15 October 2006, Boston Common, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Deval Patrick is the only African American to have served as Governor of Massachusetts. 2007-15.
I will not engage in the politics of fear. Because fear is poisonous. All through history it has been used to hold back progress and limit fairness. Only hope defeats fear. It always has. At a candidates forum last week, the moderator asked each of us to say something nice about the other candidates. Kerry Healey rather grudgingly said, Well, he can give a good speech. She would know this not because she has ever attended a speech of mine but because she has them filmed by this fine fellow here. But her dismissive point, and I hear it from her staff, is that all I have to offer is words. Just words.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.
We have nothing to fear but fear itself.
Just words. Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country. Just words.
I have a dream.
Let me say it before you do: I am no Dr. King, no President Kennedy, no FDR, no Thomas Jefferson. But I do know that the right words, spoken from the heart with conviction, with a vision of a better place and a faith in the unseen, are a call to action.
Full speech is below.