These are difficult times for this country. The economic downturn has had a deep impact on our communities, and now the bitter fight over the debt ceiling poses a threat to the safety nets—Medicaid and Medicare, Social Security and student aid—that working class Americans have relied on for generations.
But President Obama's story has always been one of hope, and so it is particularly fitting that he reminds us of our legacy in these difficult times. He told the audience gathered in Los Angeles:
There is no doubt that the African American community has been one of the hardest hit. But NAACP, you also know that no matter how steep the climb, we have always persevered -- as a people and as a nation. No matter how long the road we have never grown weary. We've always kept marching ahead.
In the midst of reflection, President Obama reminds us to look ahead. It's up to us to continue the legacy of our parents and grandparents, to rise up against injustice and never to waver in the face of adversity.
Take a moment to watch as the President describes the enduring mission of the NAACP, and our duty to persevere.