Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination…

An excerpt from a speech by Barack Obama Illinois State Senator addressing the 2004 Democratic National Convention…values

I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that in no other country on earth is my story even possible.

Tonight we gather to affirm the greatness of our nation, not because of the height of our skyscrapers or the power of our military or the size of our economy.  Our pride is based on a very simple premise, summed up in a declaration made over 200 years ago: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’

Children can’t achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white.

Further quotes from Obama:

I had to reconcile that I could be proud of my African-American heritage and yet not be  limited by it.

People may look different, talk different, and live in different places, but they’ve got some core values that they all care about. If you can speak to those values, people will respond – even if you have a funny name.

We’ve got a budge deficit that’s important, we’ve got a trade deficit that’s critical, but what I worry about most is our empathy deficit.