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.

Text Only
Opinion
  • CONFER:

    April 23, 2014

  • GUEST VIEW: What young people aren't learning in college The results are distressing to say the least. A recent survey found that only 17 percent of college graduates â€" graduates! â€" knew the effect of the Emancipation Proclamation, just 42 percent knew the Battle of the Bulge was fought during World War II, and not even two in five could identify term limits for their senators and representatives.

    April 23, 2014

  • DuVall, Eric mug.jpg DUVALL: In defense of the Common Core

    They've become the two dirtiest words in education, but the Common Core is very much worth defending.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • tucker, barb.jpg TUCKER: Bits and pieces from out and about Ever since it was restored and opened, the Hotel @ Lafayette in downtown Buffalo has fascinated me. Last Monday, the Preservation Buffalo Niagara offered a tour of the hotel led by developer Rocco Termini.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug - adamczyk.jpg ADAMCZYK: Kenmore is a village made of bricks Buffalo and surrounding environs have brick buildings galore, often in the process of repurpose. Whole neighborhoods made of brick await development, redevelopment, gentrification, whatever wand will be waved at them to make them function again. Structures here tend not to be razed; they fall down occasionally but typically simply stand and wait.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • leffler, scott.jpg LEFFLER: Justice is blind -- and deaf and dumb I've always been intrigued by the concept of justice. I say concept because it really seems more theoretical to me than practical. One man's justice is another man's nightmare.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: Don't go soft on teenage criminals

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • DuVall, Eric mug.jpg For Sabres, more suffering is on tap

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • tucker, barb.jpg TUCKER: Taking down trees 'disheartening' Several readers have questioned the City of Tonawanda's tree removal program. An email to Jenna Koch, who represents the third ward and checks into any query on the city, explained the program.


    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug - adamczyk.jpg [Duplicate] ADAMCZYK: Letterman was on my side The announcement that Mr. Letterman is retiring from his groundbreaking television program, sometime in 2015, is already old news, but it gives opportunity to ponder a few truisms about history and modern life.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo