Recent news articles in The Star Ledger, Sept. 21, and other publications report that a bloc of voters (how high a number varies by each news report) do not plan to vote for Barack Obama simply because he is part African-American. If these forecasts prove to be true, our nation is in worse trouble that we think.
As someone who was raised in a community of immigrants from many nations, and who now has the privilege of representing that community, I can say with first hand knowledge that we should always be seeking the hardest working, most committed people to become involved in public service regardless of where they or their ancestors were born.
I am writing today not to endorse Barack Obama for President, although I do support his candidacy. Rather, I am writing to express my outrage and my concern that with all the problems facing our nation, there are many people who are judging the candidates on the color of their skin or where their parents were born. This is both morally and ethically wrong and represents a disservice to our nation when it is clear that now more than ever we need the very best leadership possible.
To not vote for Barack Obama because his father was from Kenya is the same as not voting for the McCain-Palin ticket because John McCain is a senior citizen or Sarah Palin is a woman. These two individuals, like Barack Obama and Joe Biden, should be judged solely on their qualifications, their leadership abilities and their vision for our nation’s future.
Our nation has grown and prospered for centuries, thanks to the hard work and community spirit of all its people, especially the immigrants who came here seeking a better life for their families and became proud Americans willing to sacrifice everything – including their lives if necessary – to make the United States stronger.
When Election Day arrives, let us hope that all citizens will vote and that they will vote with open minds for the very best candidates – regardless of their gender, age, ethnic background or the color of their skin.
Brian P. Stack
Mayor, City of Union City
State Senator – 33rd District