I stand here today, grateful for the diversity of my heritage, aware that my parents' dreams live on in my two precious daughters. A belief in things not seen. Segregated schools were, and are, inferior schools; we still haven't fixed them, fifty years after Brown v. The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. Not with so many children to educate, and so many veterans to care for.
Hope in the face of uncertainty. This time we want to reject the cynicism that tells us that these kids can't learn; that those kids who don't look like us are somebody else's problem. I'll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries and give them more support. Yes, we must provide more ladders to success for young men who fall into lives of crime and despair. But we must also admit that programs alone can't replace parents; that government can't turn off the television and make a child do her homework; that fathers must take more responsibility for providing the love and guidance their children need. "We cannot walk alone," the preacher cried.
I understand you switched venues at considerable expense and inconvenience because of unfair labor practices at the place you were going to be having this synod. Two hundred and twenty one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the street, a group of men gathered and, with these simple words, launched America's improbable experiment in democracy. This belief comes from my unyielding faith in the decency and generosity of the American people. Ironically, this quintessentially American - and yes, conservative - notion of self-help found frequent expression in Reverend Wright's sermons. It's not because John McCain doesn't care. troops and civilians.
Go into any inner city neighborhood, and folks will tell you that government alone can't teach our kids to learn - they know that parents have to teach, that children can't achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white. I am honored to be in the timeless city of Cairo, and to be hosted by two remarkable institutions. Part of this conviction is rooted in my own experience. All of us share this world for but a brief moment in time.
Our conscience cannot rest so long as nearly 45 million Americans don't have health insurance and the millions more who do are going bankrupt trying to pay for it. I am the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas. She's the one who taught me about hard work. What has also been lost is our sense of common purpose - our sense of higher purpose. The victims were innocent men, women and children from America and many other nations who had done nothing to harm anybody. We are taking concrete actions to change course.
And we should close Guantanamo Bay and stop tolerating the torture of our enemies. And he does not bring up a specific issue. I am a Christian, but my father came from a Kenyan family that includes generations of Muslims. That's why we're partnering with a coalition of forty-six countries.