Friday, January 11, 2008

Al Sharpton Speaks on the Hillary Clinton Win

I congratulate Senator Clinton on a surprising and significant victory in New Hampshire last night. Not only did it appear to revive her candidacy, it literally threw this race wide open again.

As a result of her victory, the January 26th South Carolina Primary becomes critical to all candidates on their path to the presidency. Given the significant number of black voters in South Carolina, that Primary should be a referendum on 21 st century civil rights issues such as racial disparities in the criminal justice system, the rise of hate crimes across this nation, the racial gap in health care and educational opportunities, and the still present income gap between blacks and whites in this country.

As Iowans rightly made the candidates deal with ethanol and oil and the people of New Hampshire made them address the economy and immigration, The African-American community should force real debate on our particular American issues.

South Carolina is of particular relevance to me. in the 2004 primary in South Carolina I received 10 percent of the vote in that first ever primary in S.C.( They were caucuses before that) with virtually no money. I intend to extensively tour the state and use my daily radio show, which is heard in the state to ensure that Jena, the decency issues raised in the Imus situation, hangman nooses, education as a civil right and the high incarceration of black men are brought into the forefront of the national discussion.

Many undecided African-American voters like me can ill afford to throw our vote away at this historic moment, we must seize the time.

Reverend Al Sharpton, President of National Action Network

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