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Obama leads service efforts for King birthday

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WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and their wives on Monday participated in community service projects to mark the holiday honoring slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King.

“Today, we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And we should honor that legacy by acting as drum majors for service and lifting up those less fortunate — not just today, but every day,” Obama said in a statement.

“All of us can find a way to give back to our communities, to gain new skills, and to pull together, even when times are hard. That’s what Dr. King believed in, and that’s what will make our country stronger.”

The first family participated in a service event sponsored by Big Brothers Big Sisters and Greater DC Cares at the Browne Education Campus in Washington, the White House said.

The Bidens meanwhile participated in an event at Girard College in Philadelphia.

Other senior Obama administration officials including Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Education Secretary Arne Duncan also took part in community service events.

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King was shot dead in Memphis, Tennessee in April 1968.

A memorial dedicated to King and his message of non-violence and justice is now open to the public on the Mall in Washington. The formal inauguration ceremony took place in October.

The statue of the 1964 Nobel peace laureate faces out across the Tidal Basin, towards the Jefferson Memorial.

It is located near the Lincoln Memorial, where the black pastor gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on August 28, 1963, helping to galvanize a movement.

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But after complaints that one of the key quotes inscribed on the side of the statue paraphrases King’s words incorrectly, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has asked the National Park Service to rectify the error.

The inscription reads, “I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness.”

Research by a columnist for the Washington Post showed the quote was taken from one of King’s speeches in which he actually said, “If you want to say I was a drum major, say I was…”

King was actually born on January 15, 1929, but the US holiday is observed on the third Monday of January each year.

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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2020 Election

A number of Democrats running for president are kind of weird about food

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The New York Times has posted a series of short videos of the Democratic candidates for president answering important questions, like what they propose to do about our broken health care system and just how crooked Donald Trump is. Because campaign coverage demands candidates be allowed “human” (debatable!) moments, the Times also asked the participating candidates about their go-to comfort foods on the campaign trail.

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Reparations, concentration camps and racial slurs: Republicans want to turn all discussion of race into pointless culture war debats

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It wasn’t slavery. They are concentration camps. Racial slurs are not a youthful indiscretion.

This week has seen a series of culture-war debates dominate the discourse only to be derailed by bad faith arguments about semantics.

First, on Monday, nearly all of the right-wing ecosystem was engaged to defend the honor of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior and gun rights activists Kyle Kashuv after he revealed that his admission to Harvard had been rescinded. At least one of Kashuv’s classmates in Parkland, Florida, released a number of text messages from him which included racist and misogynistic attacks on fellow students, including the description of black athletes as “niggerjocks.”

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Texas gained almost nine Hispanic residents for every additional white resident last year

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The gap between Texas’ Hispanic and white populations continued to narrow last year when the state gained almost nine Hispanic residents for every additional white resident.

With Hispanics expected to become the largest population group in Texas as soon as 2022, new population estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau showed the Hispanic population climbed to nearly 11.4 million — an annual gain of 214,736 through July 2018 and an increase of 1.9 million since 2010.

The white population, meanwhile, grew by just 24,075 last year. Texas still has a bigger white population — up to 11.9 million last year — but it has only grown by roughly 484,000 since 2010. The white population’s growth has been so sluggish this decade that it barely surpassed total growth among Asian Texans, who make up a tiny share of the total population, in the same time period.

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