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英语演讲36. John F. Kennedy - Civil Rights Address

2008-10-16    来源:http://www.dmhes.com.cn    【大乐透走势图浙江      普特网校:美国外教1对1

本文地址:http://www.dmhes.com.cn/html/download/speech/20081016/8640.html
文章摘要:英语演讲36. John F. Kennedy ,拿过袂云汗雨营养保健,黔南州敢勇当先改组。

新概念| 重新定义经典英语教材

36. John F. Kennedy - Civil Rights Address

Good evening, my fellow citizens:

This afternoon, following a series of threats and
defiant statements, the presence of Alabama National Guardsmen was required on the University of Alabama
to carry out the final and unequivocal order of the United States District Court of the Northern District of Alabama.
That order called for the admission of two clearly qualified young Alabama residents who happened
to have been born Negro. That they were admitted peacefully on the campus is due in good measure to
the conduct of the students of the University of Alabama, who met their responsibilities in a constructive way.

I hope that every American, regardless of where he lives, will stop and examine his
conscience about this and other related incidents. This Nation was founded by men of many
nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and
that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.

Today, we are committed to a worldwide struggle to promote and protect the rights of all who
wish to be free. And when Americans are sent to Vietnam or West Berlin, we do
not ask for whites only. It oughta be possible, therefore, for American students of any color to attend any
public institution they select without having to be backed up by troops. It oughta to be
possible for American consumers of any color to receive equal service in places of public
accommodation, such as hotels and restaurants and theaters and retail stores, without being
forced to resort to demonstrations in the street, and it oughta be possible for American
citizens of any color to register and to vote in a free election without
interference or fear of reprisal. It oughta to be possible, in short, for every
American to enjoy the privileges of being American without regard to his race or his color.

In short, every American ought to have the right to be treated as he would wish
to be treated, as one would wish his children to be treated. But this is not the case.

The Negro baby born in America today, regardless of the section of the State in which
he is born, has about onehalf as much chance of completing a high school as a white baby born in
the same place on the same day, onethird as much chance of completing college, onethird
as much chance of becoming a professional man, twice as much chance of becoming
unemployed, about oneseventh as much chance of earning $10,000 a year, a life expectancy
which is 7 years shorter, and the prospects of earning only half as much.

This is not a sectional issue. Difficulties over segregation and discrimination exist
in every city, in every State of the Union, producing in many cities a rising tide of discontent that threatens
the public safety. Nor is this a partisan issue.
In a time of domestic crisis men of good will and generosity should be able to unite regardless of
party or politics. This is not even a legal or
legislative issue alone. It is better to settle these matters in the courts than on the streets,
and new laws are needed at every level, but law alone cannot make men see right. We are
confronted primarily with a moral issue. It is as old as the Scriptures and is as clear as the
American Constitution.

The heart of the question is whether all Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal
opportunities, whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated.
If an American, because his skin is dark, cannot eat lunch in a restaurant open to
the public, if he cannot send his children to the best public school available,
if he cannot vote for the public officials who will represent him, if, in short, he cannot enjoy the full and free life which all of us want, then who among us would be content to have the color of his skin changed and
stand in his place? Who among us would then be content with the counsels of patience and delay?

One hundred years of delay have passed since President Lincoln freed the slaves, yet their
heirs, their grandsons, are not fully free. They are not yet freed from the bonds of injustice.
They are not yet freed from social and economic oppression. And this Nation, for all its hopes
and all its boasts, will not be fully free until all its citizens are free.

We preach freedom around the world, and we mean it, and we cherish our freedom here at
home, but are we to say to the world, and much more importantly, to each other that
this is the land of the free except for the Negroes. that we have no secondclass citizens except
Negroes. that we have no class or caste system, no ghettoes, no master race except with
respect to Negroes?

Now the time has come for this Nation to fulfill its promise. The events in Birmingham and
elsewhere have so increased the cries for equality that no city or State or legislative body can
prudently choose to
ignore them. The fires of frustration and discord are burning in every city,
North and South, where legal remedies are not at hand. Redress is sought in the streets, in
demonstrations, parades, and protests which create tensions and threaten violence and
threaten lives.

