POST-GAZETTE - Res Publica
Reagan, Obama, and Race
by David Trumbull
January 9, 2009
In a little over a week Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. By fortuitous coincidence, Presidential Inauguration Day—which, by the 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is fixed on January 20th, regardless of the day of the week—happens to fall on the day after the federal holiday celebrating the Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.—fixed (5 U.S.C. 6103) on the third Monday in January.
When President Ronald Reagan, on November 2, 1983, signed into law the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday he reminded his listeners that—
President Reagan went on to remark that “Dr. King had awakened something strong and true, a sense that true justice must be colorblind.” And Mr. Reagan pointed to both the progress made—and yet to be made—in the struggle for an America that lives up to her noble sentiment that all men are created equal, citing the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965. Reagan, as he so often did, then called on Americans to embrace and enlarge upon their better nature, and exhorted his listeners—
[David Trumbull is the chairman of the Boston Ward Three Republican Committee. Boston's Ward Three includes the North End, West End, part of Beacon Hill, downtown, waterfront, Chinatown, and part of the South End.]