tv Road to the White House 2020 Sen. Cory Booker in Selma Alabama CSPAN March 3, 2019 3:20pm-3:50pm EST
back this country and put it back on the path that was begun and forged here in selma 54 years ago! god bless you, brown chapel! [applause] [applause] >> all right, all right. [applause] >> all right. thank you. thank you. sit-down. i am there will not be any math quizzes. i was not prepared. i did not study. we have a gathering here today. i want to give on her first to god who is the head of our life. i want to give my respect to the
bishop. i want to give honor to all the reverend clergy gathered here together. i need to give a special nod to the rev. jessee jackson because he is the first person i ever voted for. [applause] booker: i was 18 years old in 1988. football player at stanford university. and i cast the first boat of my life for the man -- and i cast my first vote of my life to the man on my right. i want to give my love to my sister and the peaceful warrior for justice, the great congresswoman in whose district i stand. [applause] senator booker: and i would be remiss if i did not point out one of my best partners in the united states congress, sheila jackson lee.
stand up, congresswoman. [applause] booker: congresswoman, thank you very much. i want to give honor to my friend, sherrod brown, who is here. i want to recognize him always. very quickly, i want you all to know that for many years, i have felt a deep sense of gratitude that this has been a leader that when they were first lady did not just say that they loved kids but fought to expand children's health care. for mye was a senator neighboring state, she stood up for farmers and factory workers. she stood up for first responders who fearlessly went to 9/11. she was a leader. i am thankful for that. i am thankful that when she was secretary of state, she went around the earth standing in the
faces of dictators and tyrants suppressing the rights of women and said that women's rights are human rights. [applause] senator booker: she brought peace to conflict. she banished diseases with strategic investment. i am thankful for all of that and more. i want to say today i am thankful that she is my friend. give another round of applause. [applause] senator booker: i am excited to be here. she got more votes. [laughter] votes. booker: got more forgets tod never try to educate young voters. he sent me last week a document about the electoral college be the legacy of slavery any compromises made -- and the compromises made. we need to address that, too.
about this talk church in my life. i will explain i am here almost quite literally because of something that happened in this church on that bridge. but i will get to that. i would not want anyone to forget that it was a young man who was shot and beaten following a nonviolent protest while trying to protect his grandfather.s the young man spent days cleaning to his life in the only hospital that would treat a young black man, good samaritan hospital, and he died 54 years ago this past tuesday. remember this date, february 4 26, 1964. i want to say to the pastor of this church, extended to me the
hand of friendship and kindness and asked me to give a sermon. his kindness to me makes me have to begin by saying i want to make sure that i will be speaking from the bible. and 20. chapters 19 i will make it plain, my brother. 's lifejimmy lee jackson and death and the underlying conditions of our society in this country that sparked the ignition point for the march we come here to recognize. we need to say the names. we need to say the name of jimmy lee jackson. is that bible verse we know
so purposeful because we are here at a time when we still face underlying conditions that steel the lives and contribute to the deaths of many of our children right here and right now from selma where children and young men are dying, to sacramento where we mourn the from new york to new orleans, we gather here when conditions are morally unacceptable. when too many young people are dying, when dreams are being slaughtered, where community must respond. churchright here in this jimmie lee jackson's casket was , where the community came together not just to mourn,
but they answered the question from the bible verse spoken when joseph's brothers saw him approaching, the dream interpreter, the coat of many brothers spokes those words when they threw him to his death in a well. se says let us slay him and see what becomes of his dreams. it was the church right here that answered that call. this base unity with a defiant love that said we will answer what will become of the dream. ourselves tollow .e morally maladjusted we will not allow ourselves to be corrupted by an unacceptable culture. this church knew that you cannot
pray right and do wrong. this church knew that before you even speak to me about your religion, you have got to show it to mean how you treat folks. it was this church that did not show the shame of indifference that was shown to a man beaten and left by the side of the road by a priest and levite. this church showed the love of us american that understood -- this church showed the love of a samaritan that understood that we are gathered for a purpose. i want to remind you that this church gathered in this sanctuary at a time when they , evenaking it illegal though it was a legal on the day of march, folks gathered here to thatn understanding when two or three are gathered in his name, he is in their midst. in that unity is strength.
in the midst of raging hate, you can still form a sanctuary of love, that you can still form a beloved community that gathers as a testimony that the true hope is notof allowing despair to ever have the last word. unity, they began their march across the bridge. together encourage, together in faith, together in a love that as not a feeling but a verb, love that demented sacrifice and action. they marched together across that bridge. they marched in history. i want to take a step back and let you know that we are here because of that stubborn defiant love. we are here.
