I am a patriotic person. I love the 4th. of July celebrations. I vote. When my children were small I took them with me to the polls just like I went with my dad. They were always welcomed just as I was as a boy. I grew up in politics. People wanted my dad’s advice.

I grew up in the segregated South. It was wrong and I knew it was wrong at a very early age. When I think of what John Lewis and thousands of others went through to exercise a right that I take for granted, I begin to understand white privilege. I have felt the bitterness of discrimination but what pain I have endured is nothing in comparison. This is a great country full of hope. It is a work in progress and every day moves us closer to the ideal.

I went from grade school through a Ph.D. program without having a single black person in my classes. My children have never not had black classmates. I was president of the PTA the first year of integration. We did not have one racial problem. I worked hand in hand with many organizations in Charleston to foster a healthy racial atmosphere. The Charleston Speech and Hearing Center led the way in serving the Head Start programs. My wife and my children were with me every step of the way.

I believe that people of good will can solve problems. The art of the deal is compromise. Neither of us might come away with all that we wanted, but each one of us will have something. What part of the dream can I have now? What is available to me at this moment? How can I help you get what you need?

I believe strongly in the social Gospel. In fact, if the Gospel isn’t social there is no Gospel. The good news is that we are set free to make this a better world. There is plenty of work to be done. We should get to it.