West Wing Week 09/28/12 or “A Common Heartbeat to Humanity”


Narrator:
Welcome to the West Wing Week;
your guide to everything that’s happening at 1600
Pennsylvania Avenue. This week, the First Lady spoke
at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Dinner; “We
the People” turned one year old; and the President addressed the
UN General Assembly and the Clinton Global Initiative. That’s September 21st
to September 28th, or “A Common Heartbeat
to Humanity.” Saturday marked the first
birthday of “We the People,” a platform on WhiteHouse.gov
that allows anyone to create or sign petitions asking the Obama
Administration to weigh in on a range of issues. In just one year’s time, 2.8
million users have generated 3.4 million signatures on
questions from how to reform Wall Street, to how to
make White House beer. That evening, the First Lady
delivered the keynote address at the Congressional Black
Caucus Foundation Phoenix Awards Dinner. The dinner in Washington, D.C.
was the final event at the CBC Foundation’s Annual
Legislative Conference. And the First Lady helped honor
four individuals for their efforts to address some of the
biggest challenges facing the African American community. Mrs. Obama:
Members of this caucus rose up
and lived out their own version of the great American dream. And that is why they
came here to Washington. They came because they were
determined to give others that same chance. They were determined to open
that doorway of opportunity even wider for those who
came after them. They came because they believed
that there is no higher calling than serving our country; no
more noble a cause than that of our fellow citizens. Narrator:
On Monday, the President
traveled to New York City and joined the First Lady for
a taping of “The View.” [cheers and applause] As the only man on a
couch full of six women, the President was
clearly outnumbered — but he held his own, even
joking that he was mostly there for decoration. On Tuesday, the President
addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations in New
York where he remembered Ambassador Chris Stevens and
spoke about the importance of tolerance and free speech
in a world that grows more interconnected every day. The President:
The future must not belong
to those who target Coptic Christians in Egypt; it must be
claimed by those in Tiara Square who chanted “Muslims,
Christians, we are one!” The future must not belong
to those who bully women; it must be shaped by girls who
go to school and those who stand for a world where our daughters
can live their dreams just like our sons. [applause] Narrator:
Later, the President traveled
across town to the Clinton Global Initiative
Annual Meeting, speaking about his
administration’s efforts to combat human trafficking and the
need for the United States to take a leadership role in
the global movement to end modern slavery. The President:
It ought to concern every person
because it is a debasement of our common humanity. It ought to concern every
community because it tears at our social fabric. It ought to concern every nation
because it endangers public health and fuels violence
and organized crime. I’m talking about the
injustice, the outrage of human trafficking, which must be
called by its true name — modern slavery. [applause] Narrator:
The President also had a chance
to meet with two survivors. The President:
So proud of you. So proud of you. And what’s your name? Ima Matul:
Ima Matul. How are you? The President:
So nice to see you. We’re so proud of you. Thank you — thank you
for all your good work. Narrator:
On Wednesday, we caught up with
Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes to look back at the
President’s trip to the UN for “The Rhodes Traveled.” Ben Rhodes:
Hi. This week, the President
traveled to New York City for the United Nations
General Assembly. He spoke at the UN to the
assembled leaders about the recent unrest in the Middle
East and North Africa. In his speech, he made it clear
that violence is completely unacceptable as a response
to any type of speech, including the offensive video
that has sparked protests in parts of the world. The President defended free
speech as a core American value and one that has strengthened
our democracy ever since our founding. And he also made it clear that
the United States is going to continue to stand up for our
values and our interests around the world, including successful
democratic transitions that are taking place in the Arab
world amidst so many different challenges. He then went on to the Clinton
Global Initiative where he spoke about our efforts to end the
scourge of human trafficking. He announced some additional
steps that the United States government is taking to make
sure that we’re doing everything that we can to combat human
trafficking around the world and here in our own country. And he called upon the world to
speak directly to those who have been victims of
human trafficking, saying to those victims that
we see them and we share their commitment to justice and
to their human dignity. I think in both
of these speeches, the President outlined the role
that the United States must play abroad, a role in which we see
that there is justice done for those who would commit attacks
like we’ve seen most recently in Benghazi against our Ambassador
and our other diplomats and civilians, and spoke about the
United States’ commitment, again, to stand up to the
dignity of every single human being. So it was an important
trip for the President; an important moment, again, to
rise above some of the very difficult challenges that
we’ve seen in recent days, and project a vision of optimism
and steady United States commitment on behalf of our
values around the world. Narrator:
That evening, the Vice President
and Dr. Biden hosted their Fourth Annual Reception and
Fiesta in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month at the
Naval Observatory. There was plenty of laughter,
delicious food and even an 18-piece student mariachi band. ♪♪(mariachi music)♪♪ Narrator:
On Thursday, the White House
hosted a Google+ Hangout for anyone who wanted to learn more
about the Obama Administration’s efforts to combat human
trafficking at home and abroad. To find out more information on
any of these topics or to see complete videos of these
events, go to WhiteHouse.gov. And thanks again for checking
out your West Wing Week. ♪♪(mariachi music)♪♪

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