Tonawanda News

Opinion

August 25, 2013

DUVALL: Obama's speech a yawner from media

Tonawanda News — A handful of thoughts on what was a newsie week in Western New York:

Anyone who thought just because we elected our first black president America’s race problem would be solved can find ample proof they’re wrong in the news just about everyday.

The Supreme Court is rolling back the Voting Rights Act and Republican lawmakers at the state and local level are wasting no time instituting what dissenting Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg called “second generation” racial roadblocks such as voter ID requirements and gerrymandered districts reducing minority input at all levels of government.

It’s apparently OK to pick a fight with an unarmed black kid in the South, then when you start losing the fight, shoot him to death.

This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s historic March on Washington, which culminated in his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech.

I’ve watched the speech probably dozens of times and studied it in college. It still casts a spell over me every time it plays.

(Fun fact: The actual “I Have a Dream” riff wasn’t in King’s prepared text. His prepared portion of the speech comes at the beginning of his remarks and is rather dull. The closing stanza that returns to the “I have a dream ...” line was an extemporaneous add-on, elements of which King drew on from speeches he’d given before. A great orator knows when he’s losing the audience and adjusts. That one of the greatest speechs in American history was largely impromptu only further adds to King’s aura.) 

I was heartened to see King’s legacy recalled as it should be — one of inspired action. That organizers expanded King’s civil rights legacy to include the poor, gays, Latinos, women and other portions of society not fully recognized was both smart and necessary.

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Opinion
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  • Tucker, Barbara.jpg TUCKER: Oh, the joys of Sound Off Never thought the words "Thank goodness for Sound Off" would ever be printed here.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • adamczyk, ed.jpg ADAMCZYK: And now for something completely different... Last weekend I attended a local movie theater (a plushy, posh experience; they design these places now to get you out of your living room and away from your home electronics) to watch the sun set on the British Empire.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • OUR VIEW: Arson suspect never deserved bail Two of the 11 fires reported on Fifth Avenue could have been prevented with some jurisprudence in evaluating whether the suspect, Michelle Johnston, deserved to be offered bail. Given the obvious nature of a repeat offender who was charged with nine felony arson counts, bail never should have been offered in this case.

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  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

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