At various stages in the campaign, some commentators have deemed me either “too black” or “not black enough.” We saw racial tensions bubble to the surface during the week before the South Carolina primary. Why associate myself with Reverend Wright in the first place, they may ask? Why not join another church? And I confess that if all that I knew of Reverend Wright were the snippets of those sermons that have run in an endless loop on the television and You Tube, or if Trinity United Church of Christ conformed to the caricatures being peddled by some commentators, there is no doubt that I would react in much the same way And next week, we’ll also hear about those occasions when he’s broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need. We seek no military bases there. But this much is clear: governments that protect these rights are ultimately more stable, successful and secure. Among some Muslims, there is a disturbing tendency to measure one’s own faith by the rejection of another’s.
Hope in the face of difficulty. Because whether it’s poverty or racism, the uninsured or the unemployed, war or peace, the challenges we face today are not simply technical problems in search of the perfect ten-point plan. And then another one. Indeed, none of us should tolerate these extremists. This history is well known.
The hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta. That’s what compromise is about.
It wasn’t until after college, when I went to Chicago to work as a community organizer for a group of Christian churches, that I confronted my own spiritual dilemma. And if we can do that – if we can embrace a common destiny – then I believe we’ll not just help bring about a more hopeful day in America, we’ll not just be caring for our own souls, we’ll be doing God’s work here on Earth. America’s strong bonds with Israel are well known. But it was not violence that won full and equal rights.
King delivered his prayer for our country. I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy. But that same principle must apply to Muslim perceptions of America.
Thank you very much everybody.