin luther king jr.'s return to the national mall. in this place he will stand for all time among monuments who fathered this nation and those who defended it, a black preach preach preacher, no official rank or title, who somehow gave voice to our deepest dreams and our most lasting ideas. a man who stirred our conscience and thereby helped make our union more perfect.
dr. king would be the first to remind us that this memorial is not for him alone. the movement of which he was a part depended on an entire generation of leaders. many are here today. and for their service and their sacrifice we owe them our everlasting gratitude. this is a monument to your collective achievement. some giants of the civil rights movement like rosa parks and dorothy height, benjamin hooks, reverend fred shuttlesworth, they've been taken from us these past few years. this monument attests to their strength and their courage. and while we miss them dearly, we know they rest in a better
place. and finally, there are the multitudes of men and women whose names never appear in the history books. those who marched and those who sang, those who sat in and those who stood firm. those who organized and those month mobilized, all those men and women who through countless acts of quiet heroism helped bring about changes few thought were even possible. by the thousands, said dr. king, faceless, anonymous, relentless young people, black and white, have taken our whole nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in the formulation of the constitution and the declaration of independence. to those men and women, those foot soldiers for justice, know that this monument is yours as well.
nearly half a century has passed since that historic march on washington, a day when thousands upon thousands gathered for jobs and for freedom. that is what our school children remember best when they think of dr. king -- hiss booming voice across this mall calling on america to make freedom a reality for all of god's children, prophesizing of day when the jangling dischord of our nation would be transformed into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. this is right that we honor that march, that we lift up dr. cringe's "i have a dream" speech, for without that shining moment, without dr. king's glorious words we might not have had the courage to come as far as we have.
because of that hopeful vision, because of dr. king's moral imagination, barricades began to fall and bigotry began to fade. through doors of opportunity swung open for an entire generation. yes, laws changed, but hearts and minds changed as well. look at the faces here around you, and you see an america that is more fair and more free and more just than the one dr. king addressed that day. we are right to savor that slow but certain progress, progress that's expressed itself in a million ways, large and st. paul across this nation every single day as people of all colors and creeds live together and work together, fight alongside one
another and learn together and build together and love one another. so it is right for us to celebrate today dr. king's dream and his vision of unity. and yet it is also important on this day to remind ourselves that such progress did not come easily, that dr. king's face was hard won, that it sprung out of a harsh reality and some bitter disappointments. it is right for us to celebrate dr. king's marvelous oratory, but it is worth remembering that progress did not come from words alone. progress was hard. progress was purchased through enduring the smack of billy clubs and the blast of fire hoses. it was bought with days in jail
cells and nigh nights of bomb threats. for every victory during the height of the civil rights movement there were setbacks and there were defeats. we forget now, but during his life, dr. king wasn't always considered a unifying figure. even after rising to prominence, even after winning the nobel peace price, dr. king was vilified by many, denounced as a rabble-rouser and agitator, a communist and a radical. he was even attacked by his own people, by those who felt he was going too fast or those who felt he was going the too slow, by those who felt he shouldn't meddle in issues slik vietnam war or the rights of union workers. we know from his own testimony the doubts and the pain this
caused him and that the controversy that would swirl and his actions would last until the fateful day he died. i raise all this because nearly 50 years after the march on washington, our work, dr. king's work, is not yet complete. we gather here at a moment of great challenge and great change in the first decade of this new century, we have beetested by war and by tragedy, by an economic crisis and its aftermath that has left millions out of work and poverty on the rise and millions more just struggling to get by. indeed, even before this crisis struck, we had endured a decade of rising inequality