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More headlines: Al Gore on Civil Rights

(Following are older quotations. Click here for main quotations.)


Ideas & ideals bind different races together

We are bound together, not by any common ethnicity or race or language or national origin. We are bound together by a set of ideas and ideals. Even our founders underestimated the spiritual power of the words they gave us. Otherwise they would have freed their slaves and given women the right to vote as well as African-Americans and Latinos. But in our generation we have been privileged to stand on their shoulders and expand the circle of human dignity.
Source: Democrat Debate in Des Moines, Iowa Jan 17, 2000

Confederate flags divide us-remove them from Statehouses

Gore said the Confederate flag should come down from public buildings because it divides Americans. Gore said the flag represents “for many Americans a hurtful message that recalls the pain of slavery” and it should not be flown from the South Carolina Statehouse or other public buildings. “The citizens of goodwill everywhere must take a position on it and see that in fact the American flag heals and the Confederate flag divides us,” he said. “I think there is too much tolerance of intolerance.”
Source: Holly Ramer, Associated Press Jan 16, 2000

Equal opportunity can be achieved with school reform

Q:How will you provide minorities with equal educational & other opportunities? A:I support affirmative action. I support the most vigorous enforcement of the civil rights laws. We’ve got to turn around failing schools-not to have incremental improvement -but to bring about truly revolutionary improvements. Treat teachers like professionals. Reduce the class size. Have higher standards. Have teacher testing for new teachers. Within due process, get rid of the teachers who are not doing a good job.
Source: (xref Education) Town Hall Meeting, Nashua NH Dec 18, 1999

Fight against domestic violence and for safe streets

The home should be a sanctuary, never a prison of brutality. I want to lead the fight against domestic violence, which is a leading reason women seek treatment for injury in America’s emergency rooms. And I want to lead the fight for safe communities, so that any woman can walk down any street in any city in America at any time, free from fear, and safe from assault.
Source: Women for Gore speech, Washington DC Jun 1, 1999

Streamline disability and advocacy processes

As President, I promise to work towards streamlining the disability process for the Social Security Administration thus shortening the amount of time from filing to determination. I promise to increase funding toward independent living center grants to insure access to advocacy for all disabled persons. I promise to work toward the creation of a national disability policy agenda designed to benefit and better all Americans.
Source: http://www.disabledforgore.org 5/16/99 May 16, 1999

Fund disabled return-to-work programs

[Gore] is fighting for a bipartisan, $1.2 billion plan to expand access to health care, employment services, and other incentives for people with disabilities who return to work; a new $1,000 tax credit to help cover the costs associated with employment, such as special transportation and technology; and new efforts to help people with disabilities move from welfare to work. Gore recently announced the creation of a new Disability Research Institute to develop innovative new return-to-work strategies.
Source: www.AlGore2000.com/issues/disabled.html 5/16/99 May 16, 1999

Pass the Employment Nondiscrimination Act

GORE: We need the Employment Nondiscrimination Act to end discrimination in the workplace. [In ‘98] we came within one vote of passing it.

BRADLEY: [I agree & would include] gays & lesbians in the military openly, [as part of] adding sexual orientation to the Civil Rights Act. Gays and lesbians are no different than the rest of us. They just have a different attribute, like a different color hair, or it’s no different. And we have to accord them the dignity that every person in this world deserves.

Source: Democrat debate in Los Angeles Mar 1, 2000

Address racial profiling in civil life as well as laws

Q: How would you keep crime down, but at the same time confront the problem of police brutality and racial profiling? A: If you entrust me with the presidency, the first civil rights act of the 21st century will be a national law outlawing racial profiling. We have to recognize that racial profiling is a problem not only in law enforcement but also in insurance, in banking, inside schoolrooms, inside people’s hearts.
Source: Democrat debate in Harlem, NYC Feb 21, 2000

Minorities benefit most from opportunity

Q. Do you think that reparations for African-Americans should be considered? A: I believe the best reparations is a good education and affirmative action to make available the kind of direct assistance that has brought an empowerment zone here to Harlem. I think that we still need affirmative action in this country.
Source: Democrat debate in Harlem, NYC Feb 21, 2000

Civil rights and affirmative action on top of agenda

Q: How important would Civil Rights laws be in your administration? A: I believe that we need vigorous enforcement of the civil rights laws.. Bring our people together with affirmative action, civil rights enforcement and with leadership to put civil rights right at the top of our national agenda.
Source: Democrat Debate in Des Moines, Iowa Jan 17, 2000

More minorities in government to reflect America

Q: Will you appoint minorities to high offices? A: We have been one of the most successful administrations in history, bringing about the strongest economy in history, not in spite of diversity, but because of diversity. I will seek to break that record not only because it’s fair & right to have a government that looks like America, but because it is the best way to have a government that works well for America, that understands the challenges and sees the opportunities in every single community.
Source: Democrat Debate in Des Moines, Iowa Jan 17, 2000

Women deserve equal pay for equal work

Q: What is your opinion of the fact that women earn less than men for the same work? A: I support an equal day’s pay for an equal day’s work. I support vigorous enforcement of our laws against discrimination, including affirmative action, which all the Republicans are attacking today.
Source: Democrat Debate in Johnston Iowa Jan 8, 2000

End racial profiling

The Vice President said he would make the end of racial profiling “the first civil rights act of the new century.” Minority advocates say racial profiling, the police practice of singling out minorities for questioning at airports, on highways, and on streets, is racial harassment that can be fatal, such as in the killings of young blacks in New York, Pittsburgh, and Riverside, Calif.
Source: Boston Globe, p. A25 Aug 6, 1999

Expand laws for gays but don’t re-open Civil Rights Act

Q: How will Senator Bradley’s proposal to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include gay and lesbian Americans impact the civil rights of racial, religious and other minorities?

GORE: The leaders of civil rights groups & most gay and lesbian rights groups believe that it is not wise to open up the 1964 Civil Rights Bill in the Republican congress to a process that could lead to it being seriously damaged and even lost. Virtually all of them have followed the leadership of Congressman Barney Frank in supporting the employment nondiscrimination act as a way to get right to the heart of the problem.

BRADLEY: When there is discrimination, you address it with the 1964 Civil Rights Act. would I send such a piece of legislation to the congress if I’d thought the 1964 Civil Rights Act was going to be opened up? Absolutely not.

Source: Democrat Debate in Des Moines, Iowa Jan 17, 2000

Recognize gays & lesbians in the circle of human dignity

It’s a mystery how Jefferson could write the Declaration & own slaves. It’s a mystery how the founders could write our Constitution & not allow women to vote. But we have taken the inner meaning and power of our founding documents and the spirit of America and breathed new life into them in each new generation. The time has come for gays & lesbians to be recognized within the circle of human dignity. This is a moral issue. I feel very strongly about it, and I will fight for advances in this area.
Source: Democrat Debate at Dartmouth College Oct 28, 1999

  • Click here for 30 main quotations from Al Gore on Civil Rights.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Civil Rights.
  • Click here for VoteMatch responses by Al Gore.
  • Click here for AmericansElect.org quiz by Al Gore.
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George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
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Page last updated: Mar 16, 2014