A Ways to Go

  • Share
  • Read Later
ATLANTA: President Clinton took the pulpit at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King Jr., his father and his grandfather preached for four decades, to posit the civil rights leader's judgment of the current state of race relations: "He would say to us, "You've still got a ways to go,'" said Clinton, who linked arms with King's son, Dexter, and wife, Coretta Scott King, to sing "We Shall Overcome" and "Lift Every Heart and Sing" on what would have been the civil right leader's 67th birthday. In his speech, the President drew a parallel between King's description of himself as a "drum major for justice" and the U.S. peacekeeping role abroad. "If that is our role, to be drum majors for peace and justice around the world," he added, "surely that must be our responsibility here at home. Even as we seek to help each other bridge their differences, we have a ways to go ourselves. There needs to be more peace and freedom on our streets." As the President watched, comedian Dick Gregory poked fun at House Speaker Newt Gingrich for complaining last year about having to leave Air Force One from the rear door: "You made him a Negro for a day." GOP frontrunner Bob Dole, in Washington, issued a statement denying that U.S. society is racist and urged policies that would "swing open the doors of opportunity" for all. "As we begin the second half of the last decade in this great American century, let us dream a dream together, once again."