‘March Not Yet Over,’ Says Obama at Selma Bridge
SELMA, Ala. — President Obama returned to this small city where civil rights protestors endured brutal beatings 50 years earlier and sought to recast their decades-old bravery as the highest form of patriotism: one that confronted the nation’s flaws and sought to change them.
His address at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Saturday offered up a sweeping survey of the nation’s civil rights battles on behalf of minorities, women, immigrants and people with disabilities. He made an explicit connection between gay rights protestors “whose blood ran on the streets of San Francisco and New York” and the wounds suffered by those who marched across this bridge in 1965.
Obama has been lambasted by Republicans for his sometimes tough criticism of the country he leads. One goal of Saturday’s speech was to respond to his critics with a more nuanced kind of patriotism that fits his progressive vision for the country.