i was one of those young boys growing up. my parents got upset walking around like i had somehow earned the privileges of my time. my father was like, boy, don't walk around this house like you hit a triple. you were born on third base. my father said you have more degrees of the month of july, but you ain't hot. life is not about the degrees you get, it is about the service that you give. [applause] senator booker: we've got to remember we cannot allow the that allowed hate and bigotry to find roots in the ground. we may hate the roots, but we cannot forget them. my roots back to slavery. they rose up through poverty,, segregation, hardship, and pain.
they rose up from black churches, civil rights organizations, through hbcu. the 1960'sse up in when even when my parents tried to buy their house they were told by the real estate agents when they would show up this house is sold or was pulled off the market. me when i wasd sitting around my kitchen table, you've got to remember the struggles it took to get here. it was the grace of god, but it was something deeper than this. it was the grace that we show each other. loves this decency and that we showed one another. my family looked for places to live and were denied housing because of the color of their skin, but they found a group of
americans who were meeting in a living room in new jersey who said we may not be in to stop all of the hate and bigotry in this world, that we will do something about it. they set up an operation where my parents would go look at a house and we told it was sold, and the white couple would follow them and find out the house was still for sale. one tose i grew up in, three normal road, harrington park, new jersey. my parents were told the house was sold. the white couple found the house was for sale. the white couple put a bid in. it was accepted. papers were drawn up. on the day of the closing, the white couple did not show up. my father did and a volunteer lawyer, and they marched into the real estate agent's office. he was so angry. he stands up and punch is my dad's lawyer in the face and he
sicced the dog on my dad. when i was growing up, every time i got would tell that story, the dog would get bigger. [laughter] [applause] senator booker: eventually, i was a teenager getting ready to go off to college, my dad would say you better appreciate what you have because i had to fight a pack of wolves to get you in this house. [laughter] senator booker: we are all here, not because of individual action. trutht discounting the that we have had some heroic individual actions. we have had incredible examples of self-reliance, incredible examples of rugged individuals. i honor those themes in our country evidenced by millions of individuals. but you all know rugged individualism did not get us to the moon. it did not beat jim crow or the
nazis. we did these things together. groups of people pulling together saying i will not wait for washington. we are going to bring the change to our communities. we did not beat back the denial of women to have the right to vote because a bunch of men washington around 1900 said it was time for those women to have the right to vote. rightsnot get voting because a bunch of people in washington said it is time for those negro people to have the right to vote. right to vote the because strom thurmond had an epiphany. said thereouglass must be a demand. we are here because of the grace thate beloved community plow seeds ofto love and watered those with
blood.sweat, and ofare here today because that sacrifice. moral cannot indulge in amnesia. in this day and age, forget that you honor history not just by reflecting or reciting it. you honor history by emulate in it, letting it challenge you and demand from you that you show the lessons you have learned. we come together to honor the sacrifices today. but we also know that the only way we can honor the work done before us is recommitting ourselves to it. i tell you what. , peoplelenges we face want to make it just about the people in the highest offices of the land, people who traffic in
hatred who cannot even condemn nazis or white supremacists. people want to point fingers and forget the lesson of king that what we must repent for is not just the words and actions of the bad people but the appalling silence and inaction of the good people. said that it is violence, the violence of indifference and inaction is what threatens our country. we have become a nation that is too adjusted to injustice, too content with the suffering of our neighbors, a nation too divided against ourselves where people have lost the common sense of purpose. we have beautiful politics now that fits americans against americans. pitifulve beautiful --
politics now that pits americans against americans. to eachmutually pledge other our lives, fortunes, and sacred honor. turn on the tv and tell me where you see the sacred honor. failing to follow in the footsteps of the foot soldiers who brought us this far and called on us to lift every voice from the sanctuary began to form a more beloved community. the dreamer.cometh the dream is under attack. the dreamers are in danger. and we need each other more than we realize. we have one nation and one destiny. the dream is under attack. the dream is in danger.
the dream is in danger when we have a nation where we are the greatest industrial power on the globe, but now we are leaving our industrial peers in the lowest life expectancy. opioid addiction and suicides pointing to moral pain in this nation. the dream is in danger when actions in this country have shown that we have a callous disregard for life and lead industrial nations in infant mortality. the dream is in danger when the violence of poverty liberates, has one richest nation out of every five children living in poverty. the dream is in danger when every day people are putting aside life-saving drugs, one in five americans, because they cannot afford it. the dream is in danger when children all over this land are being poisoned by what is in the
water in the neighboring county with neglected tropical diseases, where we have millions easierdren who find it to find unleaded gasoline than unleaded water. when thisis in danger nation has a criminal justice system that treats you better if you are rich and guilty than if you are poor and innocent. the criminal justice system tortures children by putting them in solitary confinement, shackles pregnant women, locks people up for something that two of the last three presidents admitted to doing. the dream is in danger when we have a nation that pays teachers poverty wages. when wem is in danger can find the greatest war machine on the planet earth, but theyour soldiers come home
have an adequate health care and their suicide rates speak to a poverty of priorities. the dream is in danger when it is easy for criminals to get our hands on guns because we do not pass commonsense gun safety laws in our country. [applause] senator booker: behold, here cometh the dreamer. let us slight hill and see what becomes of his dreams -- let us slay him and see what becomes of his dreams. the answer to the demand of the soldiers of foot history, many of whom are in this room. the answer is we are called to love each other again, to have a more courageous empathy in this country. thatnswer is to understand patriotism is love of country, and you cannot love your country
unless you love your fellow countrymen and women. called to understand the spiritual cords that ties together are stronger than the lies that divide us. to remember the lesson of our lives. i said i was here directly because of those marchers. this is what i mean. i went to go back when i was a senator to find those people who helped my family moved into a home. i found the head of the fair counsel easily because she still has the fair housing council now. she is 92 years old. now she represents same-sex couples, muslim americans, americans with disabilities. because for her, justice has no color, race, or religion. she confirmed facts of the story i needed to know.
