From the Chicago Tribune -
In his first address to civil rights leaders since his election, President Obama on Thursday marked the centennial of the NAACP by paying tribute to its history and calling on activists to tackle modern-day problems.
Obama told the organization's members that only because of their forerunners could he stand before them as both an African American and president of the United States.
"I understand there may be a temptation among some to think that discrimination is no longer a problem in 2009," Obama said. "But make no mistake: The pain of discrimination is still felt in America."
The president's speech Thursday was tautly in line with his established rhetoric on race. Obama noted that African Americans were more likely to be hit by unemployment, spiraling healthcare costs and AIDS, but noted that those challenges were not limited by racial boundaries.
The pain of inequality is felt by people everywhere, Obama said: "By African American women paid less for doing the same work as colleagues of a different color and gender. By Latinos made to feel unwelcome in their own country. By Muslim Americans viewed with suspicion for simply kneeling down to pray. By our gay brothers and sisters, still taunted, still attacked, still denied their rights."
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