FROM THE 2004 DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION
BOSTON, MA • JULY 28, 2004
I love you.
Tonight, the pendulum swings from pain to possibilities,
from hurt to hope, from darkness to light. The line of progress
is unbroken. In 1944, my father's generation served in the
war, segregated battalions, duty without honor.
Ten years later, 1954, 335 years of legal race supremacy
was ended, Brown v. Board of Education.
And 10 years later, Dr. King; the Public Accommodations
Bill; Fannie Lou Hamer knocking on the door of Atlantic City.
Ten years later, 1984, the Rainbow presidential campaign
in San Francisco, and we came alive; 1984, 2 million new
voters; the Senate in '86; Bill Clinton in '92 and '96.
And now, 2004, Barack Obama symbolizes the line of progress
These movements enabled Presidents [John F.] Kennedy and
[Lyndon] Johnson, [Jimmy] Carter and Clinton to be great.
... Mayor [Kwame] Kilpatrick of Detroit, Congressman Harold
Ford and Congressman [Jesse] Jackson Jr., and Congresswoman
[Barbara] Lee and Congressman [Gregory] Meeks and Alicia
Reece and Al Sharpton and Mabel Tang, Bobby Rush and Senator
Tony Hill and Paul Wellstone ...
Seeds sown became fruits of joy. The pendulum swings, the
morning cometh. In the darkness of 2000, the winners lost
and the losers won. Jewish voters in West Palm Beach, [Florida],
immigrants stopped at the polls, a million black votes cast
but not counted. This must never, ever happen again.
In the dark, our nation's record budget surplus turned into
a $500 billion-dollar deficit.
In the dark, a net loss of jobs in every state.
They ignored the genocide in the Sudan, and induced coup
And yet as the darkness abounds, hope abounds even more.
For the 44 million without health care insurance, help is
on the way.
For parents afraid to call the doctor for their children,
because they cannot pay the bills, help is on the way.
For our seniors whose Social Security is at risk, who must
choose between paying their rent or paying for the soaring
costs of their prescription drugs, hold on, help is on the
The president speaks of leaving no child behind, but leaves
2 million children behind to protect the tax cuts for the
top one percent.
Millions of youth today cannot afford tuition and cannot
get a job. Every child, red, yellow, brown, black and white,
deserves a constitutional right to an equal, high-quality
Help is on the way.
In the dark, a president chooses tax cuts for millionaires,
but job cuts for steelworkers, firefighters and police. The
president talks of homeland security, but wants to let AK-47s
and Uzis back on the street.
Hope comes in the morning for those Appalachia, where coal
miners are dying every six hours from black lung disease.
Hold on, hope cometh in the morning for our children who
were sent to war in Iraq on bad intelligence and worse leadership.
Sent to fight a war that's foreign to our values, that leaves
us weaker and less secure, sent to a war in Iraq -- the wars
of mass deception are more apparent than weapons of mass
It is a moral disgrace, a moral disgrace. America deserves
It is a moral disgrace.
But a new day is dawning, a new America is turning pain
to power because beyond the extreme right wing is a beautiful
rainbow of all of God's children.
Out of the darkness of the bushes, we see the soaring of
an authentic American eagle on the horizon.
When I campaigned for John Kerry's Senate seat in 1996,
he was resolved in his convictions. He was cool under fire.
Dr. King said you measure the character of leaders in the
fire of crisis. John Kerry stood in the valleys and shadows
of death in the Mekong Delta. Though wounded, shot and bleeding,
a lesser man might have said, "I'm lucky," and
sped away when your comrades have fallen. He led his men
back to the delta to save them. That's what leaving no one
behind really means: when you put your life on the line.
That's what it really means. No greater love than love of
a fallen comrade.
John Kerry had the faith and God had the power in the exalted
realm of valor under fire. In this campaign of courage and
faith and leadership and honor, John Kerry stands alone.
He deserves to be our next president. He deserves it.
John Kerry sees a new miracle through a door, not through
With studied intellect and keen insight, he saw talent and
strength in John Edwards, a man from the South with hope
and courage in his message; a man, John Edwards, whose journey
is the best of American folklore. He inherited little, but
worked hard and earned much, embodying hope and inspiration.
John Edwards dares to stand in the gap between rich and
poor, black and white, urban and rural, a vision of a new
The Bible speaks of the difficulties of rich young rulers
getting into the kingdom. It's because they are intoxicated
by ... privilege. But John Edwards understands using wallpaper
for a windbreaker, not for decoration. He understands peanut-butter
sandwiches and Kool-Aid.
He understands grits and gravy. ... He understands you and
We thank God that John Kerry chose John Edwards on that
ticket. It makes hope and healing come alive ...
John Kerry and John Edwards will reinvest in America and
put America back to work.
They represent hope and healing for a new America. John
Kerry and Edwards will fight for health care for all, for
an environment where we can breathe free.
As I close, in 96 days, dark clouds will roll away. Children
can rejoice; Lady Liberty will be unmasked and unshackled;
we can sing again, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet
land of liberty, I sing. Land where my fathers died, land
of the pilgrims' pride, from every mountainside, let freedom
ring." She can sing that song again.
Ray Charles can sing from the heavens, "America the
Beautiful." Ray Charles can sing again.
The shackles will leave her arms. She can stretch forth
in all of her splendor, free of crippled civil rights and
civil liberties. She can proclaim again, "Give me your
tired, give me your poor, your huddled masses who yearn to
Come November, let the eagles fly to Washington. It's peace
time. It's justice time. It's homecoming time. It's home-going
time. It's time to bring our troops home and send Bush back
Early as possible, bring the troops home. Send Bush to Texas.
It's time to send John Kerry and John Edwards to the White
House this November. Keep hope alive. Keep hope alive. Keep
I love you.
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