Sen. Barack Obama is right for job

Published 12:01 am Thursday, February 21, 2008

Greetings fellow Natchezians, I am writing this open letter to urge the citizens of this city to vote for Sen. Barack Obama for president.

From health to care to taxes, from education to employment, from global warming to immigration, America is failing.

We are at war. A war conjured up and maintained by the selfish intentions of one man and one political party; a man that makes more money the longer our sons and daughters are slaughtered.

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Our country is sliding down a precarious precipice. No longer are we respected on foreign soil. No longer is America the country where everyone has equal opportunity to succeed just by working hard. We have become a country of capitalists that no longer care about the welfare of the less fortunate, only how to increase our own wealth. We no longer look down to help others up, we try to find ways to underhandedly keep them oppressed.

The situation in this country is reflected sharply right here in Natchez. In a town where “The Old South Still Lives” proudly, education and health care take a backseat to hotels and casinos. While our youth are left to fend for themselves with second-rate books, tourists can treat themselves to first-rate meals on an old Southern plantation.

Yet, through the dimness of this dire situation steps the gentleman from Illinois, Mr. Barack Obama. In his hands he holds the key to this nation’s resurrection. He rouses our enthusiasm for change with hope in his eyes and inspiration in his stride; and contrary to the misrepresentations perpetuated by the Republican Party, very solid views on the future of America under his leadership. Sen. Obama offers us a chance to redeem ourselves in not only the eyes of the world, but the eyes staring back at us in the mirror.

On March 11, when Mississippi holds its Democratic primary, we must march beside him. In Natchez, where the differences in the quality of life for black citizens and white citizens are glaringly obvious, where our children are losing an increasingly competitive race of survival for equality in this nation of ours that has built it’s foundation on being “united,” we must stand together and say, “Enough is enough!” No more politics as usual, no more settling for less, no more sitting quietly by while our country, our hope, our promise, is destroyed by corrupt politicians.

We must shed the stigma that showers Mississippi like acid rain. We must show the world that we are not just a state with a rich history of racism, prejudice, ignorance and corruption; but the home of scholars, artists, progressive, forward-thinking individuals such as Richard Wright, Eudora Welty, Tennessee Williams, Leontyne Price, Fannie Lou Hamer and Medgar Evers. We are a state that has been battered and bruised, but never broken; and now is the time for healing to truly begin.

Not only on March 11, but on Nov. 4 — the United States presidential election — let us not continue to run in circles. Let us not vote for politics as usual. Let us prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Mississippi holds more than a colorful history, but a promising future. Let us not continue to wait for change, but to create change. Let us take up the impassioned cry, “Yes We Can,” and shout it until they hear us on Capitol Hill. By adding our voices to the rest of this great nation, we proclaim that this election is not about voting for a black opponent vs. a white opponent; but the right man vs. a system that has failed us for far too long. Let there be no confusion Natchez. That man is Sen. Barack Obama and the time is now.

Kirsten W. SAVALI is a Natchez resident.