Fmr. Chief Justice greets Commander-In-ChiefBy Yasmine Regester / October 14, 2016
Frye & Obama tout Clinton, visit A&T in Greensboro
Working to win over voters in North Carolina, President Barack Obama visited Greensboro on Tuesday, October 11 for a North Carolina Democratic Party rally for the Clinton campaign.
Deborah Ross, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate and U.S. Congresswoman Rep. Alma Adams (D-12), now running for re-election in a new 12th Congressional District, spoke to the audience before the president took the stage, urging people to get to the polls and vote.
Henry Frye, the first African American elected to the North Carolina House and the first to serve on the North Carolina Supreme Court introduced the president. During the introduction, Frye stated that people should respect the right to vote, because it wasn’t long ago that people of color did not have that right. Frye himself was denied voter registration after he failed the literacy test, a discriminatory practice that was used to discourage minorities from voting.Obama took the stage and got comfortable, taking off his jacket and rolling up his sleeves in his signature fashion, before speaking for about 45 minutes to a crowd of more than 7,000 at Greensboro’s White Oak Amphitheatre.
A few protestors interrupted the president and were escorted out, but Obama stayed on message.
While applauding the work of Democratic Candidate Hillary Clinton, Obama also pointed out Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s public attitude towards women and minorities, his temperament to lead the country, and called into question Trump’s business techniques.
“Look, Greensboro, one thing I’ve learned these past eight years is that progress is hard. It is a grind. You’ve got to battle it out. For progress to happen, we have to believe in one another. If we’re willing to work together, progress can happen,” said Obama.
Just four weeks out from Election Day, (Nov. 8) presidential candidates and their supporters are ramping up campaign efforts in the state. Clinton running mate Tim Kaine campaigned Wednesday at Davidson College (Charlotte), while Trump will campaign Friday at PNC Pavilion in Charlotte, as well as at Greensboro’s White Oak Amphitheater. Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, made two North Carolina campaign stops on Monday.Trump has been trying to appeal more to African American voters lately, asking the question ‘what have they got to lose’ if they vote for him. During a recent trip to the area, Trump attempted to make a visit to Greensboro’s International Civil Rights Center and Museum however, the museum’s officials politely declined Trump’s request to use the space.
Obama went on to talk about Clinton’s history of fighting for children and families, civil rights and equality and her work on climate change.
“So when he [Trump] asks you, what do you have to lose, the answer is, you’ve got everything to lose,” Obama said. “All the progress we’ve made these last eight years is on the ballot. Civility is on the ballot. Respect for women is on the ballot. Tolerance is on the ballot. Justice is on the ballot. Equality is on the ballot. Democracy is on the ballot. If you want to send a message in this election, make it a resounding message,” said Obama.
Earlier in the day, Obama spoke at a student forum at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University about his My Brother’s Keeper initiative.
“Every young person in America deserves the same opportunities I had: a world-class education, a pathway to apply for college or find a job, and a chance to lay a foundation for a career and a family,” said Obama noting that the demographic facing some of the most severe challenges in the 21st century are boys and young men of color.
Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper initiative in 2014 to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and to ensure that all young people can reach their full potential through mentoring, support networks, and learning the skills they need to find a good job or go to college.