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Text of Reverend Al Sharpton's speech

Page 2 of 4 -- How did we squander this opportunity to unite the world for democracy and to commit to a global fight against hunger and disease?

This court has voted five to four on critical issues of women's rights and civil rights. It is frightening to think that the gains of civil and women rights and those movements in the last century could be reversed if this administration is in the White House in these next four years.

I suggest to you tonight that if George Bush had selected the court in '54, Clarence Thomas would have never got to law school.

This is not about a party. This is about living up to the promise of America. The promise of America says we will guarantee quality education for all children and not spend more money on metal detectors than computers in our schools.

The promise of America guarantees health care for all of its citizens and doesn't force seniors to travel to Canada to buy prescription drugs they can't afford here at home.

We did it with a go-it-alone foreign policy based on flawed intelligence. We were told that we were going to Iraq because there were weapons of mass destruction. We've lost hundreds of soldiers. We've spent $200 billion dollars at a time when we had record state deficits. And when it became clear that there were no weapons, they changed the premise for the war and said: No, we went because of other reasons.

If I told you tonight, Let's leave the Fleet Center, we're in danger, and when you get outside, you ask me, Reverend Al, What is the danger? and I say, It don't matter. We just needed some fresh air, I have misled you and we were misled.

We are also faced with the prospect of in the next four years that two or more of the Supreme Court Justice seats will become available. This year we celebrated the anniversary of Brown v. the Board of Education.

The promise of America provides that those who work in our health care system can afford to be hospitalized in the very beds they clean up every day.

The promise of America is that government does not seek to regulate your behavior in the bedroom, but to guarantee your right to provide food in the kitchen.

The issue of government is not to determine who may sleep together in the bedroom, it's to help those that might not be eating in the kitchen.

The promise of America that we stand for human rights, whether it's fighting against slavery in the Sudan, where right now Joe Madison and others are fasting, around what is going on in the Sudan; AIDS in Lesotho; a police misconduct in this country.   Continued...

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