Go into Mobile, and folks will tell you that government alone can’t teach our kids to learn – they know that parents have to teach, that 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. And we cannot ignore the very real concerns of Mobilans who are not worried about illegal immigration because they are racist or xenophobic, but because they fear it will result in lower wages when they’re already struggling to raise their families. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. America respects the right of all peaceful and law-abiding voices to be heard around the world, even if we disagree with them.
This is a problem that’s brought together churches and synagogues and mosques and people of all faiths as part of a grassroots movement. These needs will be met only if we act boldly in the years ahead; and if we understand that the challenges we face are shared, and our failure to meet them will hurt us all.