Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton used the Old State Capitol in Springfield as a backdrop for a speech calling on Americans to come together to end what she called “systemic racism.”
Clinton spoke in the building where Abraham Lincoln gave his famous “House Divided” speech in 1858, which helped launch his political career. Lincoln’s speech, widely regarded as one of his finest, addressed slavery and included the famous line, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
Illinois REALTORS® was provided with a ticket to the speech on Wednesday, July 13, 2016, a fitting start to what will be two weeks of national political events in which REALTORS® play a role. The association will send representatives to both the Democratic and Republican national conventions this month, and the association will sponsor receptions for Illinois policymakers at both.
The association works with lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle, so each presidential election year it is the association’s practice to send representatives to both national nominating conventions.
In her remarks, Clinton said:
The challenges we face today do not approach those of Lincoln’s time. Not even close. And we should be very clear about that. But recent events have left people across America asking hard questions about whether we are still a house divided.
The Old State Capitol has served as a prominent backdrop for political candidates. President Barack Obama launched his bid for the White House here, and he later returned to introduce then-Sen. Joe Biden as his vice presidential nominee.
In the speech on Wednesday, Clinton repeated themes of reconciliation and the need to address the remnants of racism.
That means taking a hard look at our laws and our attitudes. It means embracing policies that promote justice for all people, and standing firm against any attempt to roll back the clock on the rights and opportunities that so many sacrificed so much to secure.