Framing the fight: Secretary of State vs. Secretary of Hate
U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries framed the general election race for delegates to the Democratic National Convention, bringing them to their feet with his July 27 speech. "It's a choice between the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Hate. Donald Trump is a bounced check, but Hillary Clinton is money in the bank," Jeffries said in a rousing address.
He was one of a number of members of the Congressional Black Caucus to address the convention early on the third night of the four-night program, which will conclude with a speech by Barack Obama.
I'm Hakeem Jeffries. I stand here today on the shoulder of giants like Shirley Chisolm, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Barbara Jordan, Charles Rangel, and so many others who have made it possible for a kid from Brooklyn to serve in the United States Congress.
This November, America faces a clear choice between the most qualified nominee ever to seek the presidency and the least qualified nominee ever to seek the presidency. It's choice between a Commander-in-Chief and a Bankrupter-in-Chief. It's a choice between the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Hate. Donald Trump is a bounced check, but Hillary Clinton is money in the bank.
She believes that America is better off today because of the Presidency of Barack Obama.
She believes we must provide for the poor, work for working families, make sense for the middle class, and stand up for senior citizens. She believes we must innovate in the inner-city, strengthen suburban communities, and revitalize rural America. She believes we must increase economic opportunity, end the mass incarceration era, and eradicate police brutality.
She believes that whether you're black, white, Latino, Asian, Muslim, Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, gay, straight, young, or old – everyone deserves equal protection under the law, and that's why she'll be the next President of the United States.
The remarks of the other caucus members to address delegates:
Chairman Rep. G.K. Butterfield: Fellow Democrats, I'm Congressman G.K. Butterfield from North Carolina. In my community, you judge a man's heart by his words and deeds.
Donald J. Trump, your words have been hostile, bigoted, and insulting. You have used every opportunity to talk about your wealth; to denigrate people who don't hold your views, even within your own party. You are not qualified to serve as president. Instead of putting forth details to address income inequality and opportunity for everyday Americans, you use your celebrity status to paint a picture of gloom and doom. You use your status to alienate African-Americans and other groups. And you would use the Office of President to take our great Nation in the wrong direction.
You want to know why your polling numbers are so dismal among African-Americans? I will tell you. We know you have gotten rich through your business. But we also know your wealth has come at the expense of other people. We know you have no plan to address issues directly affecting African-American communities such as gun violence, voting rights, preserving Historically Black Colleges and Universities, raising the minimum wage, and addressing persistent poverty.
Democrats want a better future for all of our people, all of our families. Read our platform and compare it to the Republican platform. Give us this chance by electing Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine to lead our great country.
Rep. André Carson: My name is André Carson. I stand here today not just as a representative of Indiana, but as a young African-American Muslim and former cop.
Over the last year, millions of loyal, good-hearted Muslims and African-Americans like me have watched the deep-seated hatred of the past once again become mainstream. Together, we have been singled out in the national spotlight as threats to be dealt with – not part of our American family. If Donald Trump and Mike Pence have their way, this slide into hatred and bigotry will only get worse.
I'm from Indiana and have seen Mike Pence's terrible judgment up close. Pence has fought against same-sex couples having equal rights. Pence rejected federal funding for pre-K education. And for years, Pence has fought to defund Planned Parenthood, both in Indiana and nationally.
We cannot let this terrible judgment impact our civil rights.
That's why we need Hillary Clinton. She believes that if every uniform makes you fear profiling and suspicion, if you watch your kids leave in the morning and wonder if they'll come home at night, you deserve compassion and understanding.
Hillary Clinton is undaunted by the challenges that have plagued our communities for too long. She stands with us, and we need to stand with her.
Rep. Karen Bass: Fellow Democrats, my name is Karen Bass.
Together, we have 103 days to show the nation that there is a better path for our country than the one Donald Trump offers. One-hundred and three days to ensure our nation will NOT slide backwards to the bigotry of our past. One-hundred and three days to stop our country from giving in to the incoherent rage which Trump has taken advantage of to declare war on common sense.
Donald Trump, when you take pride in your outright ignorance of world affairs, when you promise the mass deportation of Latino families, when you dismiss officer-involved shootings of African-Americans, when you degrade women, you unite us. Because we are Democrats, and we embrace the full diversity of the American rainbow. Look around, you Democrats. The diversity in this room reflects ALL of America. Not part of America, like last week's Republican Convention.
My fellow Democrats, I challenge you to take all of Donald Trump's hateful energy and turn it into the fuel we need to take back the House. To take back the Senate. And to make Madam Secretary, Madam President Hillary Clinton.
Rep. Yvette Clarke: My fellow Democrats, envision an America where you can graduate from college without crushing debt. Where American manufacturing jobs are on the rise again, women are paid equally, and seniors live with dignity and comfort, thanks to a strong Social Security system. Where we stand united with the conviction that we can make our great country even greater, by lifting each other up, not tearing each other apart.
We cannot get there with a Serial Divider, a bottomless vessel of egotism who exploits our fault lines to advance his favorite cause: himself. We can get there with Hillary, a leader with experience and statesmanship, who's lived a life of public service to advance the noblest cause: our great nation.
I am CongressWOMAN Yvette Clarke from Brooklyn, New York. My mother, the Honorable Una Clarke, is the first Caribbean-born American woman elected to the New York City Council and my Congressional district was once represented by the first African-Caribbean American Congresswoman, Shirley Chisholm.
I know a great leader when I see HER. Hillary Rodham Clinton is our great leader, and our next President of the United States!
Rep. Gregory Meeks: I'm Congressman Gregory Meeks, and I'm honored to unite around our nominee and my good friend, Hillary Rodham Clinton. As a lifelong New Yorker, I've seen the two presidential candidates up close. Let me tell you, Hillary offers everything that Donald Trump cannot.
She fights for American workers. He refuses to pay them.
She plans to make college debt-free for all. He creates a sham university to exploit others.
She offers unity and forward-thinking. He offers division and plans that take us backwards.
Donald says, "I'm always right." But the truth is he's wrong. He's wrong for our families, he's wrong for our communities, and he's wrong for our country.
Hillary Clinton cares about the aspirations of all Americans. She's going to tackle income inequality, provide opportunities for the poor, and strengthen the middle class. And she's going to invest in communities that have been neglected for far too long.
Let's band together and work together. Let's aspire for more and challenge ourselves to be better. Let's build a strong future for our kids and our country by sending Hillary Clinton to the White House this November.