I believe that we have a righteous wind at our backs and that as we stand on the crossroads of history, we can make the right choices, and meet the challenges that face us. Our trials and triumphs became at once unique and universal, black and more than black; in chronicling our journey, the stories and songs gave us a means to reclaim memories that we didn't need to feel shame about...memories that all people might study and cherish - and with which we could start to rebuild." Like other predominantly black churches across the country, Trinity embodies the black community in its entirety - the doctor and the welfare mom, the model student and the former gang-banger. And this helps explain, perhaps, my relationship with Reverend Wright. Many bring up a specific issue. That is why we will honor our agreement with Iraq's democratically-elected government to remove combat troops from Iraqi cities by July, and to remove all our troops from Iraq by 2012.
But my journey is part of a larger journey - one shared by all who've ever sought to apply the values of their faith to our society. America, our work will not be easy. America, this is one of those moments. government has gone to court to protect the right of women and girls to wear the hijab, and to punish those who would deny it.
The day after Pearl Harbor my grandfather signed up for duty; joined Patton's army, marched across Europe. Again and again, we've seen him make tough choices when easier ones were available. Of course, the answer to the slavery question was already embedded within our Constitution - a Constitution that had at is very core the ideal of equal citizenship under the law; a Constitution that promised its people liberty, and justice, and a union that could be and should be perfected over time. And although she can no longer travel, I know that she's watching tonight, and that tonight is her night as well. But that same principle must apply to Muslim perceptions of America. America's strong bonds with Israel are well known.
And that man is John Kerry. Most working- and middle-class white Americans don't feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race. The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. You have shown what history teaches us - that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn't come from Washington. Freedom of religion is central to the ability of peoples to live together.
They imagined me going to the best schools in the land, even though they weren't rich, because in a generous America you don't have to be rich to achieve your potential. Most working- and middle-class white Americans don't feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race. For while Senator McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats we face. That is why I am committed to working with American Muslims to ensure that they can fulfill zakat. The sixth issue that I want to address is women's rights.
Thank you, God Bless you, and God Bless the United States of America.