For eighteen long months, you have stood up, one by one, and said enough to the politics of the past. Resistance through violence and killing is wrong and does not succeed.
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. America! Tonight, if you feel the same energy that I do, if you feel the same urgency that I do, if you feel the same passion I do, if you feel the same hopefulness that I do - if we do what we must do, then I have no doubts that all across the country, from Florida to Oregon, from Washington to Maine, the people will rise up in November, and John Kerry will be sworn in as president, and John Edwards will be sworn in as vice president, and this country will reclaim its promise, and out of this long political darkness a brighter day will come. I am married to a black American who carries within her the blood of slaves and slaveowners - an inheritance we pass on to our two precious daughters. America, we cannot turn back. This is the hope of all humanity. I have unequivocally prohibited the use of torture by the United States, and I have ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed by early next year.
This is not to say that race has not been an issue in the campaign. And Ashley said that when she was nine years old, her mother got cancer. So let me be clear: no system of government can or should be imposed upon one nation by any other.
But it also means binding our particular grievances - for better health care, and better schools, and better jobs - to the larger aspirations of all Americans - the white woman struggling to break the glass ceiling, the white man whose been laid off, the immigrant trying to feed his family. It is that promise that has always set this country apart - that through hard work and sacrifice, each of us can pursue our individual dreams but still come together as one American family, to ensure that the next generation can pursue their dreams as well.
Hope in the face of difficulty. Michelle and I are only here tonight because we were given a chance at an education. This too is part of America's promise - the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.