ICYMI: President Obama's Speech to the National Urban League
10 months ago
Commander-in-chief delivers speech to African American voters, addresses nation's gun violence
The speech was billed as the president's first major speech of the election cycle for the African American voting bloc. In light of the mass shooting tragedy in Colorado, Obama reminded attendees of the toll that daily gun violence takes on America's urban communities.
To view video of his entire speech, click the image below. The full text of his speech appears below the video player image.
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
AT THE NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE CONVENTION
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
New Orleans, Louisiana
8:00 P.M. ET
THE PRESIDENT: Hello, Urban League! (Applause.) Thank you. It is good to be with the Urban League. (Applause.) And it's good to be in the Big Easy. (Applause.)
Now, I don’t know if the fact that this is called the Morial Convention Center had anything to do with folks coming down to New Orleans -- (laughter) -- but it is good to be with all of you. And I'm glad I caught you at the beginning of the conference, before Bourbon Street has a chance to take a toll on you. (Laughter.) All right. You all stay out of trouble now. (Laughter.)
Everybody please have a seat. Have a seat.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Four more years! (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: A couple of people that I want to acknowledge. Obviously, first of all, I want to acknowledge your outstanding president and CEO who has shown such extraordinary leadership for so many years -- Marc Morial. (Applause.) Just like we've got an outstanding former mayor of New Orleans, we've also got the outstanding current mayor of New Orleans -- Mitch Landrieu is in the house. (Applause.) Fine young congressman from this area -- Cedric Richmond, is here. (Applause.) And one of the best mayors in the country -- we're glad he came down from his hometown of Philadelphia -- Mayor Michael Nutter is in the house. (Applause.)
And all of you are here, and I am grateful for it. (Applause.) And we love the young people who are in the house. (Applause.) Mitch, don’t you -- I wasn't referring to you, man, I was talking to those folks over there. (Laughter.) Mitch is all waving, "thank you." (Laughter.)
For nearly a century, the National Urban League has been inspiring people of every race and every religion and every walk of life to reach for the dream that lies at the heart of our founding -- the promise that no matter who you are, no matter what you look like, no matter where you came from, no matter how modest your beginnings, no matter what the circumstances of your birth, here in America, you can make it if you try. (Applause.)
Of course, this dream has never come easy. That’s why the Urban League was formed. In the aftermath of the Civil War, with the South in the grips of Jim Crow, the waves of men and women who traveled north to urban centers discovered that even in their new homes, opportunity was not guaranteed. It was something you had to work for, something you had to fight for –- not just on your own, but side-by-side with people who believed in that same dream.