We face, therefore, a moral crisis as a country and a people. It cannot be met by repressive
police action. It cannot be left to increased demonstrations in the streets. It cannot be quieted
by token moves or talk. It is a time to act in the Congress, in your State and local
legislative body and, above all, in all of our daily lives. It is not enough to pin
the blame on others, to say this a problem of one section of the country or another, or deplore the facts that we face.
A great change is at hand, and our task, our obligation, is to make that revolution, that
change, peaceful and constructive for all. Those who do nothing are inviting shame, as well as
violence. Those who act boldly are recognizing right, as well as reality.

Next week I shall ask the Congress of the United States to act, to make a commitment it has
not fully made in this century to the proposition that race has no place in American
life or law. The Federal judiciary has upheld that proposition in a series of forthright
cases. The Executive Branch has adopted that proposition in
the conduct of its affairs, including the employment of
Federal personnel, the use of Federal facilities, and the sale of federally financed housing.
But there are other necessary measures which only the Congress can provide, and they must
be provided at this session. The old code of equity law under which we live commands for every
wrong a remedy, but in too many communities, in too many parts of the country, wrongs are
inflicted on Negro citizens and there are no remedies at law. Unless the Congress acts, their
only remedy is the street.

I am, therefore, asking the Congress to enact legislation giving all Americans the right
to be served in facilities which are open to the public hotels,
restaurants, theaters, retail stores, and similar establishments. This seems to
me to be an elementary right. Its denial is an arbitrary indignity that
no American in 1963 should have to endure, but many do.

I have recently met with scores of business leaders urging them to take voluntary action
to end this discrimination, and I have been encouraged by their response, and in the last two
weeks over 75 cities have seen progress made in desegregating these kinds of facilities. But
many are unwilling to act alone, and for this reason, nationwide legislation
is needed if we are to move this problem from the streets to the courts.

I'm also asking the Congress to authorize the Federal Government to participate more fully in
lawsuits designed to end segregation in public education. We have succeeded in persuading
many districts to desegregate voluntarily. Dozens have admitted Negroes without violence.
Today, a Negro is attending a Statesupported institution in every one of our 50 States, but
the pace is very slow.

Too many Negro children entering segregated grade schools at the time of the Supreme
Court's decision nine years ago will enter segregated high schools this fall, having suffered a
loss which can never be restored. The lack of an adequate education denies the Negro a
chance to get a decent job.

The orderly implementation of the Supreme Court decision, therefore, cannot be left solely to
those who may not have the economic resources to carry the legal action or who may be
subject to harassment.

Other features will be also requested, including greater protection for the right to vote.
But legislation, I repeat, cannot solve this problem alone. It must be solved in the homes of every
American in every community across our country. In this respect I wanna pay tribute to
those citizens North and South who've been working in their communities to make life better for all.
They are acting not out of sense of legal duty but out of a sense of human decency. Like our
soldiers and sailors in all parts of the world they are meeting freedom's challenge on
the firing line, and I salute them for their honor and their courage.

My fellow Americans, this is a problem which faces us all in every city of the North as well
as the South. Today, there are Negroes unemployed, two or three times as many compared to
whites, inadequate education, moving into the large cities, unable to find work, young people
particularly out of work without hope, denied equal rights, denied the opportunity to eat at a
restaurant or a lunch counter or go to a movie theater, denied the right
to a decent education, denied almost today the right to attend a State university even though qualified.
It seems to me that these are matters which concern us all, not merely Presidents or Congressmen or
Governors, but every citizen of the United States.

This is one country. It has become one country because all of us and all the people who came
here had an equal chance to develop their talents. We cannot say to ten percent of the
population that you can't have that right. that your children
cannot have the chance to develop whatever talents they have. that the only way that
they are going to get their rights is to go in the street and demonstrate. I think we owe them and we owe ourselves a better country than that.

Therefore, I'm asking for your help in making it easier for us to move ahead and to provide
the kind of equality of treatment which we would want ourselves. to give a chance for every
child to be educated to the limit of his talents.

As I've said before, not every child has an equal talent or an equal ability or equal
motivation, but they should have the equal right
to develop their talent and their ability and their motivation, to make something of themselves.

We have a right to expect that the Negro
community will be responsible, will uphold the law, but they have a right
to expect that the law will be fair, that the Constitution will be color
blind, as Justice Harlan said at the turn of the century.

This is what we're talking about and this is a matter which
concerns this country and what it stands for, and in meeting it I ask the support of all our citizens.

Thank you very much.
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