— Barack Obama 44th President of the United States of America 1961
Context: What the marchers on Washington knew, what the marchers in Selma knew, what folks like Julian Bond knew, what the marchers in this room still know, is that justice is not only the absence of oppression, it is the presence of opportunity. Justice is giving every child a shot at a great education no matter what zip code they’re born into. Justice is giving everyone willing to work hard the chance at a good job with good wages, no matter what their name is, what their skin color is, where they live. Justice is living up to the common creed that says, I am my brother’s keeper and my sister’s keeper. Justice is making sure every young person knows they are special and they are important and that their lives matter -- not because they heard it in a hashtag, but because of the love they feel every single day not just love from their parents, not just love from their neighborhood, but love from police, love from politicians. Love from somebody who lives on the other side of the country, but says, that young person is still important to me. That’s what justice is.
Remarks by the President at the NAACP Conference at Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (July 14, 2015)