Local preachers, politicians weigh in on '08 race

As people gathered at a Mount Vernon church on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, preachers and politicians alike agreed race may play a big role in the race for the White House.

Leaders at a Grace Baptist Church ceremony spoke about King's legacy and the advancements made after his assassination.

"We discriminate against people based on the color of skin, religion and sex. We still do it," said New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. "We've made progress, but we still have more to do."

That progress is seen in the run for the White House. At a rally in South Carolina Monday, Chappaqua's Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) spoke about how a black man and a woman are top contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination.

"We have barriers of justice and equality that must come down and to do this, we know unity is the great need of the hour," Obama said.

"The work is far from finished," Clinton said. "The dream is nowhere fulfilled and ? we are called to rise up, speak up and finally get it done."

In Mount Vernon, the Rev. Darren Moore, of the United Black Clergy of Westchester, reminded voters to think as King would have. "Dr. King's message [was] for all people to be judged not by the color of their skin, but the content of their character," Moore said.

However, he admitted skin color will likely still matter in the Jan. 26 South Carolina Democratic primary, where more than half of voters are expected to be black.

For footage of the United Black Clergy of Westchester's service, go to channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.

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