On the road to equality there is no better place for blacks to detour around American values than in forgoing its example in the treatment of its women and the organization of its family.
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Affirmative action is the most important antidiscrimination technique ever instituted in the United States. It is the one tool that has had a demonstrable effect on discrimination... Affirmative action, by all statistical measures, has been the central ingredient to the creation of the black middle class.
I agree that income disparity is the great issue of our time. It is even broader and more difficult than the civil rights issues of the 1960s. The '99 percent' is not just a slogan. The disparity in income has left the middle class with lowered, not rising, income, and the poor unable to reach the middle class.
My generation took on political equality. I believe young people, who have graduated into a poor economy, have an incentive to take on much tougher issues of income equality. If they show the leadership they have demonstrated in the last few elections, they can bring changes even greater than my generation achieved.
What I think we need to do to engage the American people in a conversation about entitlement reform is to have a bipartisan group of people who come together and put every solution on the table, every alternative on the table. And then we ought to engage in a long conversation with the American people so they understand the choices.