The first night of the Democratic National Convention was not without moments of controversy. Even in the absence of soon-to-be-ex Democratic National Committee chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, many Bernie or Bust people continue to be pissed off. However, the night was still full of poignant speeches by several of the most progressive leaders in the U.S. Here are a five of our favorite quotes from last night’s speeches:
“America, we will rise.” – Cory Booker
The New Jersey Senator Cory Booker invoked the late great Maya Angelou several times throughout his emotional speech Monday night. About two-thirds of the way through his speech, he recited the beginning of one of her most famous poems, and immediately my heart melted as I heard her beautiful words roll off the tongue of one of our country’s prominent crusaders for progressive causes. “You may write me down in history / With your bitter, twisted lies, / You may trod me in the very dirt / But still, like dust, I’ll rise.” For the rest of the speech, Senator Booker repeated the refrain “America, we will rise” reminding us all that the U.S. has endured a rough history and that it is our job to continue working for justice.
“We’re with her!” – Elizabeth Warren
Senator Warren is known for her badassery and admired for her intense commitment to progress. She also has the trust of Bernie supporters, making her an important figure in the Democratic presidential campaign. After spending several minutes of her speech eviscerating and dismantling Donald Trump, Senator Warren made moves in another attempt to bridge the divide in the Democratic Party. Despite the hecklers, she skillfully managed to articulate the areas that where she, Clinton, and the majority of progressives agree.
“To the ‘Bernie or Bust’ people: You’re being ridiculous,” – Sarah Silverman
Comedian and Sanders supporter Sarah Silverman took to the stage Monday night with politician/comedian and Clinton supporter Al Franken to attempt to bridge the divide happening in the Democratic Party. During a point in their joint speech/standup routine in which they were asked to stretch for time, Silverman took the opportunity to call out her fellow Sanders supporters for their consistent heckling. The statement quickly caused controversy, receiving both praise and criticism on social media. The ultimate irony is that the majority of the criticism is coming from fellow Bernie Supporters, despite the fact that Silverman herself is a Bernie supporter and was likely just pissed off about being repeatedly interrupted.
“Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her here tonight,” – Bernie Sanders
In the midst of all the controversy at the DNC, Bernie Sanders managed to brilliantly deliver a speech that would have been difficult for anyone to make given the circumstances. But he killed it anyway. The speech was clearly crafted intentionally to address his fervent supporters by acknowledging their concerns and laying out a democratic platform that has a broad appeal for progressives. He stated that it was “by far, the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party.” He ended his speech with an enthusiastic endorsement of Hillary Clinton.
“So that today, I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves. And I watch my daughters — two beautiful intelligent black young women — playing with their dogs on the White House lawn… And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters and all of our sons and daughters now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United States.” – Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama dropped so many truth bombs during her incredibly moving speech, and each one sent chills down my spine. The climax of the speech (and arguably the whole evening) happened when she poignantly highlighted the realities of the history of racism and sexism in the U.S. while at the same time highlighting how far we have come as a nation. This brilliant woman sure knows how to break down barriers. #MichelleObama2024! See her whole speech below.
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