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Chicago Tribune - Obama: Treat 'These Kids' Like 'Our Kids'

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Chicago Tribune - Obama: Treat 'These Kids' Like 'Our Kids'

Mike Dorning

Speaking on the steps of a courthouse where one of the early lawsuits challenging segregated schools was filed, Barack Obama on Friday offered his life story as proof that he would treat "these kids" like "our kids" and fight for better educational opportunities for minorities.

"I am running because I refuse to accept that the way it is, is the way it has to be," the Democratic presidential contender said during a stop in Manning, S.C. "I refuse to accept it when I hear adults say things like 'these kids can't learn' or 'these kids come from tough backgrounds' or 'these kids are too far behind.' We need to start treating 'these kids' like 'our kids.'"

Obama pledged to fix broken schools, recruit teachers and invest new federal funds in early childhood education.

"The promise of a good education makes it possible for every child to transcend the barriers of race and class and background and achieve their God-given potential," he said. "That's my story. That's what the American story is supposed to be about," he said.

The Illinois senator offered the possibility of his own election to the White House as another signal moment that would inspire minority schoolchildren.

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