‘Progress Will Not Sustain Itself,' Presidential Hopeful Beto O'Rourke Tells Graduates of Paul Quinn College

Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke lauded the civil and gender rights gains of years past but cautioned the 2019 graduates of Dallas' Paul Quinn College Saturday that such gains can be lost without constant vigilance."Not only is the work not done," O'Rourke told the 59 graduates of the historically black, faith-based college, "but the victories and the progress we've made can be squandered if we are not mindful of the opportunities we are given."O'Rourke, this year's commencement speaker, made the remarks minutes after receiving an honorary degree from Michael Sorrell, president of the south Dallas school whose original purpose when it opened in 1872 was to educate freed slaves and their progeny. As such, he -- as well as Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere, who also received honorary status-- was draped with the corresponding memorial hood over his traditional gown and beret.The former El Paso congressman, one of 20 Democrats seeking the presidential nomination, tapped familiar themes in his rapidly delivered, 10-minute address, expressing concerns about issues from climate change and voter disenfranchisement to pay disparity and a livable minimum wage.Too many voters have been discouraged by the diminishing power of their votes and strict voter-identification laws purposefully enacted to such ends, he said."We understand what is happening, and it is not by accident," he said. "These changes have been ordained by those in power."  Continue reading...

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