struggle, there is no progress.”
That “those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning.”
Well, we’ve had the struggle.
We are the 22-year-old computer programmer in San Francisco who got a great job right out of college only to see it evaporate, outsourced to India where labor is plentiful, cheap, and doesn’t ask for health insurance.
We are the student teacher in Marlboro County trying to keep a classroom’s attention while they shiver in their desks because the furnace is broken again and the district is too poor to fix it.
We are the family farmer in Nebraska who knows that he can grow the corn and soybeans that breaks this country from its oil addiction if he only had a little bit of help.
We are the accountant in New Orleans who’s pounding nails now instead of crunching numbers because someone needs to rebuild his city and it might as well be him.
We are the ones.
Right now, somewhere in Charlotte, North Carolina, there is a son who dropped out of school because he couldn’t afford his tuition, and in Greensboro, there is a father who doesn’t know how he’ll pay the bills if the twins get sick again.
Right now there is a religion student in St. Louis who’s afraid to get on a plane with his copy of the Koran, and there’s a Baptist minister in Jacksonville who is tired of the right wing giving his God a bad name.
Right now there’s a young woman in Las Cruces, New Mexico who’s not going to tell the police that she was raped because she’s afraid of deportation.
Right now, there is a young mother in Colorado Springs who just found out that she has to keep raising her two-year-old alone because her husband’s enlistment has been extended again and he has to stay in Iraq until we bring him home.
Don’t tell me it’s too hard.
We have the struggle. Now let us have the progress. We have the challenge. Now let us have the change. We have the thunder and lightning. Now let us have the rain.
Forty years have past and still I hear Sen. Kennedy’s words echoing within my heart: “What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country.”
Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and with hope and faith in one another, and we will build this new world together.
Thank you and God bless you all.