Former candidate Sharpton speaks at Pitt
The Reverend Al Sharpton spoke to a group of Kerry supporters on October 22 in the David Lawrence Auditorium at the University of Pittsburgh. He attacked President Bush?s record on the war, education, taxes, and judicial appointments.
Sharpton encouraged young people to vote on November 2: ?It will be the young voters who will decide who wins and loses this election.... You are the swingers that they don?t know exist.?
He talked about the importance of the younger demographic as the most underrepresented group in the polls, because only previous voters are included in the polls and three million new young voters registered this election year.
?Whoever wins will affect the rest of this century, for they will be appointing one, if not two justices to the Supreme Court.... Think about how Bush can appoint a 40- to 50-year-old right-winger to the court, for it will be your children and grandchildren who will pay the price,? said Sharpton.
Sharpton, who rose to prominence as an activist during the civil rights movement, voiced his fears that a conservative Supreme Court could ?head back to a pre-1950s America.? ?It was not the men in the white sheets, it was the men in the black robes.... The greatest danger for the women, blacks, Latinos, gays in this country is the Supreme Court, but we only get a vote for the President who appoints.?
Sharpton also criticized the Democratic Party for leaning to the right. He stated that he went to the Democratic National Convention to stop it. ?We can?t act like elephants in donkey jackets,? he said.
Sharpton ran in the Democratic primaries earlier this year. He made a pledge in the primaries to ?secure the right to vote.? He said Bush did not steal the votes in Florida only from Al Gore, but from the American people. ?The best way to avoid a repeat of Florida is to get as many voters as you can to the polls as possible and win a clear victory for Kerry.?
Al Sharpton accused the Bush administration of trying to deflect attention from Bush?s Presidential record by talking about Kerry?s record. ?You can?t compare a non-Presidential record with that of an incumbent.?
Sharpton also criticized Bush?s constant references to religion and morality on the campaign trail. ?I?m a preacher, and if George Bush wants to be a preacher, I suggest we elect John Kerry as President and we give George Bush a church in Crawford, Texas.?
Grace Boateng, a first-year art major, enjoyed Al Sharpton?s speech.
?I though he was effective. I could tell he really supported Kerry and his beliefs,? she said.