At a Congressional Black Caucus-sponsored town hall meeting on Sept. 22, 2005, Harry Belafonte, human rights activist and a member of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s inner circle, excoriated the political establishment, and especially the Democratic Party, for creating a political, social, economic and moral crisis in America and in many parts of the world. The people, he said, must play a central role in setting things right through political action. Blacks supporting the party, he said, was like “integrating into a burning house.”
This speech is particularly noteworthy, as Belafonte was flanked by two high-profile Democrats who were U.S. senators at the time and had their eyes set on the White House—Barack Obama was on Belafonte’s right; Hillary Clinton on his left.
Leid Stories’ listeners deconstruct Belafonte’s speech and its relevance to our current situation.