Date: Fri, 4 Apr 2008 11:10:11 -0400
To: "Ana Santana"
From: "Michelle Obama"
Subject: Yes, they can
Today is the 40th anniversary of the tragic assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and I want to share a video that reveals how far we've come and how much this campaign owes to Dr. King's legacy.
Students at a high school in the Bronx, who had no real interest in their government, have found new hope. They were surprised by their own excitement and engagement, but to me, they embody so many reasons why Barack and I decided to get into this campaign.
It's truly moving to see young people inspired by a political leader -- someone who gives them hope and reminds them that they can be anything they want to be if they work hard.
Watch what these kids have to say about politics and race in this country:
Much has changed in this country since Dr. King's death, and thanks to his life and work we have taken critical strides towards racial equality.
The simple fact that Barack is running a competitive campaign for President is a direct result of Dr. King's legacy -- and this movement for change would be impossible without the support of people of all races, ages, and backgrounds.
I remember back in December of 2006, a group of us were discussing the possibility of Barack running for President. And as you might have read, I was hesitant about the idea.
But then Barack started talking about why he really wanted to do this -- to bring people together and to change the tone of the way we talk to each other in this country. He talked about the need for people to be inspired by their leaders, and the importance of leadership to chart a different course. He talked about Dr. King and Bobby Kennedy, and their passion to challenge a new generation and provide them with role models.
Barack promised that as a candidate and as President he would do everything he could to bring new people to the table. He shared his desire to reach out to our neglected inner cities, to strive to be a role model for young people, and to connect with people who are not involved in politics -- those who feel their voices haven't been heard, those who have been left behind, and those who have been turned off by all the petty bickering in recent years.
We can change that, by standing on the shoulders of folks like Dr. King who came before us.
Watching these students who are excited about their own role in politics for the first time, and watching Barack as he strives to live up to the challenges Dr. King made possible, I am truly touched.
I hope you'll watch this video and share that feeling with your friends and family: