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“Like the song says, it’s almost heaven,” Hillary Clinton gushed at the Charleston Civic Center after stuffing Barack Obama into the jaws of defeat. This statement speaks volumes about her and many voters in the state made famous by John Denver when he crooned: Life is old there, older than the trees.
Sounds idyllic. But for some, life is mired, apparently, in another time, a shamefully obscene time in our history—a time when white people treated black men and women as inferior, depriving them of human rights and dignity.
“Life is old there” and throughout many parts of our country.
On Tuesday, in West Virginia, two in 10 white voters admitted that race was a factor in how they voted.
More than half of the voters who were questioned when leaving the polls expressed that Obama is not trustworthy.
A little less than half of the Clinton supporters said they wouldn’t vote for Obama if he secures the nomination.
Half believe Obama shares the views of Rev. Jeremiah Wright
Certainly, he should.
Because racism is not only alive and well, it is powerful. It is institutional. And it is rearing its hideous head across a land that’s promoted as a democracy “with liberty and justice for all.” If two in 10 acknowledge that race is a factor in their decision, imagine those who will not or cannot admit it.
As Barack Obama reaches out to people ready to embrace a new direction and a healing for our country, it is ironic that Hillary Clinton is representing and even exploiting the “old” life.
We have made great strides. However the campaign has revealed that we have miles to go. And it raises the question: Is Hillary’s heaven for whites only?
Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She’s written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she’s a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a novel last year, but since the death of her nephew, Marine Lance Cpl. Chase J. Comley, in Iraq on August 6,’05, she has been writing political articles. She can be reached at: Missybeat@aol.com