Clarence Henderson’s full speech at the Republican National Convention | 2020 RNC Night 3

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Clarence Henderson, civil rights activist and president of the North Carolina chapter of the Frederick Douglass Foundation, spoke on the third night of the Republican National Convention on Aug. 26, 2020.


Greetings my fellow Americans. I am Clarence Henderson. There have been movements that have changed the course of history. Among the most extraordinary was the Civil Rights movement. 60 years ago, segregation was legal and enforced. The simple act of sitting at a lunch counter could lead to physical harm, jail time, or worse. I know from personal experience walking into Woolworth Department Store on February 2nd, 1960, I knew it was unlike any day I had experienced before. My friends had been denied service the day before because of the color of their skin. We knew it wasn’t right, but when we went back the next day, I didn’t know whether I was going to come out in a vertical or prone position in handcuffs, or on a stretcher, or even in a body bag. By sitting down to order a cup of coffee, we challenged injustice.

We knew it was necessary, but we didn’t know what would happen. We faced down the KKK. We were cursed at and called all kinds of names. They threatened to kill us and some of us were arrested, but it was worth it. Our actions inspired similar protests throughout the South against racial injustice. In the end, segregation was abolished and our country moved a stepped closer to true equality for all. That’s what actual peaceful protest can accomplish. America isn’t perfect. We’re always improving. But the great thing about this country is that it’s not where you come from, it’s where you’re going. I was born on what some would call the wrong side of the tracks. I don’t even have a birth certificate. I never attended an integrated school. I’m the only one out of my immediate family who graduated from college in HBCU. I’m a military veteran and a civil rights activist, and you know what else?

I’m a Republican, and I support Donald Trump. If that sounds strange, you don’t know your history. It was the Republican Party that passed the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery. It was the Republican Party that passed the 14th Amendment, giving black men citizenship. It was the Republican Party that passed the 15th Amendment, giving black men the right to vote. Freedom of thought is a powerful thing. There are Americans, voters all over the country who media is trying to convince to conform to the same old democratic talking points. You know what that will get you? The same old results. Joe Biden had the audacity to say, if you don’t vote for him, you ain’t black. Well, to that, I say, if you do vote for Biden, you don’t know history. Donald Trump is not a politician. He’s a leader. Politicians are a dime a dozen, leaders are priceless. The record funding Trump gave HBCUs is priceless, too.

So are the record number of jobs he created for the black community and the investment he drove into our neighborhoods with tax incentives and opportunity zones. So are the lives he restored by passing Criminal Justice Reform, where 91% of the inmates released are black. These achievements demonstrate that Donald Trump truly cares about black lives. His policies show his heart. He has done more for black Americans in four years than Joe Biden has done in 50. Donald Trump is offering real and lasting change, an unprecedented opportunity to rise a country that embraces the spirit of the Civil Rights movement of the 60s. A place where people are judged by the content of their character, their talents and abilities, not by the color of their skin. This is the America I was fighting for 60 years ago. This is the America Donald Trump is fighting for today. Let’s all join in this fight for re-electing president Trump on November 3rd. Thank you.

Biden Doesn't Have Americans Best Interest At Heart