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“We the people, in order to form a more perfect union.”
Two hundred and twenty one years ago . . with these simple words, launched America’s improbable experiment in democracy.
I chose to run for the presidency at this moment in history because I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together . . I am the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas. I’ve gone to some of the best schools in America and lived in one of the world’s poorest nations. I am married to a black American who carries within her the blood of slaves and slaveowners . .
I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy. For some, nagging questions remain. But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren’t simply controversial. They weren’t simply a religious leader’s effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country – a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; Segregated schools were, and are, inferior schools; we still haven’t fixed them, fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education,
In the white community, the path to a more perfect union means acknowledging that what ails the African-American community does not just exist in the minds of black people; that the legacy of discrimination - and current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past - are real and must be addressed. Not just with words, but with deeds – by investing in our schools and our communities; There is a young, twenty-three year old white woman named Ashley Baia who organized for our campaign in Florence, South Carolina. supporting the campaign. They all have different stories and reasons.
“I’m here because of Ashley.” By itself, that single moment of recognition between that young white girl and that old black man is not enough. But it is where we start. It is where our union grows stronger. And as so many generations have come to realize over the course of the two-hundred and twenty one years since a band of patriots signed that document in Philadelphia, that is where the perfection begins. End.
The full text of the HISTORIC speech is found at the Toronto Star’s website: www.thestar.com...