It is the year, 1962 and President Kennedy has brought together leaders of the civil rights movement that seeks to end prejudice against Negroes.
“Gentlemen, I appreciate your willingness to come to this meeting. As you all are well aware this country is confronting serious foreign policy issues as the Soviet Union constructs a wall to separate east Germany from the West, Communist China is in turmoil, and the Middle East is in conflict with no hope of ending the Israel-Arab dispute. New reports from Vietnam indicate problems in that region are escalating and this nation will have to decide how to handle growing violence. I know all in this room realize the threat of nuclear war exists in the Cuba issue.
Here at home, as you all know, we are dealing with a recession that requires greater government into the economy. I hope you all understand this administration is committed to the goal of equal rights for Negroes. We will not waver from that goal. But, we must be realistic. This administration can not deal with world conflicts and serious economic stress if we shift the focus to deal with Negro rights. The world could well be on the verge of a serious atomic bomb conflict in Cuba. I must focus attention and resources on those issues. I need the support of Republicans as well as conservative Democrats in order to confront these world issues, and if I allow this administration to get side-tracked with concern over Negro rights, we may well witness the loss of our entire society.
I am asking everyone in this room to set aside for the moment your concerns about civil rights and focus on the major issues facing American society. I realize this will not please anyone in this room, but I must address issues that threaten the very existence of this society.”
I guess President Barack Obama would have given this speech since he does not believe the rights of gays and lesbians can be addressed along with other issues. Somehow, I think if Obama was in that room fifty years ago, he would be arguing that both rights of Negroes and foreign policy could be simultaneously addressed. Thank God, John Kennedy was no Barack Obama!