The promise of America is one immigration policy for all who seek to enter our shores, whether they come from Mexico, Haiti or Canada, there must be one set of rules for everybody. We cannot welcome those to come and then try and act as though any culture will not be respected or treated inferior. We cannot look at the Latino community and preach 'one language.' No one gave them an English test before they sent them to Iraq to fight for America.
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I don't think Dr. King helped racial harmony, I think he helped racial justice. What I profess to do is help the oppressed and if I cause a load of discomfort in the white community and the black community, that in my opinion means I'm being effective, because I'm not trying to make them comfortable. The job of an activist is to make people tense and cause social change.
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As I ran for president, I hoped that one child would come out of the ghetto like I did, could look at me walk across the stage with governors and senators and know they didn't have to be a drug dealer, they didn't have to be a hoodlum, they didn't have to be a gangster. They could stand up from a broken home, on welfare, and they could run for president of the United States.
I was raised by a single mother who made a way for me. She used to scrub floors as a domestic worker, put a cleaning rag in her pocketbook and ride the subways in Brooklyn so I would have food on the table. But she taught me as I walked her to the subway that life is about not where you start, but where you're going. That's family values.
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Brown became like a father figure to me who insisted I live the life of a monk, let alone a minister. I had to stay in the hotel he stayed in, stay in my room, and he would almost select my girlfriends. He was very adamant that he had promised my mother that I would not go wayward on the road, and he enforced it. So even though I knew the entertainment world, I was not of the entertainment world -- and not by any choice of my own. He promised my mother that he'd make sure I was never on drugs, that I never lost my head, and that he'd take care of me himself. And he did.
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I'm projected as an ambulance chaser, but I'm more the ambulance. People call me because they know I will come.... I have never fought a case where they didn't ask me to come. People havethis picture like I'm sitting up in bed at night with a walkie-talkie. "You hear anything? Oh, let's run! It's Virginia today!"... Every victim calls us.... "Who put Sharpton in charge?" Thevictim!
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America can't work for only some people and become a dream for all people. It has to work for everyone. And even though everyone might not end up at the same place, if everyone starts with the same beginning, then that's the dream fulfilled. We all don't have the same abilities, but we should have the same opportunities.
It is true that Mr. Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, after which there was a commitment to give 40 acres and a mule. That's where the argument, to this day, of reparations starts. We never got the 40 acres. We went all the way to Herbert Hoover, and we never got the 40 acres. We didn't get the mule. So we decided we'd ride this donkey as far as it would take us.
I believed there was enough evidence to go to trial. Grand jury said there wasn't. Okay, fine. Do I have a right to disagree with the grand jury? Many Americans believe O.J. Simpson was guilty. A jury said he wasn't. So I have as much right to question a jury as they do. Does it make somebody a racist? No! They just disagreed with the jury. So did I.
There's no reason why children in inner cities or rural areas do not receive the same quality education or opportunities as those in suburbs or wealthy neighborhoods. If we truly believe in giving all citizens a chance to pursue happiness and pursue their goals, then we cannot continue to marginalize entire groups of people.
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