Excerpt from Secretary Rice’s comments at the Brunetta C. Hill school in Birmingham, Ala. on Sunday.

“Now things are different. Rice said Friday that Birmingham “has come a long way — light years — from when I lived here.”

She said the city might not have escaped its racist ways were it not for democratic institutions that enabled compromise to prevail over conflict.

“At one point, not that long ago, the promise of democracy seemed distant here in Alabama and throughout the American South,” Rice said in a speech at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

“But when impatient patriots in this country finally demanded their freedom and their rights, what once seemed impossible suddenly became inevitable. So it was in America. So it was in much the world. And so it will be in the Middle East.”



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