Detroit NAACP hosts President Joseph R. Biden at its 69th Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner and joins Marvin W. Beatty, vice president, Community and Public Relations, Hollywood Casino at Greektown. PHOTO COURTESY OF MONICA MORGAN AND ANDRE SMITH

Detroit – Ladies and gentlemen, my brothers, and sisters, please lend me your ears. Once again tonight you are all a part of history as we all are having dinner with the President of the United States. Martin Luther King Jr., said, “We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” For it was Longfellow who prescribed that, “In this world a man must either be anvil or hammer. In other words, you are either a molder of society or molded by society.”

When reviewing the life of the man that we honor tonight it is clear of the impact he has had on society. His father once told him “Champ, the measure of a man is not how often he is knocked down, but how quickly he gets up.” Certainly if one looks at his life you will see no greater knock down than when he lost his first wife Neilia and one year old daughter Naomi to a horrific traffic accident, sons Beau and Hunter were seriously injured. Later on son Beau would pass from the dreaded disease of cancer.

These are the issues and challenges that tests ones’ humanity. They create a sensitivity and empathy for the lives of others to get back up when knocked way down.

Our speaker for tonight said when things get tough and policies don’t move, “Failure at some point is inevitable, but giving up is unforgivable.” From Scranton, Pennsylvania, to Wilmington, Delaware, this man understands the common touch is needed everywhere.

Delaware, the first state to ratify the United States Constitution, December 7, 1787, motto is “liberty and independence.” Delaware is one of the smallest states in quantity but one of the largest states in the quality of their role in revolutionary pride, rising above any limitations leading America to a new determination.

President Biden was elected as one of the youngest Senators at age 29 in 1972, just two months older than the minimum age 30 requirement. Elected six times, serving as Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senate Judiciary Committee, and a host of other committees. Though U.S. Senators work daily in Washington, DC, Joe Biden took the train home every night to be with his family.

Beloved, in our community family is vitally important. Families need policies and programs to meet their needs. The NAACP supports policies. We advocate for policies. We have policy priorities. Jobs, economic grants, aid for small and minority business growth, and expansion is policy. My cousins are back working at Ford, GM, and Stellantis plants with higher wages. Now they can even give more tithes and offerings to the church. That’s policy.

Seventy – years after Brown vs. Board of Education went into effect, May 17,1954, now there are still those trying to nullify its impact. They banned books that help to make the study of history and culture a little more equal. Not to worry because we refuse to make that era into a sequel. And that’s our policy! Health care for everyone, Medicare and Medicaid expansion, that’s policy. We are concerned about peace in Israel, peace in Gaza, immediate release of all hostages, humanitarian aid in Gaza, but also in Haiti, the Sudan, Ethiopia, and the Congo.

We know pain, 100 years of lynching, the middle passage our Maafa, Jim Crow, Jim Crow, Esq. and his nieces and nephews, running while Black, walking while Black, flying while Black, sleeping while Black, and living while Black. We know pain, that’s why we ain’t turning back.

We are concerned about any Supreme Court Justice who flies the American flag upside down at his house in solidarity with insurrectionists and those who believe that the last election was stolen, and then blames it on his wife. Our court still needs diversity. Diversity is a good policy.

Thank you, Mr. President. Gold gym shoes with red bottoms ain’t policy. A picture of you behind prison bars ain’t policy. A Bible with the Constitution and Bill of Rights ain’t policy. Any candidate with policies that match up with the NAACP policy agenda, we invite you to come and show us what you are working with. Like James Weldon Johnson said, “Out of the gloomy past, till now we stand at last, true to our God, true to our native land.”

So many people are struggling. Too many people are down in a pit. Detroit there was a man who was walking along and fell into a pit one day.

A self-righteous person came along and said, “The Lord must want him in the pit.”

A subjective person came along and said, “He must belong down there in the pit.”

A pessimist came along and said, “I doubt if he will ever get out of this pit.” An optimist came along and said, “I just hope one day he might get out of his pit.”

A born-again Christian came along and said, “I’m just gonna pray that he gets out of his pit.”

A psychologist came along and said, “His parents are the reason he’s down in the pit.”

A fire and brimstone preacher came by and said, “He must have done wrong. That’s why he’s now in the pit.” An artificial intelligence officer came by and said, “He is not really down in that pit.”

But along came riden’in a man named Biden let down his hand and lifted the man up out of the pit!

America needs a leader who will help get it out of the pit.

Ladies and gentlemen, presenting the James Weldon Johnson Lifetime Achievement Award to the 46th President of the United States, Joseph R Biden! “Let Us March On Till Victory Is Won.”