“It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts,” Obama said to the thunderous applause of more than a half million people. “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law. For if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”
The president went on as his speech was numerously interrupted with applauses.
“Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country,” Obama said.
Zeroing on the urban safety crisis and the debate on gun control, Obama specifically mentioned Detroit.
“Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia, to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm,” Obama said.
Re-echoing a campaign theme about the future of the middle class Obama said, “For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it. We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class.”
The president went on “We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship. We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American; she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.”
After the inauguration the Obamas stopped at the Capitol Rotunda to pay homage to Dr. King’s bust.
During the parade Obama waved to floats of Dr. King and the Tuskegee Airmen.
(Bankole Thompson is a Senior Author-in-Residence at Global Mark Makers Publishing House in Iowa where he is writing a groundbreaking six-part book series on the Obama presidency. His book “Obama and Black Loyalty” published in 2010 follows his recent book “Obama and Christian Loyalty” with a foreword by Bob Weiner former White House spokesman. His forthcoming books in 2013 are “Obama and Jewish Loyalty” and “Obama and Business Loyalty.” He is the first editor of a major African-American newspaper to have a series of sit-down interviews with Barack Obama. Thompson is also a Senior Political News Analyst at WDET-101.9FM Detroit (NPR Affiliate) and a member of the weekly “Obama Watch” Sunday evening round table on WLIB-1190AM New York and simulcast in New Jersey and Connecticut.)