TOPICS > Politics

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus Address DNC

September 5, 2012 at 12:00 AM EDT
California congresswoman Karen Bass talked about new legislative challenges to voter rights, saying "one of the darkest shadows of the past century is creeping into this one. " And Rep. Al Green from Texas talked about faith, American values and the middle class.
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TRANSCRIPT

REP. KAREN BASS (D-Calif.): Hello, Democrats!

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

REP. KAREN BASS: I stand before you today — I stand before you today as a proud member of the Congressional Black Caucus and former speaker of the California State Assembly.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

REP. KAREN BASS: Forty-seven years ago, in the face of opposition from those who said states should have the right to discriminate, America passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

REP. KAREN BASS: People of all races, religions, and backgrounds joined together and fought for that law, because every one of us deserves a fair shake and a fair chance at achieving our version of the American dream.

The right to vote gives us the power to take our future into our own hands. We must use thatpower today so that we do not lose it tomorrow.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

REP. KAREN BASS: Today, one of the darkest shadows of the past century is creeping into this one.

One of our most basic rights, the right to vote, a right that we fought for and won, is under attack.

Throughout the union, governors and legislators have proposed or passed laws to make it more difficult for individuals to cast their ballots. We must build and be part of a nation where justice isn’t just a catchphrase, but embodies the equality and fairness that our nation’s founders envisioned.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

REP. KAREN BASS: More than 41 years ago, when the Congressional Black Caucus was founded, that was our charge, and it still is.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

REP. KAREN BASS: A vote and a voice in choosing our leaders, passing our laws, and settingthe course for our nation.

And for the future we seek, a generation of greater opportunity for all of us, we stand with

President Obama in setting that path that moves us forward.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

REP. AL GREEN (D-Tex.): Friends, let me take just one moment to say…

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

REP. AL GREEN: … I am proud to live in the USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!

CROWD: USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!

REP. AL GREEN: I am proud, proud to live in this great country.

But, friends, I must tell you, America, it is up to us right now. It is up to us to make the decision on the type of country we will have. Either we will move forward towards securing economic future to be built to last with a strong middle class, or we will go back to a place where America’s promise is only fulfilled for a select few.

America, this, we will not do.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

REP. AL GREEN: In the ’60s, we marched because it was the right thing for our country, and it made us stronger. Fortified by our faith and endowed by our creator, we helped our country to overcome obstacles once thought insurmountable.

In our nation’s laws, they were thought to be insurmountable. In our hearts, we thought they were insurmountable. And once again, it’s our time to uphold justice. It’s our time to protect the rights that we have won. And it’s our time to stand up for the country we love, the United States of America.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

REP. AL GREEN: Our faith tells us we have a moral obligation to better our communities, to accept responsibility, and to care for each other. But these values are not just unique to believers.

They are American values, and this is the American way.

America, it is up to us. It’s up to us to wake up. It’s up to us to sit up. It’s up to us to stand up. It’s up to us to get up. It’s up to us to show up at the polls and reelect the honorable Barack Obama, president of the United States of America.

USA! USA! USA! USA! God bless you!

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

JUDY WOODRUFF: Some impassioned remarks from Texas Congressman Al Green.