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This week, first lady Michelle Obama reminded thousands at the NAACP Annual Convention in Kansas City, Mo. that the Civil Rights movement left a legacy that must be fulfilled, especially for our children.

“I know that I stand here today, and I know that my husband stands where he is today, because of this organization – and because of the struggles and the sacrifices of all those who came before us,” Obama said in a passionate speech punctuated with applause. “But I also know that their legacy isn’t an entitlement to be taken for granted. And I know it is not simply a gift to be enjoyed. Instead, it is an obligation to be fulfilled.”

“When so many of our children still attend crumbling schools, and a Black child is still far more likely to go to prison than a White child, I think the founders of this organization would agree that our work is not yet done,” Obama said.

She continued, “When African-American communities are still hit harder than just about anywhere by this economic downturn, and so many families are just barely scraping by, I think the founders would tell us that now is not the time to rest on our laurels.

“When stubborn inequalities still persist – in education and health, in income and wealth – I think those founders would urge us to increase our intensity, and to increase our discipline and our focus and keep fighting for a better future for our children and our grandchildren.”

Mrs. Obama noted that as a mother, she believes that we owe it to our kids to prepare them for the challenges that we know lie ahead, including the epidemic of childhood obesity in America today. Citing that one in three children is overweight or obese, Obama said the stats are even worse for Black children.

“Just like with so many other challenges that we face as a nation, the African American community is being hit even harder by this issue,” she said. “African-American children are significantly more likely to be obese than are White children. Nearly half of African-American children will develop diabetes at some point in their lives. People, that’s half of our children.”

Obama feels childhood obesity is easily compared to other civil and human rights issues. “So we need to take this issue seriously, as seriously as improving under-achieving schools, as seriously as eliminating youth violence or stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS or any of the other issues that we know are devastating our communities,” she said.

Michelle Obama feels childhood obesity is a human rights issue. Do you agree?

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