was it a pack of loss or a dog? i needed to know. she said the lawyer who organized the other lawyers was a businessman when he started organizing. now he was a retired new jersey judge, 84 years old. as a young man in the 1960's, he had just started a business. he was struggling to support a new family. i wanted to know why this man would help black families moving into new jersey. when he told me knocked me over. he said i remember the moment i made the decision. couchd i was sitting on a andew jersey watching tv there was a movie called "judgment at nuremberg." this was one we had three channels, y'all. p.m.would go off at 11:00
and then they suddenly had breaking news. it was 1965. we have breaking news all the time now. jacket, breaking news. but back then, it was a rare thing. they broke away from an ongoing movie to show a bridge in alabama. and he said he watched the news left a sacreders sanctuary and went to march across that bridge. he said he watched them as they were confronted by alabama state troopers. the marchers were going to kneel and pray but they did not get a chance. i know they were going to kneel and pray because i talked with some of the foot soldiers, my heroes. john lewis told me they were going to kneel and pray. just as they went to pray, they get gassed, tear gas shot at them.
they get storm that with billy clubs beating them viciously. this man on the couch in new jersey is horrified by what he sees. he thinks to himself, i should go to alabama, but realizes he cannot leave his new business. he cannot even afford a plane ticket. but he did not give up. he knew that this was not the beloved community our country is called to be. he knew that he pledged an oath to liberty and justice for all the demand more from him than just work. knowing he could not go to alabama, he decided to get up right there and say to himself i'm going to do the best i can with what i have where i am. he gets on the phone and starts for who might need an hour of legal work you could spare. he found a woman named lee porter who needed help. they started working together to represent what families. four years later, he gets a case
file with two names on it. my parents. they went to work moving my family into the home i grew up in. i'm going to tell you right now, i would not be here if it was not for marchers on the bridge who inspired a man 1000 miles away in new jersey -- [applause] senator booker: who then went on and changed the outcome for a generation not yet born. we are connected to each other. we are tied in one destiny. you are not alone in your fight. when you stand up for justice, when you stand up for truth, when you stand up for love. end.hat is where i want to behold, here cometh the dreamer. let us slay him.
26,ie lee jackson, february 54 years ago. on februaryin died 26, just seven years ago. wherewithe in selma gun violence, children are dying. from new orleans to newark, behold, here cometh the dreamer. this is a moral moment in america. the very idea of our country, people are losing faith. it is a moral moment in america. people are feeling like the forces tearing us apart are stronger than those that bring us together. this is a moral moment in america. dreamer.th the
it is time for us to defend the dream. to saveton hughes said, the dream for one, we must save the dream for all. it is time that we dare to dream again in america. the dream that we can be a country that every child has clean water and clean air, great public schools with professionals who are well-paid. it is time that we dream bigger dreams in america that health care is a right, that poverty is a wrong, and where the days of our children dying from gun violence are long gone. we have got to dream bigger dreams again in america where we don't lead the world in incarceration, but in job creation and higher education. we must dream bigger dreams again in america that we can banish bigotry and heal hate.
and that we will elect leaders that know the only way to unite people. that is what it takes to make america great. heart that love still thrives in this nation. i know in my bones that we are still a nation that has the capacity for grace in our civic spaces. i know we are here in a church and we are not alone. all across this country, people still are dreaming that america can work for their families and children and seniors. but it is up to us to do the work it takes to make the dream real. and so i call upon everyone, not just to say the words "liberty and justice for all," but make the sacrifice necessary to make it real. not to say we are a nation of equal justice under the law, but to make the sacrifice to make it real because our politics can be a place where joining together
in a civic space, we can have our children joining together. black children, white children, brown children singing the song of our nation. see" that we are finally a nation where everyone can be free. thank you. god bless you now. [applause] >> on the next "washington journal," a roundtable discussion on the week ahead in washington. efforts by house democrats to have more oversight over consumer credit