White House officials say Jacksonville shooting leaves nation at a crossroad

‘We haven’t lived up to Dr. King’s Dream’ President Biden addresses the nation for 60th anniversary of march on Washington.
Published: Aug. 29, 2023 at 4:44 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Following the March on Washington, President Biden addressed the nation, saying equality can’t be reached alone.

“We have to speak out when groups are trying to erase history and ban books,” said President Biden. “We’re going to get it done.”

President Biden used the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech as a platform, to speak on topics that many people feel divide the nation.

“You can’t let hate prevail,” he said.

The Jacksonville shooting that took the lives of four people over the weekend was also a topic for discussion. President Biden reminding us of how much work we still have to do.

“A lot is happening, involving hate,” said Biden. “Silence is complicity and we’re not going to remain silent.”

President Biden’s Senior advisor, Steve Benjamin added to that saying, now is the time to shed light on how much further we need to go.

“We’re not where we want to be but we’ve come a long way,” said Steve Benjamin, Sr. Advisory to President Biden. “The Jacksonville shooting over the weekend is a reminder of how much more work we have to do.”

On August 26th, a 21-year-old white male walked into a Dollar General store, shot and killed three people – then killed himself. Authorities have identified the gunman as Ryan Christopher Palmeter.

“Things like his put our nation at a crossroad,” said Damon Hewitt, President for the Lawyer’s Committee of Civil Rights. “We think about the last 60 years and the progress but we also think about the next 60 years; not just plight but also possibility.”

Hewitt told me that the work of a Civil Rights lawyer is the work of a believer adding that positive change is always on the horizon.

“Doing Civil rights work is an inherently optimistic enterprise,” said Hewitt. “If we didn’t think we could change the world, we wouldn’t be doing it. We need that same type of spirit not only from the president but from congress.”

President Biden’s administration publicly recognizing that the nation never fully lived up to Dr. King’s dream, adding that he and Vice President Kamala Harris is determined to continue that march towards justice.