„I spent a lot of time on my — in my farewell address talking about the state of our democracy. It goes without saying that essential to that is a free press. That is part of how this place, this country, this grand experiment of self-government has to work. It doesn’t work if we don’t have a well-informed citizenry, and you are the conduit through which they receive the information about what’s taking place in the halls of power. So America needs you and our democracy needs you. We need you to establish a baseline of facts and evidence that we can use as a starting point for the kind of reasoned and informed debates that ultimately lead to progress. And so my hope is is that you will continue with the same tenacity that you showed us, to do the hard work of getting to the bottom of stories and getting them right and to push those of us in power to be the best version of ourselves and to push this country to be the best version of itself.“

—  Barack Obama, On the role of the press in a democracy
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44º presidente dos Estados Unidos da América 1961
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„It is our fundamental belief in the power of hope that has allowed us to rise above the voices of doubt and division, of anger and fear that we have faced in our own lives and in the life of this country. Our hope that if we work hard enough and believe in ourselves, then we can be whatever we dream, regardless of the limitations that others may place on us. The hope that when people see us for who we truly are, maybe, just maybe they, too, will be inspired to rise to their best possible selves.“

—  Michelle Obama lawyer, writer, wife of Barack Obama and former First Lady of the United States 1964
Context: When you encounter obstacles — because I guarantee you, you will, and many of you already have — when you are struggling and you start thinking about giving up, I want you to remember something that my husband and I have talked about since we first started this journey nearly a decade ago, something that has carried us through every moment in this White House and every moment of our lives, and that is the power of hope — the belief that something better is always possible if you're willing to work for it and fight for it. It is our fundamental belief in the power of hope that has allowed us to rise above the voices of doubt and division, of anger and fear that we have faced in our own lives and in the life of this country. Our hope that if we work hard enough and believe in ourselves, then we can be whatever we dream, regardless of the limitations that others may place on us. The hope that when people see us for who we truly are, maybe, just maybe they, too, will be inspired to rise to their best possible selves.

„All these things have happened in our history, and we need to talk about them. What kind of country are we that our history is so tragic?“

—  Yuan Tengfei history teacher in Beijing, China 1972
Reported in Didi Kirsten Tatlow, "A System Afraid of Its Own History", The New York Times (September 16, 2010).

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„Only you can make sure the democracy you inherit is as good as we know it can be. But it requires your dedicated, informed, and engaged citizenship. This citizenship is a harder, higher road to take. But it leads to a better place.“

—  Barack Obama 44th President of the United States of America 1961
Context: Only you can make sure the democracy you inherit is as good as we know it can be. But it requires your dedicated, informed, and engaged citizenship. This citizenship is a harder, higher road to take. But it leads to a better place. It is how we built this country – together. It is the question President Kennedy posed to the nation at his inauguration; the dream that Dr. King invoked. It does not promise easy success or immediate progress. But it has led to success, and it has led to progress.  That brings me to the second thing I ask of you – I ask you to persevere.

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„None of us can or should expect a transformation in race relations overnight. Every time something like this happens, somebody says we have to have a conversation about race. We talk a lot about race. There’s no shortcut. And we don’t need more talk. None of us should believe that a handful of gun safety measures will prevent every tragedy. It will not. People of goodwill will continue to debate the merits of various policies, as our democracy requires -- this is a big, raucous place, America is. And there are good people on both sides of these debates. Whatever solutions we find will necessarily be incomplete. But it would be a betrayal of everything Reverend Pinckney stood for, I believe, if we allowed ourselves to slip into a comfortable silence again. Once the eulogies have been delivered, once the TV cameras move on, to go back to business as usual -- that’s what we so often do to avoid uncomfortable truths about the prejudice that still infects our society. To settle for symbolic gestures without following up with the hard work of more lasting change -- that’s how we lose our way again. It would be a refutation of the forgiveness expressed by those families if we merely slipped into old habits, whereby those who disagree with us are not merely wrong but bad; where we shout instead of listen; where we barricade ourselves behind preconceived notions or well-practiced cynicism.“

—  Barack Obama 44th President of the United States of America 1961

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