Truman Days in Kansas City – 2012 – photos (May 12 2012)
Truman Days in Kansas City – 2012 – photos – part 2 (May 13, 2012)
“…Somebody needs to stand up for people who are being pushed down. And organized labor has done it and the Democratic Party has a history of standing up for people who are being pushed around. That’s why I’m a Democrat…”
Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D) speaking at the at the Jackson County
Democratic Committee’s Truman Days dinner in Kansas City on May 12, 2012.
Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D): ….And what I want you to understand is our party is the party that it is because we stand with working class people. We stand with working people who get up every day and make this country run. Did you know that we wouldn’t even have a middle class but for organized labor. [voice: “That’s right.”][applause] No middle class in this country. [applause] And we have people getting up every single day, every single day with their number one goal to dismantle organized labor. That’s what they want to do. They don’t want labor to have a voice…
…We’ve lived in those times when we didn’t have a voice. Nineteen twenty-five, four o’clock in the afternoon a fire breaks out at the shirtwaist factory in New York City. When the smoke clears forty-six women and children are dead, most of them piled up in the elevator shaft. Two fifteen year old Jewish girls, immigrants, jumped eight stories down to their death. The doors were locked, they couldn’t get out. Organized labor stopped that. And this is before CNN, seventy thousand people gathered the next week to protest what was going on.
Now, look, we understand that we need organized labor and we need to support ’em and, and I do it unashamedly without any reservations because I understand clearly that but for organized labor African Americans would not have been able to progress to the middle class. My grandpa [inaudible] was a cook on the railroad and was able to join the union early on, the sleeping car porters, so that he could create a middle class attitude and atmosphere in the house that raised my father and his two brothers.
And so, understand that this is going to be a battle and it’s not over. And we’re going to win. There’s no question about that. [applause] And if we can, if we can somehow create an awareness of what’s going on, do you know that the big five oil companies earned last year one hundred and thirty-seven billion dollars in profits. And Congress, the House of Representatives, six weeks ago voted for a four billion dollar subsidy. [pause] And they’re not even embarrassed. The five top hedge fund managers earned four billion dollars each, average. And then, paid a fifteen percent tax when you are paying thirty percent. They paid fifteen capital gains and dividends tax.
And we are going to have the gall to attack organized labor? Somebody needs to stand up for people who are being pushed down. And organized labor has done it and the Democratic Party has a history of standing up for people who are being pushed around. That’s why I’m a Democrat. [applause] [cheers] I’ll remain a Democrat for the rest of my life because I will never remain silent or passive when people are being pushed down. [cheers][applause] And we ought to stand up as Democrats and be proud of who we are. We are Democrats. We are not people trying to make people rich, we are Democrats. [cheers][applause]
And speaking of Democrats. [laughter] We cannot even think about allowing the unthinkable to even almost happen. We absolutely must elect again our senator. [applause] [cheers] She is the obvious choice. I’m not, I’m not mad at these other people. [laughter] I don’t, I don’t know them, they probably take care of their, their homes, they, you know, [inaudible] and so forth and take care of animals and so forth. I’m not mad at them. [laughter] I’m not mad at them. But what I am is a realist. And I understand that if we don’t get Claire McCaskill back in the U.S. Senate [applause], not only does Missouri suffer, but the whole country suffers. [applause] We cannot turn the U.S. Senate over to the Republicans. [applause] And everybody in here needs to recommit themselves to getting Claire McCaskill back in the United States senate where she belongs. [cheers][applause] Claire McCaskill, our senator. Claire McCaskill [cheers][applause]….